Buying From the Bank BY Mark Weisleder

5 things to know when buying from a bank

I have started receiving inquiries from buyers who notice residential properties for sale and the seller is shown to be a

bank. This usually indicates that the owner could not make their mortgage payments and the lender is selling the

property to recover the mortgage amount owing. If you are considering making an offer on one of these homes, here

are 5 things you need to know:

1. The process that most lenders will follow in Ontario is Power of Sale, and not Foreclosure. The main reason is

that a Power of Sale can be completed much faster than a Foreclosure. Powers of Sale can be completed

generally in 3-4 months, while the Foreclosure process will typically take up to a year to complete. Banks also

prefer this method as it permits them to get bad loans off their books quickly and if there is any shortfall,

they can immediately sue the original borrower for the deficiency.

2. Lenders are supposed to try and get fair market value for the property that is sold, so it is not automatic that

you will be able to buy the property at a substantial discount. Use a professional buyer agent to make sure

you know what this property is worth before making any offer.

3. The lender will usually contain special clauses in this contract that will be important to any buyer. For

example, all appliances will be sold on an “as is” basis, with no warranty, meaning you are out of luck if the

appliances are not working when you close. No warranty will be given regarding the room sizes or even the

lot size for the property. If there is a tenant on the property, no guarantees are given about the length of any

lease or how much the tenant may be paying in rent. If HST is payable, for example if the property had a

business running in it before the lender took over, or if it had been substantially renovated, then this extra

HST has to be paid by the buyer on closing. Finally, if the original owner comes up with the money before

closing to pay off the mortgage, then the deal is over.

4. In order to deal with the above clauses, buyers should make sure that any purchase is conditional upon a

detailed home inspection condition so that everything can be verified, including the condition of the home,

the room and lot sizes, and whether there was any business, such as a day care, operating in the home before

closing. This could involve discussions with the neighbours as well as well as any tenant that the buyer will be

assuming after closing. Regarding the lot size, ask the bank’s real estate agent if the bank has any survey

relating to the property and if not, check at or

as there are over 1.5 million surveys available for purchase through these websites to assist you when the

boundaries are not certain.

5. Buyers should attempt to close the deal quickly, once they have satisfied themselves as to all conditions, to

avoid having the original owners come back and pay off the mortgage before closing, thus ending the deal.

When you understand what is involved in buying a home from the bank, you should not have any unwelcome

surprises either before or after closing.

There are no comments

Thank you! Your comment has been submitted and is awaiting approval.

Trudy Soyko Ellis

Trudy Soyko Ellis

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 B.J. Roth Realty Ltd., Brokerage*
Contact Me

Blog Archives