Buying or selling your home is probably one of the largest transactions most of us will be involved in. The process itself is exciting, stressful, confusing, and time consuming. It is no wonder most people going through this process assemble a team of professionals that may include a real estate agent, a mortgage broker, a stager, a handyman, and a real estate lawyer to help them navigate the transaction successfully.
Of all the individuals in your supporting cast, your real estate lawyer is the person many people are uncomfortable with and do not utilize fully. I’m not sure if this is the case because people relate needing a lawyer with negative situations or if it comes down to saving a few dollars.
Quite often a lawyer is contacted once a firm agreement is reached and the buyer and seller are looking to have the sale of the property registered and the title transferred on the closing date. However, an attorney can do a lot more for both the buyer and the seller than just register the property. A lawyer is there to protect their client’s interest in a real estate transaction and can help relieve some of the pressure and anxiety from their client.
If you are selling your home a lawyer can draft the agreement of sale, ensuring the proper description of the home is noted accurately and that everything you are looking to keep from the property is documented as not included in the sale. The lawyer will also review all offers, and describe any conditions included in offers. They will also ensure the deed to your home is prepared and close the transaction on your behalf once all monetary conditions have been realized.
When buying a home, a lawyer will review the purchase agreement and can note any items you wish to be kept in the home as part of the agreement. Appliances are a good example of this, as they are not considered fixtures in a home, but rather chattels as they can be removed. Your lawyer will investigate to ensure there are no claims or leans against the property and that the taxes are up to date. They can even assist with the mortgage documents, and help with coordinating your home insurance. Your lawyer will also exchange the legal documents with the seller’s attorney and obtain the key to the home on your behalf.
Having a real estate lawyer on your team is you are buying or selling a home in Ontario is imperative. They will do far more for you than just register your property. When searching for an attorney to assist with your transaction, make sure you look for a reputable law firm that is not only experienced in real estate law, but that will provide you with a personal, tailored experience.