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When Buying or Selling real estate, you should always have a real estate lawyer represent you through the process whether you are a first time buyer or have several purchases or sales under your belt. Even the simplest real estate transaction comes with complicated legal jargon, terms and conditions and the odd ‘glitch’.

Although your real estate agent will provide very capable advice regarding the real estate purchase contract, both the sellers’ (also known as the vendors’) and the purchasers’ lawyer can be of assistance with respect to terms and conditions which might prove to be important such as: deadlines as to financing approval; necessary inspections, surveys or repairs; securing a real property report or title insurance and perhaps, a realistic closing date given all of the above.

Whether a buyer or seller, a real estate lawyer is retained to protect your interests and make certain that all documents which are to be signed are in your best interest. In addition, the lawyer is also a facilitator and works with the lender, land titles registry, title and property insurers and the realtor. The lawyer is there to coordinate the closing of the deal and ensure that monies are distributed and titles are transferred properly.

At “closing” when ownership is transferred from the seller to the buyer, there is much documentation to be signed and monies to be exchanged. The sellers’ lawyer makes sure that any existing mortgage and all taxes or any other payoffs relating to the property are free of any encumbrances. The buyers’ lawyer makes sure that all terms of the real estate purchase contract are followed, any mortgage documents are in proper order and that a clean title in transferred to the client.

The buyers’ lawyer will also generally be representing the lender (also known as “mortgagee”) and having them sign it, registering the mortgage with the land titles registry and thereby securing the lender’s interest. Inherently, it is a conflict for the lawyer to act on behalf of the lender and the mortgagor buyer but it is an accepted practice when all parties are aware of and acknowledge same as it reduces costs, time and increases efficiencies.

There is much to be dealt with and as with all legal services, it has been said by many that the price of a lawyer is a small price to pay for a little piece of mind, especially in this instance when dealing with what may well be the most significant purchase or sale you will ever make.

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