First Time Home Buyer? – You May Need A Real Estate Lawyer

House for sale image for Schnell Hardy Jones LLP blog post on first time home buyers

Red Deer and Sylvan Lake real estate lawyers at Schnell Hardy Jones LLP know what an exciting and stressful time it can be when you are buying a home for the first time. Buying a home is likely the largest purchase you will ever make, and there is a lot to consider when entering the real estate market for the first time. One consideration is whether you need a real estate lawyer. Our team of Sylvan Lake and Red Deer real estate lawyers prepared this article to explain how a real estate lawyer can protect your legal interests and help you through the process of buying your first home.

How can a real estate lawyer help you?

An experienced real estate lawyer can provide you with advice at several stages when purchasing your first home, ensuring that the purchase is handled properly and that the process runs smoothly. With offices in Sylvan Lake and Red Deer, real estate lawyers at Schnell Hardy Jones LLP assist first-time home buyers in ways that include:

  1. Ensuring your legal interests are protected in the real estate contract. Your real estate lawyer can review the agreement for purchase and sale before you sign it and highlight areas of risk in the agreement. Your real estate lawyer can also recommend clauses that allow you to withdraw from the purchase if you need to (for example, with a home inspection condition or a financing condition) and ensure that the language of the agreement clarifies what chattels to expect (for example, appliances and furniture).
  2. Identifying any usage restrictions or zoning issues. Before you sign the agreement, your real estate lawyer will ask you questions about your intended use of the property to ensure that you can use it as you expected (for example, if the property has a rental apartment, or you intend to use it to run a home business) and make you aware of any potential drawbacks (for example, if a neighbouring property is zoned for high-density housing or commercial use is permitted on a neighbouring property).
  3. Explaining title registration options. A real estate lawyer will explain the different options for title registration and legal effect of each option (for example, title held in joint tenancy vs. title held as joint tenants in common). How title is held (and by whom) can have a significant impact on future rights and obligations and the decision should only be made once all of the options have been explained to you.
  4. Discussing the importance of title insurance. After discussing the benefits of title insurance, you can instruct the lawyer to purchase title insurance on your behalf, which means you will be insured against loss due to defects or existing liens against the property’s title, encroachment issues, title fraud, and errors in surveys and public records. As part of standard legal practice, your Sylvan Lake real estate lawyer will also check to ensure the home is free and clear of property taxes, liens, and encumbrances.
  5. Assisting you with mortgage requirements. Most first-time home buyers will need to obtain a mortgage to purchase the property. Banks and other lenders demand that paperwork be prepared by a lawyer. An experienced Red Deer or Sylvan Lake real estate lawyer will review the mortgage and requirements between you and the bank, communicate with the bank to help you to meet the legal requirements to secure financing, and prepare and register the paperwork relating to the mortgage.

It should be noted that if there is no real estate agent involved in the transaction, the need to hire a real estate lawyer is even greater. If there is no realtor involved (for example, in a sale between friends or family or a “for sale by owner” situation), you should have an experienced real estate lawyer to advise you and ensure the transaction runs smoothly.

Contact our team of Sylvan Lake and Red Deer real estate lawyers

The list above is only a brief overview highlighting some of the ways a real estate lawyer can help you as a first-time home buyer. To learn more about how our real estate lawyers add value, contact us today at 1-888-342-7405 or by email at With offices in Red Deer and Sylvan Lake, real estate lawyers at Schnell Hardy Jones LLP have the knowledge and experience to protect your legal interests, guide you through the first-time home buyer process, and assist in closing the deal effectively.