Purchasing a home is an expensive and often emotionally-charged endeavour. Given the high stakes, you want to be sure you are making the right decision. While your real estate agent can provide you with much of the information you need to make such a decision, it is important to realize that he or she is not qualified to advise you about legal issues. It is important to consult with an experienced real estate lawyer who can ensure you have a clear understanding of the legal issues surrounding your home purchase and ensure that your interests are protected throughout the process.

We at Sattar Law Firm recognize that buying a home is an extremely important life event, and we want to help you make the best decision possible. Mohsin Sattar takes the time to thoroughly explain each step of the purchasing process to prospective homebuyers and make themselves available to answer all questions.

Consult a Lawyer Early in the Purchasing Process

Having an experienced real estate lawyer involved early in the purchasing process can prevent future problems by ensuring your interests are protected at every stage of the process.

Ideally, prospective homebuyers should contact a lawyer before signing an Agreement of Purchase and Sale. As the Agreement is a legal document, it is important that those signing it understand its legal implications. A real estate lawyer can explain these implications, ensure that the Agreement has been prepared properly and make any amendments necessary to ensure that the Agreement accurately reflects the parties’ intentions.

Your Real Estate Lawyer’s Role in the Purchasing Process

Your real estate lawyer prepares all of the documentation required to transfer ownership upon closing and arranges for the transfer of funds and keys.

However, a real estate lawyer’s role is not limited to issues surrounding closing. A real estate lawyer can also:

  • ensure that the homebuyer understands the purchase process and the legal issues and taxes and fees that accompany the purchase of a house;
  • review the Agreement of Purchase and Sale to make sure it satisfactorily addresses any potential legal issues that could arise;
  • amend the Agreement of Purchase and Sale if necessary;
  • determine whether any warranties apply to the property;
  • review disclosure provided by the seller and address any legal issues the disclosure raises;
  • arrange for the purchase of title insurance; and
  • ensure that property taxes have been paid;

A real estate lawyer can also help resolve any special issues that arise such as:

  • zoning issues;
  • whether any changes the buyer wishes to make to the property can be made lawfully;
  • what happens if the property contains substances such as asbestos or hazardous waste; and
  • what occurs to the down deposit if the closing does not take place?

Special Considerations when Purchasing a House from a Developer

The Agreement of Purchase and Sale involved in buying a house from a developer is generally very long and complex and is designed to be much more favourable to the developer than the purchaser. It is critically important that you have a lawyer review such an agreement before signing it. In addition to explaining the terms of the Agreement to you, your lawyer may be able to amend the agreement to protect your interests.

If you are unable to consult a lawyer before signing the Agreement, you may insert a clause stating that your acceptance is conditional upon your lawyer reviewing the Agreement and finding it satisfactory.

Special Considerations when Purchasing a Condominium

It is important to realize that purchasing a condominium is quite different from purchasing a house. For more information on this subject, please see our page on Condominium Purchases.

Contact Mohsin Sattar about your Home Purchase

To learn more about how Sattar Law Firm can protect your interests and help you make wise decisions when purchasing a home, contact Mohsin today!