The process for taking possession and title for a new condominium differs from most home purchases. The major difference is that the purchase funds cannot be released to the builder until the property title is transferred to the buyer’s name. This means that the closing cannot occur using the Western Conveyancing Protocol which is a time saving way to close real estate transactions that allows the seller to be paid before the title is registered in the buyer’s name. Title Insurance also cannot be used to expedite the closing.
So what this means for you is that the timeline to close from the lawyer side of things is longer.
As soon as you receive notice of your possession date, you must notify your lawyer and your mortgage lender. You then must arrange a meeting with your lawyer as soon as possible to sign the paperwork that transfers the condo to you. Your lawyer can then send the title to be registered at the Land Titles Office. The timeline for registration can be 2 to 4 weeks depending on the volume of documents the Land Titles Office receives for registration. The title must be registered in your name before the possession date. It is important to move quickly so the title registration is not delayed. If the builder is not paid on time there is usually a daily penalty payable to the builder under the purchase contract.
Sometimes the builder will allow you take possession of the property despite the property not yet being transferred. The daily penalty would still be payable. There are some scenarios where a delay in registering the title to your name is by reason of the builder’s delay in providing the appropriate documents. Here, you may still be able to take possession of the property on your possession date but a fee may still be payable to the builder.
There are many exceptions to this process so please contact our office if you have any questions or would like to discuss your particular transaction.