Why do I need a Lawyer for a real estate deal?

When you are first contemplating the purchase of a home, you should retain a lawyer to guide you through the transaction. The lawyer will be pleased to answer any questions you may have with regard to the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, mortgage options and costs to be expected. In most cases, the advice provided prior to signing the Agreement of Purchase and Sale is considered to be part of the Lawyer’s tasks in the purchase of real estate and the Lawyer would not charge extra for this advice.

After the Agreement of Purchase and Sale has been signed, get the Agreement to your Lawyer as quickly as possible. The Lawyer will then commence the various searches he does on your behalf. These searches include contacting the Municipality’s Building and Zoning Department to confirm if the property complies with all applicable zoning by-laws and whether or not there are work orders against the property. In order to confirm that the vendor is leaving no unpaid bills, the Lawyer will obtain Certificates from the Municipality’s Tax, Water, Hydro and Gas Departments. Your Lawyer will then conduct a search of title to determine if the vendor owns the property. The agreement of purchase and sale provides that these searches should be completed within a predetermined time. It is important as a purchaser that your agreement give your solicitor sufficient time to complete these searches.

As the transaction moves towards closing, the Bank will forward instructions to the lawyer so he can prepare the mortgage documentation.

One or two days prior to closing you will be asked to attend in your lawyer’s office to execute all documents and bring in the balance of the funds required to close your deal. These funds will include the balance of the down-payment together with the closing costs.