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What Does An Ontario Real Estate Lawyer Do?

Real estate roles ontario

Originally Published: January 2021

Updated: July 2023

Have you thought about buying a house or condo in Ontario? If so, you’ll need to know what a real estate lawyer does and how they can help represent you.

A real estate lawyer protects your rights by making sure that all parties adhere to the terms of your agreement and that you receive clear title to the property. Your lawyer will help with multiple aspects of both buying and selling real estate. Responsibilities of a real estate lawyer include assisting in transactions, reviewing agreements of purchase and sale, arranging title insurance, ensuring property taxes are up to date and drawing up the mortgage documents.

Before your first meeting with a real estate agent or broker, it is important to know the rights you have when it comes to buying a house. Here are some great insights into real estate laws in Ontario.

Protecting the Interests of Clients

Legal jargon can be complicated and hard to understand, which is why it’s so important to have a trusted lawyer representing you. A real estate lawyer ensures your best interests are represented and will explain any unknowns so you can sign without any uncertainty. Your legal team is your support line when it comes to ensuring the authenticity of the legal documents involved.
A lawyer will be able to closely examine all elements of your contract to confirm everything is in order. If any changes need to be made, they can also negotiate your transaction’s terms and conditions on your behalf, which will prevent you from having to navigate complicated legal negotiations.

Assists With All Real Estate Transactions

An experienced real estate lawyer can help you navigate the rules and regulations of any real estate transaction.
Your real estate lawyer has your best interest in mind throughout the transaction process. They can assist with reviewing the purchase agreement to ensure that you’re not being misled. Your lawyer may also review your offer on a property to make sure that the document protects your rights. If there are any misunderstandings or revisions needed, they are available to assist with that as well.
Additionally, a real estate lawyer can help you through the process of zoning and planning regulations, navigate the unique differences in condominium laws, and understand your rights and obligations as a buyer or seller, as well as landlord-tenant laws.

Purchase of Title Insurance

Title insurance is not a requirement in Ontario, so the decision to purchase title insurance should be discussed with your lawyer. It is important to note that title insurance and home insurance are not the same.

Title insurance covers:

  • Unknown title defects
  • Existing liens against the Property’s Title
  • Title fraud
  • Encroachment issues

Title insurance does not cover:

  • Known title defects
  • Native land claims
  • Environmental hazards
  • Issues that were not listed in public records (i.e. unrecorded liens)

Title insurance can be purchased for:

  •  Houses
  • Condos and apartments 
  • Cottages
  • Rental Units
  • Leased properties
  • Vacant land
  • Co-operatives
  • Rural properties
Speaking with your lawyer can give you further insight if title insurance is right for you. If it ends up being useful for your situation, you can purchase title insurance right through your lawyer.

Assists With Closing

The closing date is one of the final steps in the purchase of your property. Once you have reached this phase, the ownership of the property is officially transferred from the seller to the buyer. This is when you get the keys, sign the final papers, and officially own your new property. It is very important that everything goes smoothly during this phase.

On closing day, your real estate lawyer will facilitate your financial transactions and create a statement of adjustments. This is an extremely important piece of documentation as it shows all the details of the transaction, including the deposit, adjustments, and other fees, as well as the final amount that is due on the closing day. This document proves that you have paid and gone through the correct legal steps in obtaining the piece of property, so be sure to keep it in a safe place.

Final closing days costs may come as a surprise as there are some hidden fees that can throw off buyers. Click here to gain more insight into the hidden property fees.

Overall Legal Representation

Buying a piece of property is a huge investment and you want the transaction to go as smoothly as possible.

Unfortunately, sometimes unpleasant legal situations cannot be avoided. This is why having a lawyer represent you through the purchase or sale of your home is extremely important.

If needed, lawyers will also represent you in real estate litigation and assist with drafting documents and legal pleadings, participating in hearings and even filing appeals on your behalf. For these reasons having a lawyer by your side can be the best decision you can make when purchasing a property. To learn more about real estate law or the processes of acquiring a real estate lawyer, contact Epstein & Associates for a free consultation.


This blog is made available by the law firm publisher, Epstein & Associates, for educational purposes. It provides general information and a general understanding of the law but does not provide specific legal advice. Any specific questions about your legal concerns please contact us now and speak to an expert today.