The purchase of a new home can be an exciting time. Whether it is your first home or you are upgrading; whether you are downsizing after the kids have moved out, or whether you are finally moving into the neighbourhood of your dreams, it is easy to get caught up in the emotion of it all. It is critical however, that you do not lose sight of the fact that this is a business transaction as well – one that can be incredibly complex.
When you work with a real estate lawyer who understands the complexities of buying – or selling – a home, you’ll be guarding yourself against unexpected financial difficulties and legal turmoil. A home purchase is a huge investment for most people – so it makes sense to insure that investment by hiring a good real estate lawyer.
What exactly does a real estate lawyer do?
Real estate lawyers provide a broad range of services related to buying and selling property including:
- Reviewing all legal documents including Agreement of Purchase or Status Certificate.
- Making sure that property taxes are up to date.
- Investigating to determine whether there are any liens or claims against the property.
- Making sure that the title is valid.
- Calculating the amount of land transfer tax that will be due upon the closing of the property.
When is the right time to hire a real estate lawyer?
People often think that they don’t really need a real estate lawyer until they are ready to sign a Purchase Agreement. But you can actually gain a lot more legal protection by hiring a lawyer earlier in the process.
For example, catching errors in documents early means they are usually fairly easy and inexpensive to correct – much more so then if they are discovered after the fact. An example might be if the vendor were to mistakenly use the word “easement” rather than “encroachment”. A good real estate lawyer would catch this and potentially save the buyer considerable hassle later on.
Another way that a real estate lawyer can help you is if you would like to include certain clauses in the Purchase Agreement. For example, instead of simply stipulating that the agreement is conditional upon financing, you may wish to stipulate that it is conditional upon getting financing at 2%. That way, if you are not able to get the financing you want, you may still opt out of the purchase.
How are fees determined when you hire a real estate lawyer?
It can be easy to fall into the trap of believing that hiring a real estate lawyer is simply one more expense in the process of buying or selling a home. The fact is however, that hiring a real estate lawyer can actually save you money by helping you to avoid unnecessary expenses.
The rate that you will pay your lawyer will depend on how complex the purchase is.
Do I REALLY need to hire a real estate lawyer when I buy or sell a property?
Although you are not legally required to work with a lawyer when you buy or sell a home, it is strongly recommended that you do. Not only is purchasing a home a significant investment, but it is one that can be quite complex. Having a real estate lawyer on your side who understands the legalities and who is looking out for your best interest, is money well spent.
Contact Mikhailitchenko Lawyers today. Whether you are buying or selling property, we can help. Contact us today for a consultation.