The role of a lawyer
The buying process involves a number of legalities and sound legal representation is not merely a suggestion, it is a requirement. Your lawyer will protect your rights and ensure you actually get what you’re paying for.
What is important in a lawyer?
Ideally you will want to use a lawyer with substantial real estate experience, as lawyers who may be excellent in one field of law might not be as strong in real estate law. Most transactions close without any problems; however, if there were to be some difficulties an experienced and effective real estate lawyer is invaluable. Go with the lawyer that you feel has the right experience for your situation.
How do their fees work?
Toronto lawyers typically charge a flat fee for their real estate purchasing clients. It is usually beneath the law society mandated maximum tariff rates. Talk to a lawyer and get a quote. The best lawyer for you may well not be the cheapest but save money elsewhere. You need a good lawyer!
What about the extras?
Disbursements will be in addition to the quoted fee. Common disbursements and adjustments are land transfer tax(es), realty taxes, prepaid utilities, clearance certificates, etc. Your lawyer will be able to provide you with exact disbursement expenses on your transaction.
What Specific Functions Does a lawyer Perform?
Before the offer is signed:
- If requested, lawyers consult with Buyers to review the offer clauses. Will not recommend negotiation strategies but will ensure that Buyer understands legal aspects of the offer.
After the Agreement is accepted:
- Detail exact closing costs.
- Search title.
- Search taxes, utilities, building and zoning or order title insurance.
- Execution search.
- Mortgages and other financing arrangements.
- Verify insurance policy documentation.
- Calculate land transfer tax.
- Requisition letter to Seller (requesting resolution of any problems found in searches).
A few days before closing:
- Address any Provincial Sales Tax issues.
- Prepare mortgage documentation.
- Prepare statement of adjustments.
- Prepare documentation for land registry.
- Accept closing funds from buyer.
- Review and have buyer sign necessary documentation.
On closing day:
- With mortgagee will exchange mortgage documentation for money.
- Meet with vendor’s lawyer at registry office.
- Complete final searches.
- Transfer funds.
- Register deed and mortgage in buyer’s name.
- Pay land transfer tax.
- Obtain keys from Seller’s lawyer.
- Send you a reporting letter certifying your title together with the deed, survey, and all other related documentation.
- Invoice you for services rendered.