Why do I need a real estate lawyer?

First, it should be noted that a real estate lawyer is required in any transfer of property in Ontario. While there may be a legal requirement for each purchaser and/or vendor to retain the services of a solicitor (lawyer) to act on their behalf, there is also a value added benefit to having such legal representation.

For the majority of people, real estate will be the most important asset of their lifetime. As such, it makes complete sense that prior to investing, all the possible due diligence that can be done, be done. As Peter Lynch once said “Investing without research is like playing stud poker without looking at the cards.” A lawyer can help you avoid potential issues with a home purchase or sale by outlining these at the outset such as to allow you to make a full and informed decision before going ahead with a transaction. A lawyer will show you the cards, explain them to you and help you form a strategy. 

Perhaps the most important reason to be represented by an attorney is conflicting interests of the parties. Throughout the process, the buyer's and seller's interests can be at odds with each other, and even with those of professionals involved in the transaction. Everyone wants to see the deal go through and get paid; a lawyer will serve only his/her own client's best interests.

Other examples of how a real estate lawyer can assist you with your transaction are:

  • You’ve hired a home inspector who has determined that there are termites, asbestos, radon, and/or lead-based paints at the property. What should you do?
  • You’ve moved into your new home and noticed that there is an issue. For example, there is water penetration in the basement or the seller took with them the kitchen chandelier contrary to the Agreement. What should you do?
  • You’ve purchased a large lot and would like to subdivide it and sell it. What are your next steps?
  • Can you back out of a firm agreement to purchase or sell your home? What is your
    exposure of liability if you do so?

The closing process can be confusing and complex for both the buyer and seller. With our qualified personnel, our office prides itself on providing a transparent and smooth process for our clients. 

We recommend seeking the advice of a lawyer as soon as you are thinking of buying, selling or refinancing to obtain some preliminary guidance to allow for a smoother transaction.