Back to the Professional Practices Guides

3. Summary description of the immovable

Every immovable has an official identity that can be verified through public registers and documents. This identity takes the form of a cadastral number, along with the physical address of the immovable, its dimensions, area, etc.

Verifying the accuracy of the information

The description of the immovable in section 3 of the promise to purchase must contain accurate information that has been verified by consulting the Québec Land Register, the seller’s deed of acquisition, the certificate of location and the cadastral plan prepared by a land surveyor. These are the main sources of information. The broker may also refer to municipal documents, but only for consistency purposes and after consulting the Land Register and other documents.

The buyer’s broker must first refer to the detailed description sheet prepared by the seller’s broker on the same day that the promise to purchase is drafted to ensure that the information he copies is up to date. This information can even be automatically carried over to the promise to purchase when an electronic forms service is used in connection with databases of properties for sale. It is good practice to have the buyers initial the description sheet used to prepare the promise to purchase and to attach it to the promise and reference it in clause 13.1 Annexes.

If the buyer’s broker has any doubts about the information in the description sheet, he must verify it. He is there to protect the interests of his client.

These verifications must be made if the seller is not represented by a broker. In this case, extra care must be taken, not only by consulting the Land Register and the documents contained therein, but also by asking the seller to consult the documents in his possession, including his certificate of location. If this cannot be done before the promise to purchase is drafted, the buyer’s broker must make the promise to purchase conditional upon obtaining these documents.

For more information: Guideline – Verification, information and advice

Address and cadastral description

On the mandatory Promise to purchase form, the summary description of the immovable includes the physical address, street number and name, city, province and postal code. In the case of a lot, it is quite possible that there is no physical address or that the address is partial, with only the name of the road, without a street number or postal code.

The description also includes the cadastral description of the immovable which, in the case of a renovated lot, consists in a seven-digit number of the cadastre of Québec. In the case of a non-renovated lot, it will be identified by a lot number, parish and land division.

For more information: Importance of an up-to-date certificate of location

Dimensions and area

The dimensions and area of the lot are added to the description of the immovable. These are not the dimensions of the building; the dimensions and area may be indicated in meters or feet. The broker must check the box corresponding to the unit of measure used.

Sometimes the dimensions cannot be entered accurately because the lot is irregular in shape. If this is the case, the broker may leave the dimensions blank or add the words “irregular” and add a reference to the certificate of location and deed of acquisition. Statements such as “more or less” are to be avoided.

The area to be entered in the case of a renovated lot is the area shown on the cadastral plan. For a non-renovated lot, it is the area indicated in the seller’s deed of acquisition or the area appearing on the certificate of location describing the condition of the immovable at the time it was put on the market.

In clause 12.1 Other declarations and conditions, the broker must disclose any discrepancy that exists in the information contained in the reference documents, so that the buyer, seller and, eventually, the notary are aware that certain aspects of the title may need to be rectified. The buyer’s broker should normally find this information in the description sheet prepared by the seller’s broker.

Last updated on: May 18, 2023
Reference number: 264990