The notary and transfer of ownership

In Quebec, a notary finalizes a home sale transaction. The agreement of purchase and sale is the basis for the bill of sale, to be drawn up by the notary. Once the offer of purchase or the counteroffer is accepted and all conditions are met, all that’s left to do is make the transaction official. A signed copy of the offer to purchase must be provided to the notary. This is the only mandatory legal step in the process of buying a home.

The buyer designates the notary. He or she will contact the seller to set up the appointment to conclude the transaction.

1. Title transfers

The notary will be able to perform the transfer of ownership to the buyer. Using the certificate of localisation, the notary will check to make sure the house was built according to municipal regulations and in accordance with zoning laws. He/she will also ensure that the dimensions of the terrain are exact, that the neighbouring property does not infringe on the terrain, etc. He/she will also verify that all taxes have been paid and that the seller owes no debt on any of the goods being transferred.

2. Drawing up the bill of sale

This step makes the purchase of the home official. The notary’s role is to explain the clauses and conditions essential to the protection of the rights of both parties.

3. Statement of adjustments

The Statement of adjustments confirms the sale price, indicates the amount the buyer must pay to the seller, as well as the balance from the initial payment (or deposit) and the adjustments (property taxes, rents, co-ownership fees, etc.).

The buyer must provide a cheque made out to the notary in trust.

4. Registering the sale at the land registry office

To officially designate the buyer as the new owner of the property, notary will deposit the bill of sale at the land registry office. All real estate transactions are made public in the land registry.

When purchasing a house that is already built, the buyer is responsible for choosing the notary.

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