***New Website***Nouveau Site***


Dear Clients,

Our new website is created!!! 

With even more awesome content and useful information, in a fresh new look.

Get educated, get advice, get it done at http://www.marienotaire.com/en/.

Your Notary,

Marie Tam, LL.B., D.D.N.


Chers clients,

Notre nouveau site Web est créé!!! 

Contenu toujours aussi intéressant et informations encore plus utiles, le tout dans un nouveau look.

Éducation, conseils, réalisez vos projets à http://www.marienotaire.com/

Votre Notaire,

Marie Tam, LL.B., D.D.N.

Crash Course: The Real Estate Transaction

Spring is just around the corner and the First of July (Moving day in Québec) is slowly sneaking up behind you. If you have started looking to purchase your new home or looking to buy real estate as an investment, you've picked the right moment.

Buying any type of real estate can at the same time be exciting, confusing and frustrating. After all, it is one of the biggest investment in your lifetime, so make sure you DO IT RIGHT. Do not underestimate the process of a real estate transaction. Remember, you are not buying a pair of flip flops for the beach.

BUT FEAR NOT! Luckily, you are surrounded by people who can give you a hand or two in the process. As your Notary, I will give you the inside scoop, basic steps and things to look out for. Get educated and be knowledgeable for one of the most important purchases in your life.

A) Preliminary Steps

Looking for houses and condos on sale on the market is just the beginning. Once you have met your potential match, what to do? Here's a quick guideline:

  1. How much is the PRICE OF SALE? Do you have enough for the down payment? This is a requirement for your mortgage.
  2. If needed, start looking for a MORTGAGE. It can take time to get approuved depending on your situation so don't waste time! Interest rates and conditions can vary from institution to institution so make sure to get something that suits your needs.
  3. During the negociations of the offer, make sure you get from the Vendor a copy of the CERTIFICATE OF LOCATION. This is a legal document drafted by a land surveyor which describes the current state of the property. This certificate will show is the property is legal or not according to the law and municipal bylaws. This certificate must be RECENT as the law and bylaws can change. Recent meaning give or take 5 to 7 years. Make sure the lot number shown on the certificate is a RENOVATED LOT, if applicable. It is your Vendor’s responsibility to provide a valid certificate.  (Not sure what to look for on your certificate of location? Ask your Notary.)
  4. Get your house INSPECTED. This is especially important because it may reveal defects that you didn't spot. This is also important in the case where you exercise your rights granted by the LEGAL WARRANTY (of latent defects) prescribed by the law, to show due diligence as a buyer.  It is worth the few hundred dollars.
  5. When the final OFFER is ready, make sure you know what you are accepting before signing. The offer, whether it is a form filled in by your real estate or a document drafted between you and the vendor, is a LEGALLY BINDING document. It has legal value and so must be scrutinized for your own protection. (Not sure what legal implications are involved? Ask your Notary.)

B) After the Offer but Before the Transaction

So the offer is signed, all the preliminary steps are or almost completed, what's next? Time to take the next big step: the TRANSFER OF TITLES, meaning making this property yours. By law, to become owner of a property, there must be a deed of transfer of ownership. This is where your NOTARY comes in.

Despite what you've heard on TV, from family and friends, and other contacts, and read in the newspaper, the Notary's job isn't just to simply stamp your offer of purchase with a seal and make you sign all kinds of other papers that you don't really understand anyway.

 The meeting with the Notary is a CRUCIAL step in the process, NOT A FORMALITY. It is important to find a Notary whom you can TRUST. But let's be honest, as a consumer, like for all other services in life, the price is certainly a criterion for choosing a Notary. However, beware of traps!! A cheap Notary is not necessarily a good one!! And I'll be blunt, 100$, give or take, won't make a big difference as you have already spent 500 000.00$ on your property (among all the other things you have to pay). And how many times in a lifetime are you going to pay your Notary? The best thing is maybe to ask your family and friends to see if they refer you to one.

