FAQs for Buyers:
Q: WHEN DO WE MEET?
A: After we have received your MORTGAGE INSTRUCTIONS, we will contact you to schedule an appointment. It is important to complete the mortgage approval process early, so we have everything we need to prepare for closing.
Q: WHAT ARE MORTGAGE INSTRUCTIONS?
A: If you are mortgaging the property you are purchasing, your lender will send us the mortgage instructions. The instructions provide us with specific information so that we can prepare the appropriate documents. We take it from there. We do all the necessary searches and prepare the mortgage and any related documents. Our work can only start once we receive the mortgage instructions. Receiving these documents well in advance of closing increases the likelihood of closing on time. Any efforts you and your mortgage broker (if you are working with one) can take to encourage the lender to provide us with mortgage instructions sooner rather than later are helpful. If you have not done so, please provide us with the contact information for your lender and broker. The name of a specific person and direct contact information is the best.
Q: WHAT ARE MORTGAGE AMENDMENTS?
A: Think twice about changing your mortgage at the 11th hour. Typically, any changes to the mortgage such as reducing the amortization period, increasing the down payment, or adding purchase plus improvements results in the lender sending us a completely new set of mortgage instructions. If we have already prepared the mortgage documents, they will have to be prepared all over again. This may result in additional charges to you along with delays in completing the documents and completing the purchase.
Q: WHAT IS BRIDGE OR INTERIM FINANCING?
A: If you are selling and buying at the same time, especially if the purchase takes place prior to or on the same day as the sale of your existing property, you should discuss interim or bridge financing with your banker or broker. This is an amount you borrow from your lender to ensure you have sufficient funds to complete your purchase pending receipt of your sale proceeds. If you have any questions about whether bridge financing could apply to you, please contact your lender, or one of our team members.
Q: WHAT IS A BINDER LETTER AND WHY DO I NEED ONE?
A: A homeowner insurance binder is an agreement between you and your insurance company that provides proof of your homeowner's insurance as of your closing date. The document is issued by an authorized insurance representative and is required by your mortgage lender to fund your mortgage.
Q: HOW MUCH MONEY DO I NEED FOR CLOSING?
A: We will be able to tell you the exact amount of money needed to close the purchase after we have finalized our adjustments with the Seller's lawyer.
Prior to closing we ask that you bring us a BANK DRAFT payable to "SCOTIA LAW INC IN TRUST" for the amount over and above the mortgage proceeds. The amount will include both your down payment and closing costs in one lump sum.
Instead of coming to the office to drop off money, you may also take your bank draft to any RBC branch and make a deposit to our trust account. We can provide you with the details of our account for deposit. If you choose this method, then you must send us a picture of the bank draft and a copy of the deposit slip for our internal accounting.
The mortgage Lender will send us mortgage funds directly.
Q: WHAT IS A REMOTE SIGNING?
A: On occasion we have clients that cannot be here in Nova Scotia to sign documents required for their purchase. If you do not think you will be available, let us know and we will work together to make arrangements to have the necessary paperwork executed in your location or via video conference.
Q: WHAT HAPPENS ON CLOSING DAY?
A: Most often on the day of closing you will meet, early in the day, with your agent to do a PRE-CLOSE INSPECTION of the property. Please call or email us to let us know if the pre-close inspection is good or if there are issues to be dealt with. We will courier a closing package with the purchase funds to the Seller’s Lawyer. The Seller’s lawyer will courier a closing package to us with your new deed. When these two closing packages have been exchanged and we know the pre-close inspection is good – we consider the transaction closed! At that time, we normally send out an email, or make a call, to you and your agent confirming the closing. Then your Agent can release KEYS to you!!!
Q: WHAT HAPPENS WITH PROPERTY TAXES?
A: Each party is responsible to pay taxes for the time in the year that they own the property. For every transaction, we do an adjustment and pro-rate the taxes to the day of closing. If the Seller has over-paid taxes, then you will give them a credit. If the Seller has overdue taxes, they will credit you the amount of arrears. Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) fiscal tax year runs from April to March. HRM bills twice a year in the spring and fall and taxes are paid in advance.
Q: WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY DEED?
A: Once the deed (and mortgage) have been recorded at the Land Registration Office, we will compile a report to you (and the lender). The report will contain all the relevant documents for your purchase transaction. You can expect to receive the report between four to eight weeks after the closing.
Have additional questions? Get in touch!