Real Estate Law includes both residential and commercial real estate.
Residential Real Estate
Perhaps you're looking at buying your first home or moving into a new home. Whether upsizing, downsizing or simply taking advantage of low interest rates to jump into the real estate market, you will need a lawyer to guide you through the process.
You may have seen an Agreement of Purchase and Sale from a real estate agent. This agreement is crucial as it lays out what the parties are agreeing to. Everyone focuses on the sale price, but also important are the terms of the agreement. What is included with the sale? Sometimes it includes appliances, furniture, fixtures, chattels, to name a few. Interested in that beautiful piece of art? Make sure it's in the agreement and particularized. A lawyer can help you ensure the agreement is solid, although some buyers and sellers will go over the agreement with just their realtor. In addition, is the sale subject to securing suitable financing or performing a home inspection? Another point to consider is whether or not you qualify for Ontario's land transfer tax rebate, especially if you might be a first time home buyer. A lawyer can assist with more than reviewing agreements though. A lawyer also does property searches, uses Teranet and ensures there aren't any liens or encumbrances on the property. For such a big investment in life, you want to make sure you're getting a clean title to the property. Where the title isn't clean, certainly that would affect the value of what you are purchasing. An Ontario real estate lawyer can help you protect your biggest sale or purchase.
What about for mortgage refinancing or increasing a mortgage? Typically you will need a lawyer to assist with this as well, to ensure the mortgage is properly registered and where discharged, that it be reflected promptly in the title. It is also important to avoid real estate mortgage or refinancing scams. Sometimes scammers will ask for upfront fees or won't fully explain the costs. If you have a bad feeling about the party you're dealing with, take a step back. Consult a lawyer and ensure you are not a victim of a refinancing scam. Don't let market optimism and investment desire hurt your overall portfolio.
Title Insurance is another thing to consider. Is it needed and is it worthwhile? Title insurance is insurance on your biggest asset purchase. A lawyer can explain what risks title insurance insures you against. There are other ways for your to minimize your risk such as reviewing surveys, work orders, zoning violations, unpaid property taxes, for example.
If you are purchasing or selling a condominium, you will also want a lawyer with experience in this area as there are some differences compared to a sale of a house, such as different rules, regulations, reserve funds, budgets, and statutory obligations you must consider. A condominium lawyer can assist with this.
Commercial Real Estate
There is a lot of planning that goes into buying commercial property. Whether it is a retail store, warehouse, industrial building, office, plaza or land acquisition, you will want to consider all factors prior to making the decision on behalf of yourself or a company. First, you need to consider whether to lease or purchase. If you make the decision to purchase, you will want a lawyer to help you navigate the best long-term financing solution. Drafting commercial real estate agreements, navigating contractual disputes, negotiating with the other side, or dealing with lease agreements are the types of work Ontario real estate lawyers can help you with.
Ready to get started? Key Legal has Ontario Real Estate Lawyers ready to help you either through Zoom meetings or by telephone. You can either book an appointment or request a lawyer on-demand. Just use our booking page or our chat feature to get started!