 FYI: How much? How much? How much? Something you should know about Notary fees: usually, it is a global price, which includes the Notary’s professional fees, expenses, government fees and GST/QST.  For example, let’s say the average price for a typical transaction of a residential house on the island of Montreal is around 1300.00$. The breakdown is as such:

* Registration fees ( Land Register of the Government of Québec) – around 300$ (adjusted by the government every year)
* 15% GST/QST, by current rates
* Fees for the title search paid to the Government of Québec, which varies between 10$-50$ ++ of documentation fees, depending on the complexity of the file.
* Mailing fees, copies, administrative fees, other possible expense, depending on each case 
* Notary’s professional fees: what’s left of all those expenses

Now you may be shocked as to why the Notary earns “so much money”, just for signing a few documents.  Of course, as you may have heard, we make it look so simple or we may sound repetitive and annoying during the meeting. What you don't know though, is all the background work we've done. Remember watching the Lord of the Rings for 3 hours? Simple, right? But did you know that it took the cast and crew 10 years of hard work to prepare for your 3 hours of entertainment? Well, same here.  For you to have those few documents, it takes the Notary a total of 10 hours to do complete a file from A to Z.  That is an hourly rate of 60-70$.  Usually, the Notary’s hourly rate is 150$, average.  So here you have yourself a 50% DISCOUNT and you didn’t even know about it! 

Take note that if your transaction requires special conditions, such as:

* Power of attorney because you cannot attend the appointments;
* Contracts/agreements between parties (holdbacks for repairs, taxes, compensations, etc.)
* Special instructions to the Notary that are out of the ordinary (direction of funds, payment of third party, ordering of documentation, etc.)
* Commercial loans and transactions
* Financing of a property to purchase another

Extra fees may apply, as these are not included in a regular transaction.

 To better understand and/or help out the Notary’s job, here's what to do:

 Make sure that the documents involving the property you are about to purchase gets to the Notary AHEAD OF TIME. Legal documents cannot just be pumped out like candies in a vending machine. The Notary needs time, do the necessary verifications, research, analysis, and double checks, and triple checks in order to "pump" them out for you to sign. Usually, expect a time frame of at least 2 weeks for all this to be done. Remember, your Notary doesn't only have your file on his or her desk. And last minute files don't help either. Your Notary will do the work, but you have to get it together as well. Here's a list of documents needed to start the file (usually, your vendor or the real estate agent can help you assemble these):

* Certificate of location (recent: see explanation above)

* Titles (the Vendor's Deed of Sale)

* Municipal and school tax receipts (your vendor should have this)

* If the property is a condo, the Syndicate's contact information (your vendor should have this information)

* Offer to purchase

* Documents involving your mortgage (make sure your bank get your Notary's name)

* Insurance policy for the property (ask your insurance broker to fax a copy directly to the Notary)

* Information concerning your civil status

IMPORTANT: the sooner these documents are given to the Notary, the faster the transaction can take place without any complications.

C) Behind the Scenes

So the documents needed for the file are in, the Notary is ready to start working. What does this imply? Aside from pumping out the final papers, there are many other tasks involved which you may not understand why they must be completed but they are all required by the law and all steps must be done correctly to assure your ownership. FYI, this involves:
  1. Analysis of the Certificate of Location: like I have said earlier, this document can show many things involving the property such as encroachments, servitudes, bylaws which your property may be subject to and all other technicalities involving the strip of land you are about to purchase. It could happen that there are unresolved problems involving your land, for example, a piece of your house is built on your neighbour's driveway (encroachment). Uh oh!! And after the Notary has checked the history of the property, there hasn't been a Deed of Servitude allowing this encroachment!! Legally speaking, your neighbour can tell you to cut off that piece of your house resting on his driveway. Now your neighbour can be a good neighbour and said: "Oh don't worry I won't mind." Yes, he may not mind, but the next guy who buys his house may. What to do? Your Notary will draft the necessary documentation in order to "legalize" this encroachment.
  2. Title Search: this is a legal opinion drafted by your Notary confirming that the Vendor, the one about to sell you the property, actually has all the rights required in order to do so. WARNING! This task requires legal expertise in real estate law and special training (i.e. the NOTARY). Beware if anyone else other than your Notary tells you they've already done it and everything is okay, they are probably not qualified. If your Notary reveals any problems with the Vendor's title, he or she will take the necessary legal measures to fix it. This step takes the most time in the file.
  3. Confirmation of payment of municipal and school taxes, condo fees and all other fees: Your Notary will check with the City and School Board(s) as well as the Condo Administrator to confirm that the property has no unpaid taxes or fees. If there are unpaid balances, he or she will make sure that the current owner pays them. This also involves the calculations of tax allotments.
  4. Confirmation of outstanding balance on an existing mortgage loan: Most of the time, the Vendor will have to reimburse his existing mortgage so that you can get yours. Your Notary will take care of all that, with the legal documentation and steps involved. The legal fees for this step are paid by your Vendor.
  5. Request for funds: In the case where you are borrowing money from a Bank to purchase your property, your Notary must request the funds from your financial institution. This step is also CRUCIAL as without the funds at least a day before the date of the transaction, the transaction cannot be completed. Financial institutions usually require 3 to 7 days to process the request and release the funds to your Notary, In Trust. This is why it is of great important that your Notary receives your mortgage documents from the Bank ASAP and not a day before the day of the transaction.
  6. Drafting the legal documents: All documents involved in your purchase are legally binding contracts and must be drafted and reviewed by a qualified legal professional. This includes your Deed of Hypothec (Mortgage) and your Deed of Sale (your ownership). Do not underestimate the process of the drafting as it can be long and complicated!  Remember, you are not signing a piece of paper. All pieces of paper you will sign carry a huge amount of value and generate many legal consequences.
D) The Transaction

