Image courtesy of Arc Survey
"A lot of people don't think much about what land surveyors do. In a nutshell, we are the interpreters and providers of landmarks and records that directly impact real property." Mark Mason. IMG
Selling a home involves a lot of moving parts, to be sure. However, we sometimes get caught up in the financials or the staging of the home and the when to list details, but forget about one of the most important aspects to selling our home, that of the Real Property Report, or sometimes just referred to as the “RPR”. If this is lacking or does not exist, then the sale of the home can be greatly hampered, delayed or cancelled.
As per the Alberta Land Surveyor’s Association website, www. http://www.alsa.ab.ca/, “a Real Property Report is a legal document that clearly illustrates the location of significant visible improvements relative to property boundaries”. Basically, it is a ‘snap shot map’ of your property on a date when the survey was created. If changes to improvements have been made to the property or adjoining properties, then a new or modified (updated) version of the Real Property Report will need to be made. Such improvements can include, but not limited to, new or modified fencing, decks, external air conditioning units, driveways, garages or other such features. Only the updated RPR will be able to show their location relative to property boundaries.
Another key aspect of RPRs is that they are necessary to determine compliance with municipal bylaws. For example, if you have added a deck to the back of your house, it will be necessary to determine if the deck complies with the city codes about the height, etc. Some low decks do not require to be included an improvement as they fall well below a certain height. Best to check with the city as to what the minimum height is before it is required to be included on the report. If the city determines that your structure does not comply, then it is the owner’s responsibility to remedy before putting the property on the market to sell. Thus, early preparation of the RPR is necessary and can significantly speed up the process of selling a property.
Not only does the city want to confirm compliance of your home improvements and structures, but other professionals involved in the sale process also need to see the report. They may include,
- See the location of improvements within the property boundaries
- Any encroachments from adjacent properties
- Property compliance with municipal requirements
- The boundary and improvement locations on the property
- Any problems relating to the property boundaries
- In determining compliance with bylaws and fire codes
- In the planning and development process
Property Sellers (vendors)
- Protection from potential future legal liabilities resulting from problems related to property boundaries and improvements
- Conformance of improvements with municipal bylaws
- Problems that may have to be resolved prior to registration of the mortgage
Real Estate Agents
- Provide a visual representation of the property for sale
- Meet requirements of the real estate listing/purchase contract
- Have information to avoid delays in completing property transactions when a Real Property Report is arranged early in the sales process
Process the home sale or buy transaction
RPR starts at the seller's lawyer office, then gets transferred to the buyer's lawyer office
Require RPR for title transfer purposes
A Real Property Report is not required for conventional condo style apartments, but is required in bare land condo style properties. If you are unsure of what you currently own or are planning to purchase, ask your trusted real estate agent. Conventional condos do not need a real property report because the Condominium Plan takes the place of the Real Property Report. Your realtor can assist you in the area as she can easily get a copy of the Condo Plan before submitting an offer to purchase or if you decide to list your condo to sell.
You can conveniently have your existing RPR updated, and so best advice is to contact the company that issued the stamp, as it should be labelled on the RPR. However, it is possible that the lawyer that you dealt with for the purchase of your home may have it on file, so do contact them if you are needing to get a copy or update it. If for some reason, you do not have an RPR at all and you are planning to sell your home, it is best to begin arranging the survey process as soon as possible. It will take about 2-3 weeks.
Three reputable Land Surveyors in Calgary for obtaining a Real Property Report on your property:
1. Global Raymac
T: 403 283 5455
T: 403 269 5150
3. Arc Surveys
403 277 1272
For more information about the Real Property Report, please click here:
Thank you for reading my blog post for the week of November 28th, 2016. Feel free to contact me if you have any real estate required needs or questions. Please forward this to anyone you know who you know may benefit.