A REALTOR® is an invaluable asset in any real estate transaction. They provide expert advice that ensures you buy or sell with confidence, knowing you’re making informed decisions.

Because the more you know about the process, the better off you’ll be.

To help you before and during your working relationship with a Realtor, we are pleased to provide you with two practical guides: one for buyers and one for sellers.

  • Do you want to understand the various stages you’ll experience along the way?
  • Need to take a deeper dive into some of the details so that you better understand what’s involved?

These Guides are designed to help!

Topics include: types of ownership, making sense of money and mortgages, understanding legal agreements, handling offers, as well as the role and professional obligations of Realtors.

Seller’s Guidebook

This practical Seller’s Guidebook was designed to help you chart your way through a successful property sale. Topics include:

  • Who are Realtors?
  • Legal and ethical obligations
  • Understanding listing agreements
  • Off to market
  • Understanding the offer to purchase
  • Handling an offer
  • Other things to consider
  • Ensuring your satisfaction

Buyer’s Guidebook

This practical Buyer’s Guidebook was designed to help you chart your way through a successful property purchase. Topics include:

  • Who are Realtors?
  • Choosing a property
  • Making sense of money and mortgages
  • Understanding buyer agreements
  • Legal and ethical obligations
  • Making an offer
  • The final steps
  • Ensuring your satisfaction


The day from which all calculations of interest, tax adjustments, utility bill adjustments (if applicable) are made to the credit of either the purchaser or the vendors. This is usually (but not always) the same as the possession date.
The number of years it takes to repay the entire amount of the mortgage.
An estimate of a property’s market value, used by lenders in determining the amount of the mortgage.
The increase in a property’s value over time.
The value of a property, set by the local municipality, for the purposes of calculating property tax.
Equal or regular mortgage payments, consisting of both a principal and an interest component.
A real estate professional licensed by British Columbia to facilitate the sale, lease or exchange of property.

When the seller reduces the interest rate on a mortgage by paying the difference between the reduced rate and the market rate directly to the lender or to the purchaser.

The real estate transaction’s completion, when the parties involved agree that all legal and financial obligations have been met and the deed to the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer.
Expenses in addition to the purchase price for buying and selling a property.
The portions of a condominium development owned in common (shared) by the unit owners, e.g.: pool, exercise room, lobby, etc. A strata fee is charged to every unit owner for the use of the common property.
Shared ownership in a strata-titled property. Owners have title (ownership) to individual units and a proportionate share in the common property.
A first mortgage issued for up to 75 per cent of the property’s appraised value or purchase price, whichever is lower.
The term used to describe the process of transferring the vendor’s title to the purchaser and indicates all the necessary steps to complete the transfer. A conveyancing lawyer is a lawyer (or notary) responsible for the conveyance process (this is normally the purchaser’s lawyer).

An offer made by the vendor (seller) back to the purchaser altering one or several terms and/or conditions of the offer as originally written.

The percentage of a borrower’s income that can be used for housing costs. Gross Debt Service (GDS) Ratio is the amount that a lender will permit a borrower to use from his/her gross income in order to qualify for a loan for housing costs, including mortgage payment and taxes (and condominium fees, when applicable). Total Debt Service (TDS) Ratio is the maximum percentage of a borrower’s income that a lender will consider for all debt repayment (other loans and credit cards, etc.) including a mortgage.
A legal document that conveys (transfers) ownership of a property to a buyer.
A legal right to use or cross (right-of-way) another person’s land for limited purposes. A common example is a utility company’s right to run wires or lay pipe across a property.
An intrusion onto an adjoining property. Common examples are a neighbour’s fence, storage shed, or overhanging roof line that partially (or even fully) intrudes onto your property.
The difference between the price for which a property can be sold and the mortgage(s) on the property. Equity is the owner’s stake in the property.
A legal process by which the lender takes possession and ownership of a property when the borrower doesn’t meet the mortgage obligations.
A mortgage that exceeds 75 per cent of the loan-to-value ratio; must be insured by either the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) or a private insurer like the Mortgage Insurance Company of Canada (MICC) to protect the lender against default by the borrower who has less equity invested in the property.
Payment to the provincial government for transferring property from the seller to the buyer. See Property Transfer Tax.
Any legal claim against a property, filed to ensure payment of a debt.
A contract between a borrower and a lender. The borrower pledges a property as security to guarantee repayment of the mortgage debt.
The lender.
The borrower.
Government-backed or private-backed insurance protecting the lender against the borrower’s default on high-ratio (and other types of) mortgages.
A form of reducing term insurance recommended for all mortgagors. If you die, have a terminal illness, or suffer an accident, the insurance can pay the balance owing on the mortgage. The intent is to protect survivors from the loss of their homes.

A current and comprehensive listing system for relaying property information to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s REALTORS®. This service offers the widest exposure to properties listed for sale.

A mortgage that can be prepaid or renegotiated at any time and in any amount, without penalty.
A fee charged by the lender when the borrower prepays all or part of a closed mortgage more quickly than is set out in the mortgage agreement.
The ability to prepay all or a portion of the principal balance. Prepayment charges may be incurred on the exercise of prepayment options.
The mortgage amount initially borrowed or the portion still owing on the mortgage. Interest is calculated on the principal amount.
The PDS enables sellers to disclose known defects. If the seller decides not to complete the PDS and does not disclose known defects, he or she is still held liable. The PDS also serves as a checklist for buyers enabling them to address concerns about the property’s condition on the spot. The PDS was developed by the British Columbia Real Estate Association.
This levy is affected by location and is determined by local property tax assessment practice. Tax assessments are conducted by local government. They are paid on an annual basis.
Payment to the provincial government for transferring property from the seller to the purchaser. In the 1994 provincial government’s budget, the PTT was eliminated for first-time buyers under certain circumstances.
Real estate professionals who are members of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board and the British Columbia and Canadian Real Estate Associations. Only these professionals can call themselves REALTORS®.
Are indicated on title at the Land Title Office; often for use of utilities or city or municipality in order to make repairs to pipes, etc.; no permanent structure may be built on a right of way.
Closing statements in a real estate transaction which set out the sources of funds which make up the purchase price, adjustments to and from the purchase price, the final amount required from the purchase and the amount due to the vendor. Lawyers will prepare a statement for the vendor and the purchaser.
A copy of the title which lists charges against the property, e.g.: liens, mortgages, rights of way, etc.
A statement of a condition to be fulfilled before the contract will become firm and binding; must include a specific deadline for removal.
The legal evidence of ownership in a property.
A detailed examination of the ownership documents to ensure there are no liens or other encumbrances on the property, and no questions regarding the seller’s ownership claim.
Examples may include water, sewer and garbage (may include recycling levies).
A mortgage for which payments are fixed, but whose interest rate changes in relationship to fluctuating market interest rates. If mortgage rates go up, a larger portion of the payment goes to interest. If rates go down, a larger portion of the payment is applied to the principal.
When sellers use their equity in a property to provide some or all of the mortgage financing in order to sell the property.
Strict guidelines set and enforced by municipal governments regulating how a property may or may not be used.