We're almost there! One last stretch! Once the documents are ready, your Notary will contact you to meet. Here is the process:

1) Appointment #1: Deed of Hypothec. Make sure you are available a few days before the actual date of the transaction (the date you will become owner of the house). If this date falls on a Monday, make sure to be available on the Thursday or Friday of the week before. In order for your financial institution to release the funds for your purchase, you must sign and agree to the Deed of Hypothec that your Notary has drafted.

What to bring: Two (2) PHOTO ID (ex. Driver's License, RAMQ, Passport, Permanent Resident, Citizenship, etc.).

BANK DRAFT: When your Notary will contact you for your first appointment, he or she will also ask you to bring the amount for your down payment, it is very important to make a bank draft for the amount asked by your Notary. This bank draft will be made to: Your Notary, In Trust (meaning that the Notary will hold the money for all parties until the transaction is completed.) WARNING: You may have already given a cheque to your real estate agency In Trust. This amount will most likely be deducted off the agent's commission, which your Vendor will have to pay.

2) Appointment #2: Deed of Sale (The Transaction). This is the final step of the process before you become owner of your new home. This appointment will usually be set on the same date agreed by you and the Vendors to transfer the title of ownership from them to you. This appointment can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour. The Notary will explain to all the parties Deed of Sale, certificate of location, tax allotments, as well as any other documents needed to complete the transaction. After all documents have been explained, all the parties will sign the documents in front of the Notary, attesting that they are aware of the legal actions involved.

E) After the Fact

Registration of the Deed: After each signing of a Deed, signed by all parties, your Notary will take the Deed for registration at the Land Registrar of the Government of Québec. This process takes at least 24 to 48 hours for each Deed (that is why we need a day or two in between your first and second appointment).

Payment and release of certified copies: After registration, your Notary will pay the Vendor and other parties to be paid if there are any. You will also receive certified copies of all your Deeds. These documents must be kept in a safe place as they are proof of ownership. If you lose any of these documents, it might take a while and will cost you extra fees to recover them.

Welcome Tax: this is a tax for any transfer of titles paid to the municipality of the property you purchased. It is calculated on the price of your property following a strict formula prescribed by law.  After you have taken possession of the property, a few weeks later, the City will send you a bill to pay.


That wasn't so hard, was it?

Now you are fully equipped to dive into it. If you have any concerns whatsoever, and you may very well as this is a complicated process with many, many things involved at once, do not hesitate to speak to your Notary. He or she is the most qualified person to answer all of your questions. Your Notary is here to help you.

Remember, buying a house is not like buying a pack of gum. That is what I'm here for, to assist you and to make sure you are protected as a home owner.


I took part in the WE CREATE CHANGE campaign, launched in 2012 by FREE THE CHILDREN, an international charity and educational partner, working both domestically and internationally to empower and enable youth to be agents of change.

The goal of this campaign, made possible by the ROYAL BANK OF CANADA is to FUNDRAISE in order to provide CLEAN WATER for people in developing countries.

"Why Water?
Every day, women around the world spend a cumulative total of 200 million hours collecting water for their families. 80 percent of illnesses in developing countries are linked to poor water and sanitation. This year, in recognition of the global water crisis and the effect that events like last year’s East African drought have on developing countries, Free The Children has set a goal of providing 100,000 people with clean water for life."

Free The Children’s We Create Change campaign, made possible by RBC, is one of CANADA'S LARGEST PENNY DRIVEs. Coinciding with the PENNY GOING OUT OF CIRCULATION, we are challenging Canadians to donate their pennies to an important cause: water. Officially launched in 2012, this campaign shows that PENNIES CAN CREATE A LOT OF CHANGE."


1) Don't know what to do about those many annoying PENNIES you've been collecting in your pockets, wallets, cup holders in your car, or jar at home?

Did you know that as of FEBRUARY 4th 2013, the Royal Canadian Mint will stop the distribution of pennies? This means that the penny will soon be out of circulation in Canada.

Instead of throwing away your pennies, leaving them on the ground or just leaving them to rot, why not accumulate and DONATE them for a GOOD CAUSE?

