Do you ever wonder why your favourite movie stars always look so good? Or why your local coffee shop is always spotless and decorated for the season? The reason is simple; they have a team of professionals who meticulously arrange every detail.

Before you start wondering how this relates to your home-buying journey, think about all the professionals you have standing behind you as you search for your dream home. Besides your real estate agent, you have a whole team helping guide you home, including a real estate lawyer.

What Does a Real Estate Lawyer Do for the Buyer?

Buying a home is likely the most significant transaction you will make in your lifetime. This life-altering decision requires the support of professionals to make sure that every step of the process is followed, ensuring that every “i” is dotted and every “t” crossed.

The person that takes care of the dotting and crossing on every legal document is your real estate lawyer. If you’re new to the home buying experience, you probably know that you need a lawyer but may not be sure what role they play.

A real estate lawyer is necessary both for the buyer and seller. We’ll start with their role on the buyer’s side. They ensure the transfer of ownership, outlining the terms of your purchase agreement and a clear title to the property. That is their role at the most basic; it goes far beyond, including the following:

  • Review the Agreement of Purchase and all other legal documents
  • Ensure there are no claims listed against the property
  • Arrange for Title Insurance
  • Ensure you have a valid title upon closing
  • Ensure property taxes are up to date
  • Calculate the land transfer tax due on closing
  • Draw up the mortgage documents
  • Close the transaction and ensure all legal and financial conditions are met
  • Exchange legal documents and keys with the seller’s lawyer

What Does a Real Estate Lawyer Do for the Seller?

The real estate lawyer’s role on the seller’s side is also related to ensuring the transaction goes smoothly and all legal aspects are covered. They are focused on the mortgage payout and a smooth transfer of the property’s title. Just like on the buyer’s side, a real estate lawyer performs several key tasks, including:

  • Review the Agreement of Sale and other legal documents before you sign
  • Assist you with the negotiation of the terms and conditions
  • Prepare the deed to your house
  • Deal and remedy title issues as they occur
  • Close the transaction
  • Ensure all legal and financial conditions have been met
  • Exchange legal documents and keys with the Buyer’s lawyer

When Do You Need a Real Estate Lawyer?

Whether you are buying or selling a home, you will need a real estate lawyer to register the transfer of property with your province’s land registry office. You are required to have a lawyer because lawyers can access Provincial Electronic Land Registration Systems. Every province has different regulations, but a legal professional is necessary to register a property and purchase a home to ensure that it is legal.

Can a Real Estate Lawyer Represent the Buyer and Seller?

Now that you have a better understanding of the real estate lawyer’s role, it’s time to choose one that will best represent you throughout the transaction. Choosing a real estate lawyer is something your RE/MAX agent can help you with, as they often work closely with trusted professionals. For more tips, you can also view our post on finding a real estate lawyer.

Are you also looking for a real estate agent? You can find one HERE.

Have More Questions?

Real estate can be confusing. RE/MAX Canada hit the streets to find out just how much (or how little) the average person knows about the Canadian housing market, and to offer some answers.

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Connect with a RE/MAX agent for these answers, and more!