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What Is the Role of a Real Estate Lawyer In Ontario?

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Most people’s largest commercial transaction is buying or selling a property. You certainly know what function your realtor plays in the real estate transaction, but your lawyer’s role may be less clear.

This is not uncommon, as most consumers are aware that they need to hire real estate lawyers in Ontario as part of the house buying or selling process, but are unsure why. Many people are unaware of what happens behind the scenes, or what a real estate lawyer performs in addition to assisting with home acquisitions and sales.

The following is a brief explanation of what a real estate lawyer does and their position in various real estate transactions, including sales and purchases.

What Is the Role of an Ontario Real Estate Lawyer?

When purchasing or selling a home, you need real estate lawyers in Ontario to verify that ownership is correctly transferred and recorded, as well as to defend your legal rights during the transaction.

However, this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what a real estate attorney can achieve. There are numerous facets of legal activity that include land or real property.

This involves assisting individuals and corporations in navigating legal challenges concerning:

  • land ownership
  • leasing
  • land use
  • land development and subdivision
  • financing
  • title transfers
  • rezoning

When Should You Hire A Real Estate Attorney?

A residential or commercial real estate lawyer can help you in a variety of scenarios, including buying or selling a home or commercial property.

A residential real estate lawyer can assist you in the following situations:

  • When you lease or rent a building or property,
  • Disputes over land with neighbours or co-owners
  • Managing the transfer or succession of a family cottage
  • Property transfer to an executor, beneficiary, or surviving spouse
  • Independent legal advice on deals involving spouses

A commercial real estate lawyer can also assist in the following situations:

  • advising on and facilitating land development, rezoning, or severance
  • Legal concerns involving landlords and tenants, as well as representation
  • Performing due diligence on potential land investments
  • Lease negotiation and review
  • Refinancing of a home

Do I need to hire a lawyer before entering into a Real Estate Contract?

In truth, most people do not seek legal counsel until after they have completed a purchase and sell agreement. However, there are several things your lawyer can do before you sign the deal. This is especially important in commercial real estate deals.

When an experienced real estate investor considers purchasing a large plot of land or commercial structure, they will frequently contact their lawyer early in the process to aid with due diligence. If you’ve ever acquired or sold a business, you’ve probably heard of the term due diligence.

Due diligence is essentially the industry term for “doing your homework” before making a significant acquisition or investment. Due diligence in real estate, such as title searches or searches for encumbrances or liens, can often save time and money. This is because potential roadblocks are identified early in the process, allowing for an informed choice on whether an investment is worthwhile.

A real estate lawyer can also analyse your contract of purchase and sale before you sign it, as well as assist you in negotiating, mitigating, or pointing out any legal difficulties before you become embroiled in the transaction.

Responsibilities of a Real Estate Lawyer

Your lawyer’s responsibilities may vary based on the specifics of your real estate transaction. A business lease, for example, will necessitate a different level of commitment than the purchase or sale of a residential residence.

The lawyer’s role in most real estate transactions comprises the following:

  • Information gathering
  • Due diligence
  • Document preparation and registration
  • Record-keeping and filing
  • Assisting with financial issues, such as mortgages or deposits

What Services Does A Real Estate Lawyer Provide To Buyers?

The buyer’s lawyer’s responsibilities may include:

  • Examining the property’s title to ensure that the seller has the right to sell and that there are no additional difficulties with the title.
  • Examining the buy and sale agreement.
  • Serve as a go-between for you and your mortgage lender.
  • Explaining insurance requirements and ensuring you have adequate house insurance and perhaps title insurance.
  • Participate in the signing of legal documents, explaining their purpose and answering any questions you may have.
  • Keeping the closing monies in trust, along with any funds provided by your mortgage lender, and transferring funds to the seller’s lawyer at the right moment so that the transaction can close.

What Does A Real Estate Attorney Do For A Seller?

The seller’s lawyer’s responsibilities may include:

  • Examine the Purchase Agreement and other legal documents
  • Helping with the negotiation of terms and conditions
  • If necessary, facilitating the payment of the seller’s mortgage
  • Attending legal document signings, explaining the purpose of the paperwork, and addressing any questions you may have
  • Legal documents are being exchanged with the buyer’s lawyer.
  • Assuring that all legal and financial closing conditions are met; and
  • The transaction has been completed.

How Can I Collaborate with My Real Estate Attorney?

People frequently inquire how they can assist in making a purchase or sell go well.

The first step is to select a lawyer and connect them with your real estate agent.

When working with a lawyer on a transaction, keeping lines of communication open is critical, especially if time is of the essence. Being present to sign documents when needed and responding quickly and carefully to information requests can go a long way towards ensuring your transaction is completed swiftly and efficiently.

Winding Up

It is your lawyer’s responsibility to explain the procedure and safeguard your rights and interests throughout your real estate transaction, whether you are selling, leasing, or purchasing.

Aside from the legal aspects of a transaction, your lawyer will frequently play a significant role in handling the financial aspects of a real estate deal, keeping the various parties on track, and guaranteeing a smooth closing date.

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