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Role of a real estate attorney Know your role when buying or selling a home

Role of a real estate attorney

First, your attorney will send you a letter detailing what documentation he may need from you. Since you will probably pay at least $ 1,300 more for legal services, I think it is important that you know what your attorney will do for you. Below you will find detailed information about the role of a real estate attorney and what to do when working with your attorney and obtaining a mortgage. Don’t wait to hire an attorney right before taking the position on your new purchase, be sure to interview them well before the closing date.

Your real estate attorney should tell you what expenses you are likely to incur in connection with the closing proceedings, including:

Land Transfer Tax


legal fees

property tax

If you have purchased a new home from a builder, the real estate attorney can give you an informed estimate of how much to budget for “hidden charges” such as:

Ontario New Home Warranty Enrollment Fee

Charges for installing water and water meters

Fencing charges

Qualification deposit charges

much others

If all the conditions of the Agreement have been met and the Offer is final, the attorney proceeds to investigate the title of the property. Initial searches include:

utility searches

property tax searches

building, zoning and planning searches

Registered title searches

The letters are sent by your attorney:

to all municipal or regional public service departments to confirm that there are no arrears or outstanding charges

to ensure that there are no conditional sales contracts, easements or unregistered agreements, links

to discover other liens affecting property or equipment left by the seller

Easements are a big problem and there are always cases being written in real estate newspapers and magazines, about buyers who did not realize that they were not allowed to put up fences or create a parking space because the inspection of the property from the they were working did not. It doesn’t actually show the City’s rights to access the property. Your attorney’s job is to make sure all of this is disclosed to you. Your attorney will also inform the utility departments of your name and the scheduled closing date, and request that the final meter readings take place on the closing date so that final invoices can be sent to the seller.

Your attorney requests a Tax Certificate to verify the current year’s tax amount and to inquire about arrears and outstanding tax charges. Your attorney will also write to the Building and Zoning Department for full details of zoning statutes and restrictions and permitted uses (so you know if you are allowed to operate a business from home or build a huge deck, for example). It is important that you send a copy of the property survey to your attorney as soon as possible; If the seller has a survey, I will get it to them if it is not already included in the offer documents. If there is no survey, tell your attorney so they can advise you on how to protect your interests through title insurance.

A title search for the property is initiated at the Land Registry Office to ensure that the Seller is the true owner of the property, has the right to sell the property to you, and that the property is not subject to liens, usurpations, easements. , links, agreements or mortgages that were not disclosed in the Agreement or Buy and Sell. You may have heard of fraud cases where people’s homes were sold under them by scammers who had no title to the land! This is where your attorney really earns his fees. This search must be completed before the Request Date (title search date) shown on your Purchase and Sale Agreement.

Other important functions of your attorney include:

Conduct a foreclosure search with the appropriate Sheriff’s Office to make sure there are no foreclosures against previous property owners that could affect your title.

Prepare and deliver a letter to the seller’s attorney requesting that items revealed in initial searches be addressed prior to closing.

Review the content of the mortgage commitment letter that your bank will prepare when it processes your financing and consult with you the results of your signature.

Inform you of closing day costs related to mortgage financing when your financial institution provides you with a Final Mortgage Commitment Letter.

If your attorney is also acting on behalf of the financial institution (it happens often), they will prepare all the necessary documentation for the mortgage and send this packet to the financial institution for approval prior to closing:

– Certify the property title to the financial institution at closing.

– Advise you of any government programs designed to assist home buyers that would apply to you, including land transfer tax refund programs, Ontario homeownership savings plans, RRSP plans, and the CMHC 5% advance information.

– Tell your insurance broker the name, address, phone number, and fax number of both your attorney and the financial institution providing your mortgage. Your attorney needs a letter confirming that insurance coverage is in effect at the time of closing; This is very important because the bank will not advance the $ to close your purchase until it knows that you have property insurance.

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