My FIRST GOAL is 25.00$ in pennies, which means I would need your help to collect my first full PENNY BAG of 2500 pennies.


845 boul. Décarie, suite 203

St-Laurent, Québec
H4L 3L7

Contact: 514-883-6219 marie.tam@notarius.net 

Facebook (Marie Tam)

When I get a FULL BAG of 25.00$, I will drop it off at a ROYAL BANK OF CANADA branch to make the donation to the organization. They will be collecting again this spring.


If you want start your own Penny Drive, click on the first link below to sign up and order your own Penny Bag.

3) DONATE DIRECTLY through the Free the Children site.

To read more about this campaign, to take part or to DONATE:


Watch the campaign video:


To know more about the Canadian Penny going out of circulation:





the real happily ever after

roses are red, violets are blue, making the right decision is up to you...

As a loving couple planning their big day, everything must be organized.  Every detail must be reviewed and everyone's opinion must be consulted.  Questions such as : ivory or cream? lilac or purple? 200 or 300 guests?  when's the shower? when's the bachlorette? with or without pink sash? up-do or french braid? stuffed chicken with pesto or stuffed chicken with tomato? this centerpiece or that centerpiece? ...

And after all that, why not reflect on what is most important?  That is, the act itself : what is marriage?  What is marriage to you, to your spouse, to your family and friends, to God, and to the law?

That's where I come in. There are things about marriage that I know but that you don't know, and you're the ones going into it.  I know, who wants to get so pragmatic about a fairy tale wedding with boring law stuff? But let's face it, it's part of the preparation.  Like parenting class.

Whether you are getting married, just married or married, here's what you need to know about your rights and duties as a couple, so you can live the happily ever after:

- what's the FAMILY PATRIMONY? how does it affect every couple, even if you stay together forever?
- what does MATRIMONIAL REGIME mean? and why does it applicable to all married couples, even without a divorce?
- what are the advantages of writing a MARRIAGE CONTRACT?
- the SOLEMNIZATION or CELEBRATION OF A MARRIAGE can be done by your notary: it can be done anywhere, almost anytime!
- which TAX BENEFITS do you have as a married couple?

Also, think about planning ahead:

- how can a WILL protect you, your spouse, and your babies (not only your assets)?
- what is a MANDATE and how it can be useful in an untimely moment of your life?

Plus, a king and a queen would need to live in their castle:

- find out what important things your real estate agent and mortgage consultant haven't told you about BUYING A HOUSE OR A CONDO.

Consult your legal adviser to plan your new life together.


With love and care,

Mtre Marie Tam, Notary


Alors qu'un couple en amour planifie leur grand jour, tout doit être organisé. Chaque détail doit être revue et l'opinion de chacun doit être consultée. Des questions telles que: ivoire ou crème? lilas ou violet? 200 ou 300 invités? c'est quand la bachlorette? avec ou sans ceinture rose? poulet farci au pesto ou poulet farci à la tomate? ...

Et après tout cela, pourquoi ne pas réfléchir à ce qui est le plus important? Autrement dit, l'acte lui-même: qu'est-ce que le mariage? Qu'est-ce que le mariage pour vous, pour votre conjoint, pour votre famille et amis, et selon la loi?

Il ya des choses sur le mariage que je connais mais que vous ne connaissez pas. Je sais, qui veut devenir si pragmatique au sujet d'un mariage de conte de fées avec des trucs ennuyeux loi? Mais avouons-le, ça fait partie de la préparation.

Que vous allez vous mariez, que vous venez de vous marier ou que vous être déjà mariés, voici ce que vous devez savoir sur vos droits et devoirs en tant que couple marié:

- C'est quoi le PATRIMOINE FAMILIAL? comment affecte-t-il tous les couples, même si vous restez ensemble pour le restant des jours?
- Qu'est-ce que le RÉGIME MATRIMONIAL? et pourquoi est-il applicable à tous les couples mariés, même sans divorce?
- Quels sont les avantages d'un CONTRAT DE MARIAGE?
- La CÉLÉBRATION D'UN MARIAGE peut être faite par votre notaire: il peut être fait n'importe où, n'importe quand!
- Quels AVANTAGES FISCAUX pouvez-vous avoir en étant un couple marié?

Aussi, pensez à planifier à l'avance:

- Comment est-ce qu'un TESTAMENT peut vous protéger, ainsi que votre conjoint et vos enfants (pas seulement vos biens)?
- Qu'est-ce qu'un MANDAT et comment peut-il être utile dans un moment difficile de votre vie?

