A Buyer’s Crash Course on The Documents That Form a Deal


As a buyer, you will be subject to rapid fire documents coming your way during the course of buying a home. Not only will your real estate agent have a plethora of documents for you to sign, so will your lender and your lawyer, and by the end of the process you’ll probably by happy if you never have to review another piece of legally binding paperwork again in your life. Because the blur and endless streams of paperwork can seem quite overwhelming when you’re in the midst of it, here at Move to Squamish we’ve aimed to simplify and explain the real estate documents you may be required to sign as part of the deal.

Working with a Realtor Brochure

The Working with a Realtor Brochure (WWR) is a required document by the BC Real Estate Association and is a standard tool used by real estate agents in BC. Though not a legally binding document, the WWR provides an overview of the relationship between you and your Realtor®, and info on the collection, use and disclosure of personal information.

Buyer’s Agency Contract

An Exclusive Buyer’s Agency Agreement is a contract between a buyer and their designed real estate agent and brokerage. The contract outlines the market area, a date term when the contract applies, and what the responsibilities are of the agent and the buyer. It also details how personal information will be used and the process and conditions of terminating the agreement. At this time Move to Squamish does not use a Buyer’s Agency Contract however many buyer’s agents do choose to have their relationships contractually expressed using this document.

Contract of Purchase and Sale

This is the holy grail of real estate documents, one you will become very familiar with when buying a new home. The Contract of Purchase and Sale (CPS) is the offer document that details the sale price and property details, deposit information, important dates, terms and conditions of the contract, agency disclosure and offer and acceptance signatures.

As a buyer your agent will submit the CPS to the seller and their agent for consideration. In many cases, the seller will return the document (what is referred to as a counter offer) with details such as the price, dates and conditions changed to suit them. This document can bounce back and forth multiple times (requiring initials for changes each time), before an acceptance of the contract.

Contract Addendums

If there are any changes to the contract after acceptance as been communicated, these changes are declared on a contract addendum. A subject removal addendum is produced and signed by the buyer (and sometimes the seller) when all conditions of the contract have been fulfilled. This is when a property is officially considered sold.

Property Disclosure Statement

The Property Disclosure Statement (PDS) is a document completed by the seller to disclose any material latent defects of the property. A latent defect is considered a fault in the property that can not be discovered by a reasonable thorough inspection. Typically a clause is inserted into the CPS requiring the buyer to obtain and approve the PDS, and incorporate the PDS into the contract if approved. It is important if the buyer has any questions about anything disclosed on the PDS that it is investigated thoroughly. In order to approve the PDS the buyer needs to sign and date the document on or before subject removal.

Title Search

The title search is a land search of a property that reveals the legal description, registered owner details, mortgage charges, builder’s leans or any other charges present on the title. A charge is a legal interest or encumbrance that has been registered with the Land Title Survey Authority. Examples of charges on title include: Mortgages, statutory right of ways, easements, covenants, judgements, leases and claims of builder’s liens.

It’s important for buyers to get a description of charges on title to ensure they won’t be implicated by any charges that ‘run with the land’ ie: will be passed on to them when they buy the property. Although many charges are not considered negative (right of ways for Districts, utility services), financial charges, judgements and leans should be cleared before title is transferred to the new owner, and building schemes and easements should be investigated.

Disclosure of Remuneration

As part of the subject removal process you may have to sign a document called the Disclosure of Remuneration which outlines the commission paid to your buyer’s agent in relation to the sale.

Luckily the signing of documents can now be done easily using programs such as Docusign. This means the paperwork process can all be done electronically using free software that is simple and straightforward. Having a clear understanding of the paperwork you are signing is imperative. Your Realtor® will be able to give you some explanation and insight but it’s always advised to seek legal advice if you are uncomfortable or unsure of anything.

Move to Squamish helps lifestyle driven buyers and investors find their perfect property in Squamish. With over 30 years in the Squamish real estate market we are experienced, passionate and knowledgeable and provide top-notch service to our clients.

About Meghan

Meghan is a real estate agent, digital marketing specialist and writer. She grew up in Squamish and recently moved back after living abroad for over 10 years. Meghan is passionate about connecting people to their ideal lifestyles and is excited to bring Move to Squamish to those looking for a lifestyle change in Squamish.

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