In the intricate web of buying or selling a home, there’s a key player you won’t want to overlook: your real estate lawyer. They’re the silent heroes ensuring your transaction sails smoothly, free from legal entanglements. Let’s dive into the pivotal role of these professionals and why they’re a must-have in your real estate journey.

When to Rope in a Real Estate Lawyer

From the moment your home search transitions from casual browsing to serious consideration, it’s time to bring in a real estate lawyer.

Jeffrey Kahane, a seasoned practitioner from Kahane Law Office in Calgary, Alberta, advises, “Consult a lawyer as soon as questions or concerns arise.” Don’t wait until the contract is set in stone; their expertise can preemptively safeguard your interests.

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Choosing the Right Advocate

There are a few factors to consider when you’re ready to choose a lawyer. Having a few screening questions in mind could help you decide which lawyer or firm to use:

  1. Experience: How long have they practiced real estate law in our area?
  2. Teamwork: Will they work alone or with a team?
  3. Billing: How do they bill, and are there any hidden costs?
  4. Timelines: How quickly can they start and finish the process?
  5. References: Can they provide references from past clients?

While your REALTOR® may offer recommendations, the final choice rests with you.

Understanding the Cost

Lawyer fees vary based on the firm’s charging method (flat rate or hourly) and the services rendered. Disbursements cover additional costs like title searches and photocopies, or anything else the lawyer does with a cost attached to it.

Canadian Lawyer Magazine suggests that fees and disbursements typically range from $700 to $2,000, depending on the complexity of the situation. Payment is usually required at the end of the closing process. Being aware of these costs upfront allows you to budget effectively and avoid any surprises during the transaction.

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What Exactly Does a Real Estate Lawyer Do?

Real estate lawyers play a crucial role in ensuring a smooth and legally sound transaction for both buyers and sellers. Here’s how they support each party:

Why Buyers Need Lawyers:

Real estate lawyers represent buyers by drafting purchase documents and mortgage agreements, securing funds from lenders, and ensuring there are no outstanding debts associated with the property.

They facilitate payments and verify that the survey complies with the contract. Regardless of the type of property being purchased—whether it’s a new build, resale, condo, land, or commercial property—a real estate lawyer ensures buyers receive a fair and legally binding contract.

  • New Builds: Lawyers review agreements of purchase and sale, including critical dates, conditions, rights and obligations, and closing adjustments proposed by the vendor. They negotiate and review clauses for the buyer’s benefit and identify any hidden purchase restrictions.
  • Land Purchases: Specialized property lawyers conduct title searches, review contracts, ensure zoning compliance, and conduct environmental assessments to address any regulatory issues.
  • Condo Purchases: Real estate lawyers review status certificates to assess the health of reserve funds and potential future repair costs.
  • Joint Tenancy: Lawyers assist buyers in understanding joint tenancy arrangements and navigating the implications of rights of survivorship or tenancy in common.
Real estate lawyer

Why Sellers Need Lawyers:

Real estate lawyers support sellers by drafting sale documents and ensuring compliance with trust conditions. They handle the payout of debts on title, real estate commissions, and disbursement of net funds to the seller.

In essence, real estate lawyers act as advocates for both buyers and sellers, ensuring transparency, legal compliance, and a smooth transaction process from start to finish. Their expertise is indispensable in safeguarding the interests of their clients and facilitating successful property transactions.

Closing the Deal with Confidence

In the labyrinth of real estate transactions, real estate lawyers are the guiding lights, ensuring legal clarity and financial security. Entrust your journey to these seasoned professionals, and rest assured, your home buying or selling experience will be nothing short of seamless.

Remember, your REALTOR® is your ally in this process, connecting you with a trusted real estate lawyer. With their assistance, you can embark on your real estate venture with confidence, knowing you’re in capable hands.

For expert guidance and legal assurance in your real estate endeavors, trust none other than a reputable real estate lawyer. Let their expertise pave the way for your dream home journey.

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If you would like to learn more about Vancouver’s housing market, or if you are interested in selling or purchasing a property, please contact Sam Hung, one of the best Realtors in Greater Vancouver.