The bottom line is that buying real estate in Canada is very easy.
If you plan to stay in Canada for 6 months or less each year, the government considers you a non-resident, which means that you can still open a bank account and buy property, etc. If you plan to live in Canada for more than 6 months per year, you must apply for immigrant status.
It is important to note, however, that while the majority of Provinces (British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick) have no restrictions on foreign ownership of real estate in Canada, some do limit the amount of property/land that a non-resident can purchase.
Once you have chosen a REALTOR®, secured a mortgage and found your property, an offer is made.When buying a house in Canada, an offer must be made in writing so that all aspects of the transaction are clearly outlined within the offer.
Your REALTOR® will guide you through the preparation of the offer and review all issues regarding terms and conditions, price, completion and possession dates, inclusions and other pertinent details.
Once your offer is complete, it will be presented to the seller and negotiations will be made. This may include changes in price, completion date and chattels. The changes are initialed by the seller and returned to you ,the buyer, for your initials. Once you, the buyer, has signed the Contract of Purchase and Sale, it becomes legally binding.
You now as the buyer, as per the conditions in the contract, have time to do your due diligence, usually a two week time frame. Your building inspection and appraisal will be booked and questions will be answered regarding the Property Disclosure Statement, title search, easements, repairs, strata and other pertinent information. Your REALTOR® will guide you through the due diligence process with professional advice.
When the final subjects have been removed the sale is considered firm and binding. If you withdraw from the offer at this stage, it is advised to seek independent legal advice. The deposit is now payable, in some cases upon acceptance of the offer, and is placed in a trust account which is credited towards the purchase price.
Until completion day, the day you legally own your new home, and after, your REALTOR® will continue to assist you in any questions you have.
Most REALTORS® are self-employed and are on negotiable rather than fixed commission ,usually payable by the seller. A purchaser can buy property using any REALTOR®, regardless of whether that REALTOR® originally listed the property. There are usually two REALTORS® involved in a sale – the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent. The commission received upon the sale of the property is divided between the two REALTORS®. Some agents can also be dual agents but must declare this, in writing, to buyers and sellers alike.