For homeowners, the entire home selling and buying processes could either be exciting or stressful. If you’re a first-timer in either case, you may need a professional realtor and real estate lawyer to help you out.
Real estate laws could be complicated in Canada or anywhere in the world and involve nuances that differ from place to place. There are plenty of other ways a real estate lawyer could help you with. These particular real estate transactions need legal expertise to huddle through, with success.
What Does Real Estate Law Cover?
In general, real estate law is the area of law that governs the ownership and use of land and any structures on it. It covers transactions like the purchase and sale of real property, as well as other legal issues attached to them, like transferring titles, zoning, property taxes, and estate management.
Which Real Estate Transactions Do You Need A Lawyer For?
In Canada, depending on which city or province you’re from, you’d need to hire a real estate attorney to provide you advice on how specific real estate laws in your area would affect a specific real estate transaction.
For instance, if you’re in Vaughan, Ontario, it may be in your best interest to hire a real estate lawyer Vaughan for transactional closures as legal and financial documents need to be reviewed and signed. The same is true when you live in neighboring cities and provinces. A real estate lawyer would be needed for closing transactions to check on contracts and other documents.
Here are some specific and real-world examples of real estate transactions that would need the presence of a lawyer:
- Writing And Reviewing Contracts
Lawyers play an important role in the drafting and reviewing of purchase contracts. While some realtors claim to know how to do it, they’re often limited to filling up templates, which won’t work in properties with complex issues. A lawyer, on the other hand, would check on specific issues related to the contract, such as those involving time frames, home inspections, and the title of the property.
If you’re the buyer, delays in your loan mortgage application could affect the proposed schedule for real estate closing. For home inspections, both the buyers and sellers could lock horns on who’s responsible for the repairs.
Similarly, if any of the parties feel belatedly that the written agreement is in any way disadvantageous, the said party could ask a lawyer to withdraw from the contract without legal repercussions. Also, when specific issues with the title crop up, a lawyer could help probe into the problem and assure the party that all legal documents are in order.
Ultimately, real estate transactions with the following issues would be less problematic with the help of a real estate attorney:
- For property buyers
- If you’re not a resident of the area you’re buying property from
- If you’re buying a home that’s part of an estate sale, an auction, or bank purchase
- If the property you’re planning to buy has physical damages
- If there’s unlawful dwelling inside the property
- If the bank still owns the land
- If you need to have illegal tenants evicted
- When you’ve decided not to push through with the purchase but have already signed a contract
- For property sellers
- If you’re in charge of an estate owned by a family member and you’re trying to sell the property
- If you’re negotiating a divorce and needs to share the asset(s) with your soon-to-be spouse
- If you’re involved in a short sale or foreclosure
- When you’re cash-strapped and trying to sell property with liens on it
- Settling Disputes During Negotiations
In the course of a transaction, some issues may crop up, leading to an impasse. If you want issues ironed out, you could hire a real estate attorney to settle these issues. The lawyer could represent you in negotiations and propose changes to correct the situation. At the same time, a lawyer would also need to assure that the contract terms are fair to all parties involved.
- Complex Transactions
When the property is impacted by issues that could quickly turn into an imminent legal problem, you may need to involve a lawyer early on. Issues such as zoning problems, gas and oil rights, those related to historical property, as well as other forms of disputes need the expertise of real estate lawyers. These issues are interlinked with other local statutes, apart from real estate laws. Only a lawyer could prevent you from getting into costly and questionable transactions.
- Transfer Of Ownership
In special cases, for instance, when you’re transferring property ownership to a relative without the involvement of a sale, you’re going to need a quitclaim deed, which you can’t get anywhere but from a real estate lawyer.
Real estate laws are complex. That’s why both sellers and buyers need to tread carefully with the help of real estate lawyers. Even if your state doesn’t require legal representation during closing transactions, you’d still need a counselor to ensure you’re not stuck in an unfair deal.
As law professionals are working to uphold your best interests, these legal experts sift through documents, flagging questionable clauses or onerous contracts. They help ensure you get the best deal, whether you’re selling or buying a property.