What is a Real Estate Lawyer?

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Written By LoydMartin

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What is a Real Estate Lawyer?

Selling or purchasing a home can be one of the most significant business transactions you will ever undertake. Although you may know the role your realtor plays, it’s possible that your attorney isn’t as informed.

It is not uncommon for people not to realize they need legal counsel when selling or buying a home. A lot of people are unaware of the intricate processes behind the scenes and what a realty lawyer does in addition to helping with home sales and purchases.

Here’s a brief explanation of what a realty lawyer does, along with their role in various realty transactions such as purchases and sales.

What Does an Ontario Real Estate Lawyer Do?

To guarantee proper ownership transfer and recording, as well as safeguard your legal rights during the transaction, you will need a realty lawyer.

Real estate attorneys are capable of much more than this; real property and land law are just two areas among many that legal work encompasses.

This includes helping individuals and businesses navigate legal matters related to:

  • Land ownership
  • Leasing
  • Use of land
  • Subdivision and development of land
  • Financing
  • Title transfers
  • Rezoning

Are You in Need of a Real Estate Lawyer?

Residential and commercial realty attorneys can be invaluable resources in many different situations, such as when buying or selling a property.

Residential attorneys may be of assistance in the following scenarios:

  • Renting or leasing a building or property
  • Land disputes with neighbours or co-owners
  • Family cottage transfer and succession planning
  • Transmission of property from one spouse to another
  • For transactions involving spouses, independent legal advice is available.
  • These are just some examples where commercial lawyers might be beneficial.
  • Facilitating development projects, rezoning applications and secession of land.
  • Representation and legal matters related to landlord-tenants
  • Conduct research about potential land investments
  • Negotiate and review lease agreements
  • Refinance a Property
  • Do your due diligence when investing in land

Do I Need Legal Counsel to Enter into a Real Estate Contract?

Contrary to popular belief, people do not typically seek legal counsel until after signing a contract of purchase or sale. Your lawyer can actually be invaluable before the contract is even signed – especially during commercial real estate deals.

Real estate investors who plan to purchase large parcels of land or commercial buildings often consult their lawyer before beginning the purchase process. Due diligence is something you’re likely already familiar with if you’ve ever sold or bought any business venture.

Due diligence is the industry term for conducting extensive research before making major investments or purchases. By conducting due diligence on real estate purchases, it can save both money and time by eliminating potential obstacles early in the process and helping you decide if investing is worthwhile. This research includes title searches as well as searches for liens or encumbrances on property. This helps determine if it’s worth investing in a particular area.

A real estate lawyer can review your purchase and sale contract before signing. They also assist in resolving any legal issues that may arise before they become issues.

Real Estate Lawyer Responsibilities

Your real property transaction has specific requirements that dictate the role of your lawyer. Reviewing a commercial leasing agreement requires more involvement than reviewing residential sales or purchases.

In most real estate transactions, the lawyer’s role involves:

  • Information gathering
  • Due diligence
  • Document preparation and registration
  • Filing and recording.

What services does a real estate lawyer provide for buyers?

Buyer’s lawyer could be responsible for:

  • Examining the title to confirm that the seller has the legal right and title to sell.
  • Revision of the agreement for purchase and sale should also take place.
  • Serve as an intermediary between yourself and your mortgage lender
  • Explaining the insurance requirements and making sure both home and title insurance are in place.
  • Assist in signing legal documents, explaining their purpose, and answering any queries.
  • Aid the seller in transferring closing funds to their lawyer by holding them in trust and any money provided by your mortgage lender.

What Can a Real Estate Lawyer Do for Sellers?

A seller’s lawyer has several responsibilities, such as reviewing the Agreement of Purchase and other legal documents; as well as helping with negotiations of terms.

  • Facilitating payment of the seller’s loan if necessary
  • Signing and explaining legal documents; TRANSACTING legal documents with the buyer’s attorney;
  • Verifying that all legal and financial closing conditions have been fulfilled
  • Closing out the transaction

How can I contact my Real Estate Lawyer?

People often inquire how they can make their sale or purchase process smoother. The first step is finding a qualified attorney and connecting them with your real estate agent. This will make the entire process go more smoothly in the long run.

When working with a lawyer to complete your transaction, open communication is essential – particularly if deadlines are tight. To guarantee the smoothest running of the process, be present when signing documents.

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