Buying a new home or business is an extremely exciting time, even for experienced buyers; but for first-time buyers it can be an overwhelmingly heady process. There are so many properties to see, and your real estate agent is taking diligent care of the offers and documents for sale. You want to make sure you buy the right place, and that is the focus of all your attention. But now that the Purchase Agreement is signed, what happens next? You need to hire a qualified, experienced real estate lawyer
to make the purchase happen, to “close” the transaction. Using a real estate lawyer may not spring to mind at the beginning, but you are going to need to have one. Under the new regime for real property ownership in Ontario, lawyers are the “gate-keepers” of the digital registration process. Both the buyer and the seller need a lawyer, and with only a few exceptions it cannot be the same lawyer.
What Does a Real Estate Lawyer Do?
If you are looking to buy or sell property in Ontario, you will inevitably need the services of a real estate lawyer
. Real estate agents can help you through the process of finding the right property for you, and they can help in the drafting of the Purchase Agreement; but only a real estate lawyer can close your deal for you. But there is much more a real estate lawyer can do for you, such as:
Title insurance is important as it covers any issues that can occur before and after you've bought a property. A lawyer can arrange property title insurance for you.
In the event of a foreclosure, you need to have legal representation. They can offer legal advice and provide you with the best options for your defence when you go to court. Also, if you buy a foreclosed property, there are a number of complex legal steps that must have been properly taken by the seller for the foreclosure to be legal. Your lawyer is there to explain everything and protect you.
There are complicated rules and regulations to be carefully followed during real estate transactions. Having an experienced real estate lawyer to help you with contracts, inspections and appraisals is of great benefit. They take care of all legal documents and explain the whole legal process of your property purchase.
There are circumstances where you may need a qualified real estate lawyer to represent you in court. These may include:
- Property taxes
Any paperwork that needs to be drafted for legal proceedings and settlement negotiations can be performed by your lawyer.
When you get ownership of your property a legal transfer takes place. Your lawyer will prepare a Statement of Adjustments and make all financial transactions. They will also have possession of the keys for your new place.
Legal Reasons Why You Should Use an Ontario Real Estate Lawyer
When you are looking to buy property, you need a professional that knows real estate law and can protect you from any issues that may occur during the process. Lawyers are licenced to provide legal advice and represent you when you are dealing with legal contracts. This is not the role of a real estate agent.
It’s easy to be confused by the difference between a legal question and a real estate question. Realtors can give information and supply answers about the properties you visit. They always know what they can and cannot say or do and are very careful not to provide you with any legal advice.
There are many situations where you need legal protection in the event a deal goes sour or you want to change the terms. You need to make sure you are covered from any loss and not in breach of your contract. Use a qualified real estate lawyer to protect and guide you.
What Information Do I Need to Provide my Real Estate Lawyer?
When you hire a real estate lawyer, they need to have all the information around the purchase of your home including:
- Name of lending institution Your lawyer will give your lender information on the property and ensure their mortgage is valid according to the mortgage contract.
- Agreement of purchase and sale You should send a copy of your purchasing contract to your lawyer as soon as you get it. They can review it with you and find anything not in your best interest.
- Property inspection report Any building inspection reports you have as a condition of the sale should be copied and sent to your lawyer.
- Your legal photo identification and date of birth Two pieces of photo identification and date of birth is needed for all purchasers. Your lawyer can be trusted with all your personal information.
- Purchase property’s address The address for the property as registered on the deed.
- Property title All names of people who will be on the title. This may be sole owner, joint ownership (which has the right of survival) or tenants in common (which has no right of survival).
- Property insurance Your lender will require insurance on the property as a condition of funding. This will need to be in place on the closing date.
- Closing funds Before closing you need to provide the lawyer with all funds needed to complete the sale. Your lawyer will give you an exact dollar amount for the amount including adjustments and fees.
Mortgage Financing Contract and Should I Use a Lawyer?
Buying a home is complex and you usually need to secure financing from a lender or bank. It’s a legal transaction that includes your financial institution. While getting a new mortgage involves you meeting with a bank and qualifying for a mortgage, your real estate lawyer will be in contact with them and make all the money transfers happen at time of closing. If you have any questions or concerns about your mortgage agreement, your lawyer can read it and help you understand the fine print as well as point out any clauses that may not be of benefit to you.
