What Does a Real Estate Lawyer Do in Ontario?

There are many aspects to the work an Ontario real estate lawyer does for their clients like you. They are commonly used to help in residential or commercial transactions, reviewing paperwork, and representing buyers or sellers.

In residential real estate, an Ontario real estate lawyer assists in buying, leasing, or renting a property, or in property disputes. They could help with properties that are considered assets to be transferred and give advice regarding family or inherited property.

Commercially, real estate lawyers may advise on property zoning issues, complete due diligence for land investments, and review lease contracts. While they do handle legal situations outside this arena, their work mainly revolves around the numerous steps involved in a real estate transaction.

Continue reading to learn more about what Ontario real estate lawyers do and why you should hire one.

How Ontario Real Estate Lawyers Assist with Real Estate Transactions

An expert Ontario-based real estate lawyer can help with the most complicated, down to the most rudimentary real estate transactions, and save you money and stress in the long run. Real estate transactions can be cumbersome, but hiring an Ontario-based real estate attorney can ease the burden. There are several touchpoints in a real estate transaction that could use the expert opinion of a real estate lawyer, including the following.

Review Purchase Contract

A real estate lawyer in Ontario can help review a potential purchase contract before you sign. They can assist with negotiations, or root out any legal issues that may be a problem for you going forward. They can also help answer any questions you have about contracts which 60% of people agree has a very positive influence on choosing a lawyer.

Why people choose a lawyer

Due Diligence

Unfortunately, many people wait too long to hire a lawyer and have already signed a purchasing contract, but in reality, a lawyer is a great asset to have when deciding on a property to purchase. They can often handle the due diligence or homework behind a large purchase, saving you time and money by uncovering possible risks to the purchase.

Legal Rep for Buyers

As a legal representative for a potential buyer, an Ontario-based real estate agent can make sure the title of the property is clean and clear, and review the agreement of purchase. Seeing as 20% of home buyers do not approach the process with confidence, a lawyer will make it much easier.

Home buying stress statistic

They can also mediate between you and your lender, negotiating terms you may not be able to obtain on your own. They provide valuable guidance on insurance requirements, inspections, and tax implications, while at the same time offering their legal expertise in document preparation and education. An Ontario-based real estate lawyer can also be responsible for holding the funds in question in trust and transferring them to the appropriate parties when needed.

Legal Rep for Sellers

As a legal representative for a potential seller, a real estate lawyer from Ontario can review the legal documents and assist with negotiations between the buyer’s attorney and seller. They can handle the seller’s mortgage payout and ensure all the financial conditions are met as well. They provide expert guidance on important legal documents that could save you from complications at closing time. Using their advice will help the process go smoothly.

Purchase of Title Insurance

In Ontario, title insurance is not required, but this is something that could be discussed with a real estate attorney in the area. They will likely know the ins and outs of the area and be able to offer expert guidance. If chosen, title insurance could cover title defects, existing liens against the property, issues of title fraud, and any encroachment issues. Your lawyer could even complete the sale on your behalf. It is a personal decision whether or not to purchase, so make sure you have complete information about what is and isn’t covered before purchasing anything.

Assist with Closing

One of the most important days of the transaction, the closing day, is where assets and financials are exchanged. The closing carries with it, documentation that warrants review by a real estate lawyer, but perhaps more important, is the need for expertise in drafting a statement of adjustments.

Statement of Adjustments

This part of the closing can be compared to a receipt of purchase and delineates all monetary transactions involved with the agreement. It lists any monies transferred during the negotiation process, as well as listing the purchase price, and any deposits, adjustments, and fees. It is a legal document and should be treated as such. Once signed by all parties, stash it with your other important legal documents for safekeeping.

Other Duties of an Ontario Real Estate Lawyer

Another, less obvious duty of an Ontario-based real estate lawyer includes protecting the interest of clients. Real estate transactions are likely to be the beginning of a long-term relationship with your real estate attorney, as they can handle other items outside just the sale and purchase of the property. Areas in which they could assist include:

  • Investment Decisions: They can be valuable resources for investment decisions going forward. Remember the due diligence process mentioned above? This is a helpful process that can be completed for future investment decisions as you grow.
  • Estate Property Mitigations: A real estate lawyer from Ontario could also help mitigate land issues resulting from Estate negotiations. They can offer insight into the process and tax implications along the way.
  • Property Litigation: If you ever need legal representation for real estate litigation, having a real estate attorney from Ontario by your side is an invaluable asset.  They can draft documents, and pleadings and even appear on your behalf in hearings if necessary.

Final thoughts on what Ontario real estate lawyers do

It is easy to see how helpful access to a real estate lawyer can be.

All said, there are many steps involved in a real estate transaction, and having an Ontario-based real estate attorney on your side could save you time and money in the long run. Why go it alone, when you could have expertise on your side?

Need an Ontario real estate lawyer to make buying or selling your next property stress-free? Contact us today.

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