De plus, un roi et une reine aurait besoin d'habiter dans leur château:

- découvrez des imformations pertinentes que votre agent d'immeuble et conseiller hypothécaire ne vous ont pas dit concernant L'ACHAT D'UNE MAISON OU D'UN CONDO.

Consultez votre conseiller juridique dans votre nouvelle vie ensemble.


Avec soin et amour,

Me Marie Tam, Notaire

a welcome gift

courtesy: devantart.com, by TySee


Forget what they tell you on TV. Forget what you hear from your friends.  Being a notary doesn't mean being boring and signing papers. Yes, a notary is also a legal adviser, for those who don't already know.

OKAY, you see a notary only because you have no choice... because your real estate agent or your banker told you so.
THEREFORE, you look for the cheapest one possible.  I mean, why should you pay for something you don't even want, right? I agree. It's completely insane.
EXCEPT, a cheap notary is dangerous. To you and to the public.  But you don't know that because you don't really care anyway, as long as you can save a few bucks here and there.


1. Cut prices; 2. Get cheap clients; 3. Obtain tons of cheap clients, more than all of your fellow notary buddies; 4. Work many hours; 5. Work fast, because there are too many cheap clients but too little hours in one day; 6. Make mistakes; 7. Make cheap clients lose legal rights, but some don't even realize yet...; 8. but for those who do realize: Obtain complaints from angry and ripped off cheap clients and the Chambre des notaires.

Anyways, you get the idea. Or at least I hope.  Not to say that a notary can't be reasonable in pricing.  I, myself give discounts too (not to cheap clients though, you see the irony?).  But it's something to think about.  Don't go to a notary blindly because of the price... Take the time to find out who you are about to deal with. After all, he or she will the professional who will be taking care of your LEGAL documents.

OK enough with the lecture.  This is what I'm all about.  AFFORDABLE (obviously, because it's the most important thing, not cheap though, affordable), SIMPLE (I'll tell you exactly what you need without confusing you with crazy legal terms, short and sweet), UNBORING (I'm a notary, but it's not what defines me.  I don't live in my office.  I have hobbies and a life too (I love food). If you want to chat about philosophy and art, take an appointment!)


Oubliez ce qu'ils vous disent à la télé. Oubliez ce que vous entendez de vos amis. Être un notaire ne signifie pas être ennuyeux et signer des documents. Oui, un notaire est également un conseiller juridique, pour ceux qui ne savent pas déjà.

BON, vous vous rendez chez le notaire seulement parce que vous n'avez pas le choix ... parce que votre agent immobilier ou votre banquier vous dit de le faire.
DONC, vous cherchez le moins cher possible. Je veux dire, pourquoi devriez-vous payer pour quelque chose que vous ne voulez même pas, pas vrai? Je suis d'accord. C'est complètement fou.
SAUF, un notaire pas cher est dangereux. Pour vous et pour le public. Mais c'est pas vraiment grave, aussi longtemps que vous économiser quelques dollars.


1. Réduire les prix; 2. Obtenez des clients gratteux; 3. Obtenir des tonnes de clients  gratteux, plus que tous vos confrères et consoeurs; 4. Travailler de nombreuses heures, 5. Travaillez rapidement, car il y a trop de clients gratteux mais trop peu d'heures dans une journée; 6. Faire pleines erreurs, 7. Faire perdre des droits juridiques aux clients gratteux, mais certains ne réalisent même pas encore ...; 8. mais pour ceux qui le réalisent: Obtenir des plaintes des clients gratteux et en colère et la Chambre des notaires.

En tout cas, vous voyez l'idée. Ou du moins je l'espère. Ça ne veut pas dire que le notaire ne peut pas être raisonnable dans ses honoraires. Moi-même j'offrent des bon rabais aussi (aux clients pas gratteux, vous voyez l'ironie?). Mais c'est quelque chose à penser. Il ne faut pas choisir un notaire aveuglément à cause du prix ... Prenez le temps de découvrir avec qui vous faites affaire. Après tout, c'est le professionnel qui prendra soin de vos documents juridiques.

OK assez avec le discours plate. Voici qui je suis. ABORDABLE (évidemment parce que c'est le plus important, pas cheap quand même, mais à prix abordable), SIMPLE (je vais vous dire exactement ce que vous avez besoin sans vous confondre avec des gros termes juridiques, short and sweet), UNBORING (Je suis notaire, mais ce n'est pas ce qui me définit. Je ne vie pas dans mon bureau. J'ai des loisirs et une vie aussi (j'adore la bouffe). Si vous avez envie de discuter de la philosophie et l'art, prenez un rendez-vous!)