Not all real estate agreements are created equal

A standard agreement prepared by your real estate agent will contain most of the necessary terms, but in special circumstances a real estate lawyer can help you get the additional terms and conditions you will also need. For example, suppose you want to build a pool in the backyard of the home you plan to buy. Zoning restrictions may not allow you to build the pool and a standard agreement may not allow you to get out of the deal you no longer want. See us first before you decide to sign a standard contract.

Save Money

A proper check of zoning and by-laws/review of your survey before you decide to build that extension will save you money and frustration down the line.

Avoid Surprises

The last thing you need just before closing is unanticipated costs. a real estate lawyer will review with you all costs associated with purchasing/selling or re-mortgaging your property including Land Transfer Tax, agent’s fees, title insurance, survey, legal and search costs.

Get Advice on the best way to hold title

If you are buying your home with someone else, who should be registered as owner? Even for married couples this should not be treated as something automatic. To protect your investment, get advice from us on the implication of bankruptcy law, family law, estates/inheritance law and other areas.

Get the Legalese explained to you

So many legal documents, especially purchase agreements, contain mumbo-jumbo which is hard to understand. Why take a chance? a real estate lawyer can explain the agreement to you in terms which you understand so you will know your rights and obligations.

Get Protection from Past Uses

Thousands of Canadian homes have been used as marijuana grow operations or drug labs. An offer to purchase is not complete without a warranty that the house or condominium has never been used for these illegal purposes. Some sellers leave the premises in a mess – have a clause requiring the home to be left in “broom-swept” condition by the seller (with a holdback if there’s non-compliance).

Convert to Land Titles

Many Toronto-area properties have not been converted to Ontario’s electronic land registration system because the powers-that-be in charge of the conversion to the land titles system view the historical title as defective. The non-conversion to the land titles system often leads to a dispute over the issue of how serious the defect is. a real estate lawyer can insert into purchase offers a clause that requires the title to be electronically registered in the land titles system before the purchasers will be required to close.

Get the facts on Taxes

Most offers say that the parties will not sue each other or the real estate agents for any change in assessment. Any clause releasing an agent from liability or negligence or misrepresentation does not protect the buyer or the seller. The clause should be deleted and replaced with a clause stating the precise amount of taxes for the current and previous years. A copy of the tax bill should be attached.

Home Warranty

If the home was built within the last seven years, a copy of the new home warranty should accompany the offer.

Approval by your lawyer

Agreements of purchase and sale should be made conditional on the approval of your lawyer, so you can adequately be protected.