Real Estate Lawyer
What are you really paying for in a Real Estate Lawyer?
A Real Estate Lawyer, and more to the point, real estate lawyer fees, are an unavoidable component of every new mortgage transaction. As a matter of fact, in Alberta, on a new home purchase one lender condition is the requirement to show that you have from 0.5% to 1.5% of the purchase price in place for home buying closing costs. You’ll need a real estate lawyer to facilitate this.
Real estate lawyer fees do vary though which is why it’s best to contact a real estate lawyer directly to understand the costs associated with their services. The role a real estate lawyer plays in your new home purchase is significant and this article will help you understand why.
Legal Fees and the Real Estate Lawyer
Just like everything in today’s world, not all lawyers are created equally. The onus is on you to investigate and educate yourself on your options.
The cost of legal fees may be at the top of your list however we caution you to look at other factors before choosing a real estate lawyer. Experience and the level of service you will receive are very important factors. You want the piece of mind knowing that all of the i’s are being dotted and the t’s crossed.
Another very important consideration is communication. Not only is it important but it should be easy and painless when dealing with your lawyer. Make a list of questions, let your fingers do the walking and you the talking. Once you’ve made your decision on the law firm you want to use to complete your mortgage transaction, be proactive and let them know! This will open the lines of communication and ensure you know what happens next.
Here’s what you can expect
The following will give you an idea of the process a real estate lawyer will complete with regards to the purchase of a new home.
- Receive and review Offer to Purchase
- Title search
- Request tax searches
- Receive mortgage instructions from lender
- Prepare mortgage documents
- Request and obtain title insurance when required
- Advise of amount of bank draft or certified cheque (closing costs and remaining down payment owing)
- Signing of documents
- Request mortgage funds to be in place for closing date
- Send funds to sellers lawyer
- Register mortgage and charge
- Report mortgage to lender
- Provide statement of adjustments
- Provide completed land title
Legal fees and land titles
Your lawyer is responsible to search the existing land title for issues. One common finding may be a lingering registered mortgage that may no longer be in existence but was never removed from title.
Once new mortgage documents have been signed and funds have changed hands then your lawyer will ensure the title is registered into your name.
Legal fees include tax search
Included in your legal fees is a search of property taxes. Your lawyer will investigate the status of the property tax account and calculate what is owed.
If property taxes are paid annually, then depending on the time of year you may owe the seller a portion of the annual taxes, or the seller may owe you. Your lawyer will advise you of the status and take care of reimbursing the seller for any portion of taxes already paid, or obtain a credit in your favor.
When taxes are paid monthly you are responsible to contact the tax department to have the tax account set up in your name.
Legal fees include service
In a nutshell, your law office should provide you with the confidence in knowing your transaction is completed with the utmost care.
From the preparation of mortgage documents, tax and title searches, property registration, requesting of funds to be transferred, statement of adjustments, and most importantly, ensuring you are comfortable proceeding with what will likely prove to be your largest transaction to date.
Take time in seeking your real estate lawyer and be sure you are confident in the service you are paying for. You deserve the best!