Residential Real Estate Lawyers in Calgary Guiding Clients Through The Legal Aspects of Buying and Selling a Home
For most people, a real estate purchase is the single biggest and most important financial transaction they will ever make in their lives. Buying and selling a residential property in Alberta is a major step that should be taken carefully, and a real estate lawyer can help you take care of all legal aspects involved in your transaction to ensure it goes smoothly and to reduce the risk of encountering problems down the road. The lawyers at JK Law provide an overview of ways a residential real estate lawyer can help protect the interests of buyers and sellers and explain why hiring a lawyer is such a critical step for both buyers and sellers.
What Does a Residential Real Estate Lawyer Do?
A residential real estate lawyer can help buyers and sellers review contracts, negotiate terms, and ensure that their legal rights are respected. They can also help buyers deal with potential issues with the property and assist with the negotiation of repairs. A lawyer can also provide assistance with other key elements of a real estate transaction, including making sure the property being sold has a clear title.
In addition, real estate lawyers can help buyers understand zoning laws, easements, and other factors that may affect their plans for the property and may cause legal issues later on. They can also provide advice and guidance on how to properly transfer property ownership and ensure that all relevant paperwork is in order. Finally, real estate lawyers provide legal representation in the event of a dispute between the buyer and the seller. They may also provide legal advice about property tax, insurance, and other issues related to property ownership.
How Does a Real Estate Lawyer Help a Buyer?
When representing the buyer in a real estate transaction, a real estate lawyer can play a crucial role in reviewing the Agreement of Purchase and other legal documents that are part of the transaction, ensuring the buyer fully understands all the terms and conditions of the agreement and counseling the buyer on whether the agreement terms are fair or need to be adjusted.
The lawyer can also conduct a thorough title search to ensure that the property has a clean title and that no claims exist against the property. Next, the lawyer can make arrangements to secure title insurance and verify that the buyer is receiving a valid title ahead of closing. It is also the lawyer’s role to verify that the property has all taxes up to date, inform the buyer of whether any land transfer taxes will be due, and participate in the closing process with the seller’s lawyer.
What Does a Real Estate Lawyer Do for a Seller?
Likewise, a seller’s lawyer also works to represent the best interests of their clients, helping them ensure a smooth property title transfer and dealing with mortgage payouts. In many cases, the seller’s lawyer is responsible for drafting the initial contract. If the seller is working with a real estate agent, the agent may sometimes create the initial draft of the contract, but only a lawyer is allowed to provide clients with legal advice on the contract terms and other legal aspects of the real estate transaction.
The lawyer plays a critical role in helping the seller conduct negotiations with the buyer when there is a disagreement concerning the transaction terms, such as the closing date or any problems uncovered during a home inspection. A lawyer also takes care of title issues by identifying any possible problems with the title before closing and assisting the seller with the process of fixing any identified problems. Finally, the seller’s lawyer may also participate in the process of closing the transaction with the buyer and completing the sale.
Can the Buyer and the Seller Be Represented by the Same Lawyer?
A common question among home buyers is whether the seller and the buyer can hire the same lawyer to represent both parties. While that is possible, it is often a risky move and generally not recommended.
A lawyer’s primary role is to look out for the best interests of their client. While everyone hopes their home purchase or sale will go smoothly, disputes can and often do occur. This could create a conflict of interest, as the lawyer cannot properly protect the interests of either party by working for both sides. Many lawyers try to avoid acting for more than one party in order to be able to fulfill their legal duty of competently serving their clients.
Why Do You Need a Lawyer to Buy or Sell a Home?
Besides helping buyers and sellers with the legal aspects of the entire real estate transaction, lawyers play a key role in the closing process of a home sale. One of the most important steps required for closing is to register the transfer of ownership of the property with the Alberta Land Titles Office – a task usually taken care of by a real estate lawyer. In Alberta, home buyers are required to have a lawyer when making a home purchase, especially if a mortgage is part of the process. Most importantly, a lawyer can protect the interests of their clients, help resolve any disputes, and represent their clients in court if necessary.
At JK Law, our team of skilled real estate lawyers can represent buyers, sellers, financial institutions, and other parties involved in a real estate transaction. Our lawyers have assisted countless clients in Calgary and surrounding areas, and we are here to help ensure your home-buying experience is seamless. Contact us today at 587-742-2136 to learn more.