They handle preparing and registering the mortgage documents. These can be confusing for a buyer to understand so your lawyer can explain all the details. Having a lawyer to take care of all legal requirements including the mortgage arrangements is vital to a smooth transfer of property.
Reasons to Hire a Lawyer When Refinancing your Mortgage Financing Contract
When refinancing your mortgage there are several things to consider. While you may just be looking to lower your interest or change the length of your term, you want to hire an experienced lawyer to help you with this financial transaction. They can help you in several ways.
Help You Avoid Scams
There are some lenders out there that prey on people that need to refinance. They use different schemes to lock you into loans with hidden fees and unfavourable terms. Having a lawyer check out these contracts will ensure they don’t include unnecessary fees and costs and that the terms are reasonable.
Make The Process Simple
There are many moving parts in refinancing, and it can be overwhelming. Your lawyer can guide you through the process and explain all the details. They make it easy to understand so you are confident in your new mortgage. This is their language, and they can explain it to you in layman’s terms.
Protect Your Interests
You need someone who is in your corner. Hiring a professional real estate lawyer will make sure you are protected in this financial transaction. Mortgage refinancing can be complicated, but your lawyer is there to advise and represent you.
Top 5 Reasons to Refinance your Ontario Commercial Property
If you own a commercial property in Ontario, you should consider refinancing it. This is the process of paying off existing loans and taking out a new one. Here are 5 reasons why it could help you and your business.
- Consolidating Loans
You may have several properties with loans at different financial institutions with different terms. By combining them into one loan at one bank, this will simplify your payments and your paperwork. You are more likely to get better terms and reduced rates because they are getting all your business.
- Reducing Borrowing Costs
By refinancing you can usually get a better interest rate. This means more money in your pocket every month and over the entire term of the loan. Seek out other banks that have better rates. You can choose to take your business there or use this knowledge to negotiate lower interest rates at your current bank.
- Reducing Length of Loan
If you can shorten the length of your loan, you will save money on interest. This may result in higher payment but over the duration of the loan you will pay less.
- Recovering Equity
Another benefit of refinancing is pulling out equity from your property. This is a terrific way to get access to money that you may need for working capital or expansion.
- Stabilize Your Rate
Some loans have floating interest rates that change with the fluctuation in the economy. You can refinance with a new fixed rate loan and stabilize your payments.
Electronic Signing of Documents, Potential Repudiation & Solutions - Eastern Ontario
Ontario, along with Quebec, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island have similar laws allowing electronic signatures in real estate deals. With the COVID-19 pandemic, more businesses are looking for ways to continue business and with a workforce working remotely and implementing e-signatures is the safest way to continue.
There is a Guideline on Defining Authentication Requirements that can be applied to threats such as impersonation and repudiation. It’s a way to find the minimum assurance level to properly execute a transaction.
Digital Contractual Real-Estate Transactions
E-signatures are legally binding in the same manner as hand signed documents. In Ontario, real estate transactions may use electronic signatures.
E-video signature is a great tool and gives Veritasa Law a competitive advantage. The process uses enhanced security to capture identity and consent, increasing consumer protection and mitigating the risk of fraudulent behaviour. It supports remote electronic signature in a way that meets all the requirements of the governing legislation of Ontario.
Are E-Signatures Valid on Wills and Powers of Attorney - Ontario?
Ontario follows a national standard electronic signature (SES), enabling law firms to sign contracts, quotes, invoices, proposals, and most other documents electronically. There are exceptions where a document needs to be signed by hand and these include wills and powers of attorney. With our current COVID-19 crisis, these documents can now be e-signed so long as one of the two witnesses is a lawyer.
This is an exciting time in your life and a new beginning. Using a qualified real estate lawyer for your home or business purchase will help ease the process. Veritasa Law
in Ontario is here to help you in your next purchase. They diligently work with clients to inform and represent them during all legal activities. They supply personalized service and have over 93 years of experience on their team. They are the real estate lawyers you need to help you on your next home purchase or refinancing. Call us today for more information.