Why Do I Need a Real Estate Lawyer?

May 7, 2021

Buying a home.

After going on a lot of dates (or a few) with your real estate agent to find that perfect home, you’ve finally found “the one!” You feel giddy– and suddenly very, very responsible. After all, this isn’t Monopoly property anymore. Before you know it, your mortgage lender is your new best friend and, apparently, you need a lawyer? But why?

Hiring a lawyer isn’t usually top-of-mind when you’re looking for your future home but, in the majority of cases, you’ll need a lawyer to seal the deal. A Real Estate lawyer will take care of the legal work and make sure everything is above board.

  • This includes reviewing all legal documents, such as the Purchase and Sale Agreement and, in the case of a condo purchase, the Estoppel Certificate
  • Your lawyer will ensure that property taxes are up-to-date, and that no claims are listed against the property
  • Your lawyer will also confirm that there is a valid title
  • In Alberta, you’ll typically need a lawyer to hold funds in a trust account until all the terms and conditions are satisfied
  • The buyer will also need assurances that the seller’s mortgage if any, will be paid out and taken off the title

Wondering if you fit the bill for the few real estate transactions that don’t require a lawyer? These are those rare cases where a simple transfer is being done— both parties know and trust each other and choose to do a private deal where the buyer is paying cash. And even then, most people use a lawyer to make sure it’s done right.

At Litco Law, we’re here to reduce your stress and the length of your to-do list, so you can enjoy this exciting time in your life. We’ll take care of the legal work and paperwork so you can focus on other things– like packing or choosing paint colours.

Selling a home.

Sometimes you buy a forever home. And sometimes you buy a ‘for now’ home. Whether you’re downsizing, upsizing, or looking for a home that’s just right for whatever your current needs are, you’ll mostly likely need a lawyer for this transition. Ideally, you should contact a lawyer as soon as you accept an offer in order to give your lawyer enough time to prepare the file and to deal with any issues that might arise. Your real estate lawyer will:

  • Review the Agreement of Purchase and Sale and prepare all the closing documents
  • Respond to any title issues, such as old undischarged mortgages
  • Prepare a statement of adjustments showing the final amount that the buyer is required to pay on closing, including adjustments for taxes and any prepaid utility charges
  • Contact your mortgage company to find out how much money has to be paid out on the closing date
  • Arrange for payments of the balance of your mortgage, the real estate commission, and any outstanding realty taxes or utility arrears

When you sell your home, your lawyer ensures that the funds are properly received. If you are selling before you buy, your lawyer will ensure that the funds from your sale are applied to your purchase.

Refinancing your home.

There are several reasons you might be looking to refinance. Whether you’re looking to get a lower interest rate, shorten the term of your mortgage, tap into your home equity, finance a large purchase, or consolidate your debt, we can help. Here’s a breakdown of what a Real Estate lawyer can do for you:

  • Conduct a title search and address any issues such as liens, pending litigation, other mortgages, etc.
  • Ensure that the loan documents align with your mortgage application requirements
  • Determine the balances of your existing mortgage(s), line(s) of credit, or debts that are to be paid
  • Properly discharge any existing mortgages or other debts

Here at Litco Law, we care first and foremost about what’s best for you, ensuring your peace of mind. We’re here to help you find the solution– even if we’re not it. And it won’t cost you anything to speak with one of our Calgary Real Estate Lawyers.

Real estate lawyers that provide real solutions.

Whether you’re buying, selling, or refinancing your home, we’ve got you covered. And if there’s anything we can do to shorten your to-do list, we’ll do it. At Litco Law, our Real Estate Lawyers and legal assistants worry about the legal work and the paperwork, so you don’t have to. Have questions? Give us a call or email, or send us a message in the chat! We’re standing by, ready to help


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