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Do you need a lawyer for a real estate transaction?

Whether you are purchasing your first home, looking for a new investment, or trying to sell a property, you might wonder, do you need a lawyer for a real estate transaction? The short answer is “yes.” In this article, we will explore the benefits of a real estate lawyer and discuss three things to consider before hiring one.

Legal Expertise At Every Step

In Ontario, you are required to involve a lawyer with the purchase or sale of property. This is to protect both buyers and sellers, ensure all documentation is accurate and ensure the land is properly transferred. Lawyers have access to the Provincial Electronic Land Registration Systems, which allows them to assist buyers and sellers in registering their land transfers.

A real estate lawyer brings a wealth of legal expertise to the table, ensuring that all documents are reviewed, understood, and executed correctly. From the initial Agreement of Purchase and Sale to the final closing documents, having a lawyer by your side provides an extra layer of protection and peace of mind.

Read our blog: What does an Ontario real estate lawyer do.

Protecting Your Interests

The primary role of a real estate lawyer, whether you are buying or selling property, is to protect your interests in the transaction. This includes ensuring that the terms of your agreement are fair and that you receive or transfer clear title to the property. Lawyers are skilled at identifying potential issues that could impact your use and enjoyment of the property, such as easements, zoning restrictions, or title defects. By detecting these issues early on, a lawyer can save you from future headaches and financial loss.

Navigating Complex Regulations

Real estate laws and regulations are complex and may vary between provinces and territories. A lawyer with experience in real estate law in your area can guide you through the nuances of your local real estate transaction. This is particularly important for unique properties such as condos or rural properties. For example, in Ontario, Condos are subject to the Condominium Act 1998, which sets out laws for the purchase and sale of condo units. Your lawyer can help you understand how this piece of legislation will impact you and help you complete your purchase or sale with ease.

Title Insurance

A real estate lawyer will help you through the entire transaction. This may include advising on the purchase of Title Insurance, which is intended to protect buyers against issues such as fraud, liens and encroachments that are not discovered during the initial title search. While title insurance is not mandatory, your lawyer may advise that this is the best option to protect you and your lender, if applicable, during a purchase.

Handling Disputes and Litigation

While we all hope for a smooth real estate transaction, disputes can arise. Whether you are dealing with difficult buyers, sellers or a complex property, having a lawyer from the start means you have someone ready to help you understand and protect your rights. A lawyer can help you determine whether there are illegal additions to the property, help with out-of-town purchases, or handle transacting with bank-owned properties.

3 Things to Consider Before Hiring A Real Estate Lawyer

Choosing the right real estate lawyer for your transaction requires careful consideration of your needs and your lawyer’s ability to provide results. These are three things to consider when looking for a real estate lawyer:

1. Experience & Expertise

Look for a lawyer with experience in real estate law. The specifics of real estate transactions require lawyers to have knowledge of real estate law.

2. Team

Does your lawyer work on his own or with a support team? A lawyer with a team will assist you when you need to reach someone with an issue. A team will ensure your transaction closes smoothly regardless of the weather, illnesses, or vacations. Before choosing a team, confirm where you can meet with your legal team. You should consider if they are close to your home, work, or if virtual appointments are an option.

3. Legal Strategy and Transparent Costs

As with any case, it is important to find a lawyer that meets your needs and expectations. During the consultation, it is important to consider whether you are aligned with their approach. You should also be easily able to ascertain the costs of your transaction. These should be provided to you in writing and setting out all disbursements that you may expect on closing so there are no surprises.

Free Consultation With Epstein & Associates

Buying or selling property can be more complicated than it seems. The purchase and sale, or refinancing of property, involves binding contracts and their own set of complexities. An experienced real estate lawyer will help protect you through the entire process. Contact Epstein & Associates for a free consultation with one of our experienced real estate lawyers.