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Real estate changes in prices and how lawyers can help with the transactions

Real Estate agent just sold a house!

With the exceptional transitions happening in the Canadian market for the average home, it is very important to have the right lawyer assist with the transaction. Both the buyer and seller require the right lawyer to ensure that every “i” is dotted and every “t” is crossed. Typically, the lawyer will review all the legal documents and issues related to the transaction, in particular the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. An experienced real estate lawyer will: 

  • ensure property taxes are up-to-date and no claims or liens are registered or filed against the property;
  • Confirm there is a valid property title;
  • Calculate what land transfer tax is due upon closing as well as other tax implications;
  • Ensure the transfer of ownership with a clear title to the property;
  • Arrange for Title Insurance;
  • Draw up mortgage documents;
  • Exchange legal documents 
  • Deliver keys; and,
  • Register the transfer of property with the province’s land registry office

Although it may seem like an added expense to hire a lawyer while incurring closing costs for any real estate transaction, their expertise will ultimately benefit the transaction in the long term. The work that real estate lawyers do will avoid additional expenses along with any potential legal trouble down the line.  Furthermore, two lawyers are required in Ontario in any transfer of property not involving close family members.

It is important to feel comfortable with your selected real estate lawyer.  You should know that someone is always available to answer your questions.  Furthermore, you should consider a lawyer or law firm that practices in more areas of law.  This way, if there is an issue with your closing, a family law or estate matter that arises, you know that your chosen lawyer/firm is able to handle issues that commonly come up ancillary to a real estate closing.

Having said that, the price of real estate has been affected by the supply and demand of the market, in addition to the characteristics of units being sold, the size, location, appearance and other features of the property, the low cost of borrowing over the preceding 20 years has further led to an increase in housing prices. The main reason for the increase in the housing demand was the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic however, home prices have begun to decease. Interest rates are steadily rising and sit at the highest they have been since the financial crisis. With talk of a looming recession it is anticipated the average residential prices will decrease even further causing a spike in the market. All this, despite a lack of inventory and rising immigration to the province.

These drastic transitions can cause openings for real estate fraud and distress in dealing with real estate. Another reason why it’s important to have the right lawyer on the transaction, to protect both buyer and seller to have a successful and legal interaction.