An extremely common misconception in the real estate industry that I hear over and over again is that the seller has no fees to pay at the notary when selling a property. Whether my selling clients have heard it from a friend or family member or just assumed that the notary fee is taken care of by the purchaser, they usually seem quite shocked by the fact that they too have fees/expenses that must be taken care of at the notary.
Although there aren’t many fee’s for the seller to assume at the notary during the sale process our goal today is to outline the three guaranteed expenses you will see at the notary as a seller:
1. Acquittance // Quittance Fee
This fee applies to everyone who has an active mortgage or HELOC (Homeowner line of credit) currently registered on their property and the purpose of this expense is for the notary to remove the registration or give a final quittance. This act essentially proves that your mortgage has been paid off and radiated, and that the property in question is now able to receive and register a new lean (mortgage) for the new buyer. It is important to note that there is absolutely no negotiating this work, as you cannot sell your property if it is not free and clear of all debts… i.e. your mortgage or Heloc.
The fee for this in December 2023 sits around $800 – $900 and includes the notaries work, registration and liability.
2. Commission Fee
Although this may seem like a no-brainer, It is different throughout the provinces but in Quebec your real estate brokers commission is paid in full at the notary (sale of the property) and from the proceeds of the transaction. When reviewing your disbursements, the notary will show you the commission invoice from the office that your broker is affiliated too and show you the total amount that will be removed from the proceeds of the sale. Yes, taxes do apply to our commission as it is a good/service.
3. Administrative Fee
Usually overlooked, the famous “admin fees” of the notary. These fees usually do not add up to a questionable amount (usually $250 – $500) however still make up for one of the most overlooked expenses when passing at the notary and can cause some unwanted frustration during the final steps of your transaction. Administrative fees include money management, trust account expenses, research of documents such as taxes, declaration of co-ownership etc. and management/reception of certificate of location.
Although these fee’s may be arguably the buyer’s responsibility, they are normally charged to the seller in circumstances where the seller could have provided all documents to the notary and relieved the notary of the work necessary to obtain the information.
4. Title Insurance (Maybe)
This expense is not guaranteed to any particular, but has become increasingly popular since 2020 with notaries, and banks obliging vendors to obtain one prior to signing the deed of sale. A title insurance is commonly known as a type of insurance that provides protection to property owners and lenders against financial loss related to defects in the title of a property. In the context of a real estate transaction in Quebec or elsewhere, title insurance typically covers issues such as title defects, servitudes, encroachments and so much more.
These types of insurance are obtained by the notary and usually requested by the financial institutions in their mortgage instructions to protect themselves from any unknown issue. The cost? It ranges with the price of the property.
So if you are headed to the notary and are expecting to receive a check and walk away without paying a tab, think again. Your real estate broker should be advising you of these expenses prior to you starting your sale journey! If you are uncertain if these expenses apply to you, feel free to give us a call or reach out today!
**It is also important to note that these amounts may very from notary to notary and province to province**