Taking possession of your home in Canada

Just one thing you should find in your new home
Just one thing you should find in your new home

This week we had a family move into their new house. This is one of the most enjoyable parts of our job. After all it is what the whole business is about: getting our clients into their new homes in Canada.

I thought it would be interesting to highlight a few things about this last stage of the home buying process that might be different from your experience elsewhere. Especially for those of you in the UK.

The day you take possession of your home is agreed up front at the time your offer is made. At that time three dates are agreed. The completion date is the first of these. It is the day when the money is handed over. Your mortgage is put in place and the title to the home is transferred to your name.

This is all done via the Land Title Office whose records are all computerized. This does mean that things generally go pretty smoothly, but occasionally there are problems. That is why the possession date is usually set for two days or so after the completion date. This allows for heavy workloads at the LTO and any hiccups in the system.

Our managing broker would not allow us to schedule the possession date on the day after the completion date. He could not believe the system in the England where everything happens on the same day.

So, here in BC, we usually hear on the completion date that the purchase has been registered. We then make arrangements to get the keys and meet our clients at noon on the day of possession.

Our buyers are usually very excited and cannot wait to get into their home. And if they are British, they are often worried about what state the home will be in when they eventually get in.

We reassure them that this is Canada. By which we mean that the home will have been cleaned, usually professionally. The biggest surprise is usually that the place has not been stripped of every light bulb and toilet roll.

The example from this weekend is typical. The sellers left a potted plant with a note welcoming them to the home.The note included introductions to the neighbours and a detailed diagram of the garden and what was planted where. All the manuals and instructions were left out too.

The light bulbs were all present and correct. There were even spare ones left on the shelves in the storage room. The shed had leftover paint for each room.

Oh and in the bathroom there was a spare toilet roll.

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