A Lawyers Involvement in a Real Estate Transaction

What exactly does a lawyer do in an Ontario real estate transaction? Well, you’re about to find out!

In order to buy or sell a property here in Ontario, you will need to hire a real estate lawyer or law clerk. Their job is to ensure that you are legally covered for your real estate transaction. Their job includes the transfer title, calculating the final amount the buyer will pay and the seller will receive, look into the property. Lawyers also make sure there aren’t any liens (money owed to others) or special easements or encumbrances that may affect the enjoyment of the property for the buyer.

Now you know what a lawyer does, the next step is knowing when to get them involved.

Lawyers get involved when the negotiation process is done, and both sides have come to an agreement.

In a freehold sale (a home that doesn’t belong to a condo corporation), the lawyers get involved when a deal has FIRMED up. This means all conditions have been met and now both sides are committed to this sale (there’s no backing out).

A condo sale, however, is different. Most of the time, during the conditional period, the buyer usually requests that their lawyer reviews the unit’s status certificate. A status certificate is a large document that has all the important information about the condo corporation and the individual unit. It has information about the condo corporation’s financials and includes items that would cause the new owner’s maintenance fees to increase which they would obviously not want.

The status certificate also states if the current unit holder is up to date with their payments. If not, the balance would have to made whole before the closing date.