As the world changes and adjusts to what will be a new normal for the foreseeable future, we wanted to keep you up on what is happening in terms of changes that you as a Calgary home buyer and seller need to know.
You may be in a position that you are taking or giving possession of a home in the coming weeks or months. Perhaps you were on the hunt for your next home and want to make a move but are unsure of what to expect or on the other hand, you have your home currently for sale and trying to sort out what is happening.
I can safely say we don't have all the answers, but we will update this page with news we find, the conversations we have and with links that are important for all homeowners.
I want to thank Chad Moore for his help in putting this info together.
Here are all the quick links for what is included on this page:
You have a possession coming up, what could you expect?
You may be in the position of taking possession of a home sometime between March 15 and the end of May. What could you expect to see and how can it be handled?
There is talk that land titles could be closing at the end of the week of March 23rd. Now we want to say that this isn't confirmed but if it did happen what are the options? UPDATE: We have heard that land titles is closed to the public but remain open internally which means your lawyer will have full access.
There is the option of Title Insurance. Here is an excerpt from the RECA site on how this can help you in this situation of taking possession of a home and land titles offices are closed; "Title Insurance can provide "gap coverage" to buyers and borrowers, which protects their interests when a transaction is closing. There is often a gap of several days between the submission of the land transfer or the mortgage document to the Land Titles Office and the registration of these interests on the title. Lawyers cannot release mortgage funds to a seller until registration is complete and the title shows no intervening registrations. A borrower can arrange a title insurance policy quickly and it takes effect on the date issue. It assures the state of the title at date of registration of the land transfer (real estate trade) or loan document (mortgage deal)"
Regardless of if they do close or not, don't be alarmed as there are options for you. Talk to your lawyer who is closing your transaction and come up with all the options that are available to you during this time.
APRIL 7 2020 UPDATE From Jim Reich at Reich Law: NOTE: That the rulings here can change at any time, so please check with your real estate lawyer on protocols and current regulations.
The Province of Alberta has passed a regulation on April 3, 2020 to temporarily allow for video conferencing for the execution of documents for registration at Land Titles. The Law Society has provided strict procedures to follow when video conferencing for execution of documents which may limit the ability to video sign in some circumstances:
Currently the entire video conference must be recorded, every page must be reviewed and initialed.
Secure platforms must be used. For instance, due to privacy concerns, Zoom could not be used for the video conference.
Video conferencing for clients out of Province is not permitted. (In keeping with how fluid the situation is, as I am writing this, I have just been advised that as long as the lawyer is in Alberta we will be able to use videoconferencing for out of Province clients!)
In addition, not all lenders have agreed to this process and the few that have are requiring the buyer to obtain and pay for a lenders title insurance policy. When videoconferencing is an option and is preferred by the client we will follow that protocol.
You have your home active on the market, what to expect.
We are currently seeing showing still happening, and buyers still looking at homes. I would say that the showings that are happening are with buyers that are more motivated than others, so it's a great thing when they happen.
We have created a couple of resources for you to have and use during this time for showings. Here are two PDF's that you can download and use. The first is "Simple Steps to Home Showing Safety," which can be printed and put in a clear view for any buyers coming into your home. And the second is "Simple Steps to Showing Your Home," which is our thoughts on what you can do to prep you and your home for all showings.
What if I want to stop showings?
If, at any point, you don't feel comfortable with showing your home due to the current Cornovirus climate, here is what we need to do. We will need to change the status of your home to a Withdrawn status on the MLS® system. By doing so requires a form signed by you and the brokerage. Once your comfort level has reached a place where you are ok to have showings again, we can change the status to 'Active' and continue moving forward.
You are an active buyer still wanting to look at homes, what to expect.
In this daily-changing market, we are experiencing different rules and suggestions on how to handle the COVID19 climate. You will want to take all the precautions needed to ensure your safety and the safety of others when looking at homes.
Our team of agents have agreed that they are ok to arrange virtual viewings of homes if you are not able to leave your home or make it into Calgary to see places.
Here is a PDF on Simple Steps to Home Showing Safety. Download and feel free to share.
Mortgage Deferral Options:
Mortgage lenders have confirmed that all Mortgage default insurance companies are offering help to those struggling during these tough times with up to 6-months payment deferral/capitalization as well as other solutions.
This can mean:
Offering a temporary short-term payment deferral.
Extending the original repayment period (amortization) in order to lower your monthly mortgage payments.
Adding any missed payments (arrears) to the Mortgage balance and spreading them over the remaining Mortgage repayment period.
Offering a special arrangement unique to your particular financial situation (Government imposed work stoppage due to Covid-19 might apply).