Residential Real Estate Law
If you are thinking of purchasing or selling a home or condominium, you will need the assistance of a real estate lawyer. Your real estate lawyer can review the offer with you before signing (or prior to waiving the solicitorís approval condition). Seeing your lawyer before you sign the offer can help reduce problems later as they will recommend the inclusion of certain clauses that ensures your interests are protected.
One of most important parts of your lawyers job is to make sure that you have good title to the property you are buying. Good title ensures that you are the owner of the property you are purchasing and that it is properly and accurately registered and that no one else has a claim or lien on it. Your lawyer will check that the person selling you the property has a right to do so. There may be various interest or rights that need to be resolved before a sale can proceed. A few examples of such rights and issues are: spousal rights, mortgage holder, tenants, construction liens etc. Your lawyer will also review and discuss with you title insurance which protects your investment in the property or a lawyers opinion on title.
Your real estate lawyer will receive instructions from your mortgage company, prepare and check the mortgage documents and explain the terms of your mortgage to you. Your lawyer will explain the different ways in which you can own the property if you are buying with someone else and the difference between being joint tenants and tenants in common. Your lawyer will also explain the purposes and legal meaning to the documents you have to sign.
Your lawyer will check the statement of adjustment to ensure you are paying the appropriate shares of the taxes, water bill, and other costs (fuel bill, condominium fees) that have been pre-paid by the vendor.
Your lawyer will receive and hold in trust the money from the mortgage lender as well as your closing funds and transfer them to the vendorís solicitor. They will also register your transfer (deed) and mortgage and disburse the other closing costs, registration fees, GST, and land transfer tax. Only after all of this is complete can you receive your keys from your lawyer.
When selling your home your lawyer has various jobs that are required for the transaction to close and you to receive your money.
Your lawyer will be responsible for obtaining a discharge statement and paying out your mortgage. They will also be required to prepare the transfer deed and the statement of adjustments to provide to the purchasers solicitors to ensure you get reimbursement for amounts you have over paid for taxes, water bill, and other costs (fuel bill, condominium fees).
Your lawyer will also respond to any legal issues set out by the purchaserís lawyer in their requisition letter. If the purchaser requires any documents be removed from your title documents, your lawyer will address these issues and respond in your best interests so that the transaction can close. There may be various interests or rights that need to be resolved before a sale can proceed. A few examples of such rights and issues are: spousal rights, mortgage holder, tenants, construction liens etc.
Your lawyer will meet with you to sign all closing documents required by the purchaser and explain the legal meaning of those documents. Your lawyer will sign any necessary undertakings to discharge the mortgage after closing so that the transaction can be completed. Your lawyer will provide all documents you sign to the purchaserís lawyer and receive the sale proceeds and disburse them how you direct.