Frequently Asked Questions about Buying Real Estate in BC
Please find below the answers to a few common questions. Please keep in mind these answers are more general in nature and may differ depending on your unique circumstances. Please do not reply on this information without verification.
When making an offer on a foreclosure property can the offer be conditional on (or subject to) financing approval?
Yes if you are the first offer your offer can be conditional i.e. subject to inspection, strata minutes etc. However if an offer has already been accepted (and a court date set) then your only option is an unconditional offer presented in court on the court date.
Is it better to buy before selling or to sell before buying?
It is normally better to sell before you buy as this eliminates the financial risk of having to pay two mortgages plus taxes, insurance and utilities for several months. Unless you qualify for interim financing, your lender may require that you sell your home before granting financing on your new home. If the buyer makes an attractive offer and wants to close quickly, you can arrange for temporary housing. More importantly it is very difficult to negotiate a deal on a property when your offer is "subject to the sale of" another property.
What happens to a buyer's deposit funds once paid?
The deposit is held in trust by the buyer's agent's brokerage. The brokerage then deducts what they are owed and transfers remaining funds to buyer's lawyer/notary who hold it in trust until completion. Once the sale completes funds are transferred to the seller's lawyer or notary.
How can you minimize the risk when buying a foreclosure property with no conditions?
Foreclosures are sold "AS IS, WHERE IS" so tough to minimize risk. If you are the first offer - you do have an opportunity to include conditions that will help to minimize risk such as a "Subject to Financing" clause or a "Subject to Inspection" clause. Once all your conditions have been removed from the agreement and the offer is firm, a court date is set for the courts final approval. If a court date has already been set and you are interested in making an offer (i.e. you are not the first offer), sometimes you are allowed to have the property inspected prior to the court date. The more you know about the property before the court date, the lower the risk and the greater your chances of success in court.
What school does my child attend if we live right on a school boundary?
Boundary lines are in the middle of the road. If your house number is an even number, your school will be on the south or east side of the boundary. If your house number is an odd number, your school will be on the north or west side of the boundary.