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In the last couple of weeks I've surprised a few buyers and sellers with information they didn't know but absolutely needed to know to avoid some major surprises.

 
1. Dower Rights. If you are legally married and purchasing a property only in your name you need to understand Dower Rights in Alberta.  You can buy the property without a blink but to sell the property you will require the signature of your spouse, even if you haven't seen then in 14 years and they live in the Arctic. 
 
2. If you sell your home and you have moved outside of Canada you need to be aware of tax implications. If you are no longer a resident under the Canada Income Tax act then 25-50% of sale proceeds can be withheld on closing until you file appropriate paperwork.  
 
Some folks think they can just avoid resolving these issues and list their homes anyway. You can't. They are a legal reality. You can absolutely address them, prepare for them and find a resolution and then move forward, but legal advice and some extra paperwork are sure to be required.

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