The role of a real estate lawyer during closing
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A real estate lawyer works to protect his or her clients when they purchase or sell a home, helping to ensure that the transaction is completed well—regardless of which side of the deal they are on. There are many facets of a purchase or sale that real estate lawyers deal with on your behalf so you can rest assured it will go smoothly.
Agreement of Purchase / Agreement of Sale
A real estate lawyer reviews a wide range of legal documents on their clients’ behalves, including the Agreement of Purchase or Agreement of Sale. These items detail the negotiations involved and range from an irrevocability deadline and completion date to matters of Harmonized Sales Tax and a title search.
He or she might also arrange for the client to obtain title insurance. Although this is not required, a real estate lawyer may recommend it to better protect you, the property owner. Coverage includes title issues that affect you from having clear ownership of the home, title fraud, liens that a previous owner may have had, public record or survey errors, a structure that requires removal by interfering with a neighbouring home, and related issues that impact your ability to sell or lease down the road.
Other issues that may arise
Real estate lawyers are also responsible for ensuring that no claims are listed against the home you purchase, as well as checking that property taxes are up-to-date and that you (their client) have a valid title upon closing. Some of their other roles include calculating the land transfer tax due, drawing up the applicable mortgage documents, exchanging legal documents and keys with the seller’s real estate lawyer, plus closing the transaction while ensuring all financial and legal conditions are met.
As a seller, your real estate lawyer also handles potential title issues that occur, prepares the deed to your home, and helps you negotiate the terms and conditions with your buyer. But no matter whether you buy or sell a home, having a professional in your corner is crucial to avoid as many complications as possible.