This week, I had the pleasure of meeting Irina Bartnik from Irina Bartnik Notary Corporation (Surrey, BC) to learn the process of closing a mortgage at a notary. I specifically asked her to run me through a transaction and what clients should expect from the moment their name is referred.
I did this because the average person does not deal with a lawyer / notary on a regular basis so when it comes time to, it can be particularly daunting. Furthermore, it can give you, the client, a better idea of extra costs that you may need to save for.
In my experience, clients usually have a lawyer / notary of their preference but when you don't, that's when my connections come into play - I can recommend you to a lawyer / notary based on your preference of location.
Once a mortgage is approved and signed by the client, the bank will send instructions to the designated lawyer / notary whom will conduct a review.
The client is contacted within the month of their closing to make an appointment 2-3 days prior to.
Meanwhile, Irina does her research to ensure a seamless transaction for the buyer. She conducts three title searches in the process: the moment she receives instructions from the lender to make sure that the sellers' and buyers' names are correct, before meeting with the client to make sure that nothing "fishy" has happened during the time of transaction, and within a couple hours of closing to make sure that the buyers' name has been registered accurately. She also obtains tax information (property and land transfer), requests information from the insurer, and gathers all necessary documentations from the Strata management company.
As Irina mentions, the client really only sees her for half an hour or so, 2-3 days prior to closing. During which she goes over the mortgage commitment again to ensure accuracy and acceptance by the client - yes, the client has to sign all the documents again with the lawyer / notary. She will also let you know the costs of which you owe for closing such as pre-paid property transfer tax, land transfer tax, title insurance, and other fees pre-paid by the previous owner (these costs differ based on the size and type of property).
On the day of closing, she will then register the Mortgage, obtain funds from the lender, pay out existing lenders or creditors, and arrange for deposit / pick-up of the proceeds.
And voila, you now have a new house or mortgage!
At the end of the interview, I asked Irina: If there was a tip you could provide buyers, what would it be?
"Know what you qualify for prior to looking so you don't get burned later."
And I totally agree. It's what mortgage specialists are for - with the new rules, the same amount of income now qualifies for a lower mortgage amount (lowered buying power). It's always good to meet with us so you have a realistic budget in mind prior to looking with a Realtor!
Irina strive to explain transactions in plain language such that clients understand all the documents being signed. Her explanation definitely made me feel more knowledgeable and confident in knowing that my clients are going to be in the right hands.