Why Home Buyers Need a Real Estate Lawyer in Ontario

Discover why hiring a real estate lawyer is crucial when buying a home in Ontario. Contact TDJ Law to speak to a real estate lawyer.

Written By

Todd Ji, real estate lawyer

Todd Ji

Published On

July 21, 2023


Buying a home is one of the most significant financial decisions that most people will ever make. Therefore, it's crucial to ensure that the process runs smoothly and that your interests are fully protected. A critical part of achieving this is hiring a real estate lawyer. In Ontario, a real estate lawyer is a valuable asset that can help you navigate the legal complexities of real estate transactions. Let's explore the reasons why homebuyers need a real estate lawyer and the critical role they play in the home-buying process.

What Exactly Do Real Estate Lawyers Do?

A real estate lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in property law. They offer guidance on all legal aspects of buying, selling, and owning a property. Some of their primary responsibilities include reviewing real estate contracts, conducting a title search, ensuring the transfer of funds, and guiding you through the closing process.

A real estate lawyer will protect your rights and ensure you're fully aware of any legal implications or potential pitfalls before you finalize your purchase. This means they will inform you of any restrictions, liens, or legal obligations associated with the property.

Why a Real Estate Lawyer is Not Optional

In Ontario, it's actually not optional to have a real estate lawyer when buying a home. The law requires that only a licensed lawyer in Ontario can register the deed to a new property. Thus, without a lawyer, the transaction can't be legally finalized.

Beyond this requirement, a real estate lawyer also provides valuable legal advice, helping you avoid potentially costly mistakes and ensuring a smooth transaction. Their vast knowledge and experience can help identify issues that can be easily overlooked by the untrained eye.

Title Insurance

Title insurance is a policy that protects the buyer and lender from losses related to the property's title or ownership. A real estate lawyer can help you understand the terms and conditions of your title insurance policy, ensuring that you are adequately covered.

They can also assist in resolving any title issues that might arise, such as previous liens, ownership disputes, or fraud. Without a real estate lawyer, you may end up purchasing a property with an unclear title, leading to future legal battles.

Closing the Transaction

One of the essential roles of a real estate lawyer is facilitating the closing process. This includes confirming all contracts are correctly finalized, coordinating with the seller's lawyer, ensuring property taxes are paid up to date, and facilitating the transfer of funds.

They also ensure that the deed to the property is correctly registered under your name. Without a lawyer, navigating these final steps can be overwhelming and risky.

Valid Title

When you buy a property, you need to be certain you're getting a valid title - meaning that you'll be the lawful owner. A real estate lawyer will conduct a title search to ensure there are no liens, encumbrances, or other issues that could prevent you from obtaining a clear title.

In addition, they can help you understand any easements or restrictions on the property. For instance, if there's a utility easement, you'd need to know how it affects your use of the property.

Checking Property Taxes are up to Date

A real estate lawyer will also ensure that all property taxes are paid up to date before the transaction closes. Unpaid property taxes can become a lien on the property, which can lead to complications and additional costs for the buyer. Therefore, ensuring that these taxes are fully paid is a vital step in the home-buying process.

Exchange Legal Documents and Keys with Seller

A real estate lawyer will facilitate the exchange of legal documents and keys between the buyer and the seller. They ensure that all contracts are duly signed, and all conditions are met before the keys are handed over.

Review Agreement of Purchase and Sale (OREA Form 100)

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) Form 100 is a standard form used in Ontario for residential real estate transactions. A real estate lawyer can review this form to ensure all terms and conditions are in your best interest. They can explain any legal jargon and ensure you understand the implications of what you're signing.

Negotiating Terms and Conditions

Real estate lawyers also play a vital role in negotiating terms and conditions of the sale. They can help you negotiate price, contingencies, and other crucial details. They also ensure that your interests are protected during these negotiations, which can save you money and avoid potential issues down the line.

Complications with Joint Tenancy

Joint tenancy can be complex, especially when it comes to issues like the right of survivorship. A real estate lawyer can provide you with legal advice regarding joint tenancy, ensuring you fully understand the implications and potential legal complications.

Real Estate Lawyer Costs

While hiring a real estate lawyer will incur costs, it is an investment worth making. The total cost of a real estate lawyer in Ontario typically ranges between $1000to $1500, plus disbursements and taxes. This price varies depending on the complexity of the transaction. Considering the high value of real estate purchases and the potential for costly legal issues, the price of hiring a lawyer is a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Contact TDJ Law for a Free Quote from a Real Estate Lawyer for Your Real Estate Transactions

At TDJ Law, we specialize in real estate transactions in Ontario. Our team of experienced real estate lawyers can guide you through the home buying process, ensuring your interests are protected every step of the way. We offer competitive rates and exceptional service. Contact us todayfor a free quote and let us help make your home buying process as smooth and straightforward as possible.