Why You Need a Real Estate Lawyer for Your Home Purchase | Schnell Hardy Jones LLP

Real estate lawyer explaining a contract to a couple purchasing a home

Why You Need a Real Estate Lawyer for Your Home Purchase in Stettler, Sylvan Lake and Red Deer, Alberta

Buying a home brings much excitement and planning, but dealing with the legal transaction is a matter best left to a lawyer. A home is likely the largest investment you have made to date and there are reasons to protect your investment with the right legal assistance. An experienced real estate lawyer can make the difference between a smooth transaction and a problematic one. Real estate lawyers in Stettler, Sylvan Lake, Eckville and Red Deer, Alberta are able to protect your legal interests.

Review the Terms of Sale and Advise You

A law firm, can review the agreement for purchase and sale in advance of your commitment to it. The firm will inform you of the risks of the agreement before you sign it and can recommend clauses that allow you to withdraw from the purchase if you need to (e.g., with a home inspection and/or financing condition). The agreement should also clarify what chattels to expect (e.g., appliances, furniture).

Often times it’s because of a legal review that clients think twice about buying a particular condominium unit. The Estoppel certificate and condo bylaws and Reserve Study Fund should be reviewed to determine if the condominium is financially healthy and if you find the provisions acceptable to you (e.g., no large pets). Otherwise, you could face unexpected costs (e.g., for a major project or a special levy to rebuild the reserve fund) or inadvertently agree to terms that you disagree with.

When you meet with a lawyer, he or she will ask you a series of questions about the use of the home. The purpose of the inquiry is to ensure that you can use the home as you expected (e.g., with a basement apartment, home business) and that you are aware of any potential drawbacks (e.g., zoning for a high density housing or commercial use behind your property).

If the purchase entails a resale home, a lawyer specializing in real estate law in Stettler, Sylvan Lake, Eckville and Red Deer, Alberta appropriate searches will be conducted. In addition, a home inspection is recommended to ensure that there are no major issues requiring costly repairs that aren’t otherwise visible, such as related to plumbing, mould or foundation issues.

If there is a mortgage with a lender (including a private lender), the lawyer can go over the mortgage terms with you to ensure you understand your legal rights and obligations, including if there is a requirement for you to obtain a property appraisal.

Legal Protection

Perhaps the most significant reason to hire a real estate lawyer is to have your legal interests protected. The lawyer will discuss your title registration options (e.g., joint tenancy or joint tenants in common) and discuss the importance of title insurance for you on your home. If the lawyer purchases the title insurance on your behalf, 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, the lawyer will also check to ensure the home is free and clear of property taxes, liens and encumbrances. 

Close the Transaction and Inform You of What to Expect on Closing Day

The lawyer will meet with you prior to the closing to answer all your questions and inform you of the total amount you will need to prepare the cheque for to close the deal. Several documents will need to be signed at the meeting, as well as a discussion of costs. Typical costs to expect that are additional to the difference between your down payment and the purchase price agreed are property tax, GST for a new home (if applicable), title insurance, and lawyer’s fees and disbursements. There may also be an appraisal fee for the mortgage, mortgage loan insurance (if applicable), and other costs.

On the closing day, the title transfer signed by the seller will be registered at the Land Titles Office in your name, the mortgage (if any) will be arranged and the funds due to the vendor’s lawyer will be delivered.

Shortly after the closing, usually you will receive a reporting package with a statement of adjustments, the title to the property, the title insurance certificate and any other applicable certificates.

Contact us at Schnell Hardy Jones LLP, Real Estate Lawyers in Sylvan Lake, Eckville, Stettler and Red Deer, Alberta

If you are about to purchase a home in Stettler, Sylvan Lake or Red Deer, our real estate lawyers can assist you throughout the process. We will protect you legally before you sign for the purchase, in advance of the closing, and at the time of closing too. We work hard to ensure that you are satisfied with our legal services because we know that if you are pleased, you will recommend us and use our services again. Contact us and see the benefits of a real estate lawyer in Stettler, Sylvan Lake, Eckville and Red Deer, Alberta first hand at 1-888-342-7405.