When selecting a lawyer to assist you with your real estate transaction, it is critical to choose a real estate lawyer with expertise. Experienced real estate attorneys will understand where problems with house sales tend to develop and will safeguard their clients' interests. It is also a good idea to have an experienced real estate lawyer evaluate an Agreement of Purchase and Sale before it becomes formal, since a lawyer will often identify possible difficulties that a beginner may overlook. You may consider inserting a term in a typical resale agreement stating that the deal is subject to your lawyer's evaluation, and for a pre-construction condo, you should have your lawyer evaluate the contract within the required ten-day cooling-off period.
In Ontario, closing a real estate deal would entail attorneys visiting a Land Registry Office (LRO) to complete title searches. On the completion date, both parties' attorneys would meet at the LRO to exchange papers and keys and record the transfer. Everything from title searches to land transactions is now handled using specialist software thanks to electronic registration. This software is only available to attorneys and law firms, and the conversion to electronic registration does not eliminate the necessity that a lawyer sign the land transfer.
The following are some of the activities that we as your estate lawyer will perform to guarantee a successful closing:
· Examine your Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS)to verify that you are appropriately protected.
· If you are purchasing a condo, your real estate lawyer will go through the status certificate, which provides information of the condo corporation's physical and financial stability.
· A title search to confirm that you are acquiring a "clean title" property (no liens, undischarged mortgages, etc. on title).
· Prepare a Requisition Letter for the seller's lawyer, in which you seek information and paperwork for the closing.
· Arrange for title insurance on your behalf.
· Provide your insurance binder/certificate to your lender and check that it complies with their criteria.
· Get mortgage instructions from your lender and follow them to obtain fund from the lender.
· Receive the seller's lawyer's Statement of Adjustments (SOA) and go through all adjustments and the due amount with him or her. The Statement of Adjustments details the agreed-upon purchase price, any deposits you made, and adjustments attributed to either the seller or you for items like property taxes and common costs.
· Transfer the sale proceeds to the seller's lawyer.