In recent years, due to the volume of transactions being
submitted to the Alberta Land Titles Offices (i.e. North and South),
the turn around time for registrations has gone from an ideal of 2 business
days to more than 20 business days during some periods. This means that
many transactions will not be completed for several weeks after all
of the legal conveyancing documents and financing documents have been
signed and sent for registration.
Accordingly, depending on the turn around time for the registration
of a transaction, a real estate deal may easily take 8 weeks or more
from the date of signing until all elements of the transaction are registered.
Because of this periodic slow down, a parallel method of closing real
estate deal has developed using insurance coverage provided through
third party Title Insurance providers or by virtue of the use of the
Western Law Societies Conveyancing Protocol. When closing a real estate
deal using “gap” insurance coverage, funds are paid to the
Seller before the Buyer is registered as the owner, provided that the
only remaining steps is to secure registration at the Land Titles Office.
If closing using insurance coverage is possible for a particular transaction,
and if a Buyer is comfortable using an insurance based closing, and
a Buyer’s lender (if any) will allow it, then a real estate deal
can be closed without the delay associated with waiting for registration
at the Land Titles Office. However, the Buyer will not be the legally
registered owner of the property until such registration occurs and
the insurance coverage in place for the purposes of closing the real
estate deal is intended to protect any funds advanced until the Buyer
becomes the legally registered owner.
The general opinions expressed herein are for information
purposes only and are not to be relied on. Individuals are encouraged
to seek legal advice as it relates to their specific fact scenario to
ensure they are fully aware of their legal rights and obligations.