Who Orders the Status Certificate?

Question:

Whose responsibility is it to obtain the Status Certificate? The Buyer’s lawyer, the Seller, the Seller’s Agent, the Buyer’s agent.

I just had one, where I thought that my buyer client’s lawyer had ordered one. He hadn’t and now we are late.

What went wrong here?

Answer:

The most difficult issue here is that there is no standard practice. And, with such a mess, then the best practice would always be “do it yourself” whether you have a Buyer or Seller.

However, that simply feeds the problem, which is: “there’s no standard, acceptable practice”. So, that needs to change. In the meantime, every law firm has its own rules.

A brand new, unknown client who is calling around for the “best price”, may never have actually FORMALLY retain the lawyer (like signing a listing or BRA), therefore, the law firm is not routinely going to spend $100.00 on speculation. There is very little money in this area of legal practice. The fees today are less than half of what they were 40 years ago. Most of the work on these files is now handled by conveyancing paralegals and not by lawyers.

I would suggest the following:

It is always provided electronically.
It is provided at the start of a listing to the Listing REALTOR®.
The fee should be the same or lower.

The fee should be paid by the Seller.

It should be updated in advance of completion to the Buyer
The Buyer should pay the fee for the update.

The Condo Corporation produces the Status Certificate and knows at the outset that the parties to the transaction are relying upon it. So, I think there is liability anyways. Probably better to have your name on it, since that would be a contractual obligation, otherwise the remedy is only available in tort as a misrepresentation.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

www.iSourceRealEstate.com

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