This is a true story. It happened to me in September 2012. This is a recap about a buyer who has no lawyer or notary public to represent him in less than five business days before closing. And worse, the buyer is an out of province corporation and financing is required in the transaction…
I was the listing agent of an apartment unit in Vancouver East (BC). I sold the unit to a walk-in buyer. The buyer was a corporation located in Alberta. I didn’t represent the buyer – yes, the buyer worked on his own. He had his own lawyer to do the conveyance; and yes, the lawyer was also located in Alberta. All subject clauses were removed; and it was almost a month from the closing date. Final deposit was in place. Everything looked great!
Two weeks before the closing date. My client’s (seller’s) lawyer called me, informing that the buyer lawyer’s documents were still missing. I called the buyer in Alberta, asking if they had hired their lawyer in Vancouver and if they could give me the information. “Our lawyer will handle it, everything is fine,” he told me.
Two days passed, no news! I called the buyer again. He told me his lawyer was still looking for a lawyer in Vancouver to do the closing. I asked him if I could refer couple of lawyers and notaries public for him to contact. He said he should be fine. I could not call his lawyer directly for a clear picture – I had no agency status with the buyer to do that.
September 10, at 10:26am (8 days including weekend from the closing date of the 17th):
I received a copy of message sent from the buyer’s lawyer in Alberta to the buyer. In brief, the lawyer indicated to the buyer that he could not act for them in the transaction for a property in BC, and provided a lawyer’s name in BC for the buyer to contact.
At 10:51am, the buyer sent email to me, confirming a lawyer in BC said to be acting for them in the transaction. I informed my office to forward the transaction info to this law office accordingly.
At 2:00pm, my office received a fax from that “buyer’s lawyer”, advising that they could not represent the buyer for the transaction.
The buyer is still trying to find one himself. Meanwhile, I had organized a list of lawyers and notaries public from my past transactions and forward the list to the buyer for contact.
5pm passed; there was still no lawyer information from the buyer! Finally he called me on the phone, asking if I could help.
I quickly made few phone calls – no luck! It was after 5pm. Everyone is on the answering machine!
I suddenly thought of a lawyer I used to receive newsletters from. I sent a brief message to him about the situation, and asked if he could help the buyer. And within five minutes I received from him: “Yes I can help him. Who is the lender?”
So the rest is now history. The deal was concluded on September 17, as anticipated. As a matter of fact, all documents were ready and presented to the seller lawyer for execution within three days! I was very impressed with the efficiency of this lawyer!
P.S. REALTORS who wish to have the contact info of this lawyer please feel free to contact me.
There are some points worth mentioning for future reference:
- Foreigners are not prohibited from acquiring real estate in the province of British Columbia. However, an out of province corporation would need to have extra provincial registration in BC for that purpose.
- Lawyers from out side BC cannot carry the title transfer of real estate located in BC.