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If you are in the market searching for a new home, it can be a really exciting time in your life, but with all the steps involved, it can also be challenging. Likely you may be aware that you have to secure a mortgage and that it’s wise to work with a real estate agent who can help you find something within your price range and help you negotiate a fair deal. You may be less familiar however with what a real estate lawyer does and the legal process for buying a home in Ontario.

Here is what you need to know about navigating through the legal process of buying a home.

What does my real estate lawyer do?  

 Purchasing a home typically involves a number of legal documents related to the transaction. One of the first things your real estate lawyer will do for you review these documents. This includes reviewing your agreement of Purchase, ensuring that property taxes are up to date, and ensuring that there are no liens on file against the property.

A real estate lawyer will also be able to confirm that the seller has a valid property title, calculate the amount of the land transfer tax, and let you know about any other tax implications that come with buying the property.

If there is an issue with the sale, and there is a need for litigation, your real estate lawyer can also advise you on what your next steps should be.

If you are purchasing a condo, your lawyer will also review the Status Certificate. This is a document which discloses the condo’s reserve fund and if it is sufficient enough to perform necessary repairs and renovations. If the reserve fund is too low, condo owners could be on the hook for a large one-time special assessment fee to top up those reserves. A review of the Status Certificate will let you know if this is likely.

What happens on closing day?  

It used to be that as part of a transaction, your real estate lawyer would go to the Land Registry Office to conduct title searches. On closing day, historically lawyers of both parties would meet at the Land Registry Office to exchange documents, and have the land transfer registered. Today, lawyers do all of this online with specialized software. It is still necessary though for your lawyer to sign the transfer of land. 

Contact Minhas Lawyers today

If you are purchasing a home, it is important to have a good real estate lawyer to ensure that the transaction goes smoothly and that you don’t get caught with unexpected expenses and hassles down the road. Contact Minhas Lawyers today to book an appointment with our real estate lawyer. 

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Minhas Lawyers Professional Corporation is a multi-practice law firm based in Mississauga. We advise and represent clients across various segments and practice areas.

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