“I didn’t know I was supposed to do that!”
In our combined years as Real Estate Lawyers, the team at Integris Law has witnessed a fair number of clients come in unprepared not knowing what they should and should not do to make the process smooth and hassle-free.
The real estate industry can be loud and noisy. We can tell you as much: there’s a lot going on all at once. Yet, for all the information that’s available out there, homebuyers or home sellers still end up in a jumble.
The problems and issues that we’ve witnessed in the practice over the years mostly stem from clients lacking information. They could easily avoid unwanted anxiety and heartache by consulting their Attorney first.
If you are contemplating a sale or purchase any time soon, don’t worry, mate, we are right beside you! Below are some of the most important things you should remember as you begin your real estate journey.
- First, Get pre-approved.
Before anything else, arrange your financing. It will be an emotionally draining experience when you start visiting listings without knowing your price range. Getting pre-approval from your lender gives you the information you need to decide on a home. With this, a showing won’t just be about the fixtures and pretty decor, but it will also mean interest rates and payment terms. See above change
- Connect with your lawyers ASAP.
Some homebuyers make the grave mistake of getting a legal team very late into the game. Maybe it’s the irrational fear of lawyers, or the strong will to avoid the extra cost that’s stopping them. See above change
Without your lawyer from beginning to end, you won’t have the protection and foresight to make it a smooth and hassle-free experience.
When you bring in your lawyer into the process in the middle or near the end, we’ll spend more time troubleshooting and picking up the pieces. We’re definitely the team for making your headaches go away, but wouldn’t it be a better experience if your real estate journey was smooth sailing from beginning to end?
- Real Estate Lawyers Can Refer Real Estate Agents.
A friend of a friend’s sister’s cousin might sound like a bad idea. A smooth house hunting experience requires the most professional real estate agent on the job. The good news is real estate lawyers can connect you with the agents. We have worked with amazing professionals throughout Ontario who could be the perfect fit for your needs. Call us anytime for a referral.
- Review the Agreement of Purchase and Sale with your Lawyer.
We suggest you practice this rule of thumb: do not sign any document without your real estate lawyer reviewing the documents. Sometimes, in the excitement and urgency of events, you might be rushed into signing something. Know that signatures are binding, and you might enter a contract with serious consequences. Never feel pressured into signing something, we are always a phone call away.
An Agreement of Purchase and Sale lists the purchase price, amount to deposit, period of validity on the offer, and other important details. Without a lawyer by your side, there might be certain points that are missed when signing. It could be against your best interest.
- Remember Your Present and Future Needs.
When choosing the best house for you, know what you need, not only for today but for the future. While most items that we buy can be returned or simply swapped, we can’t do that with houses.
If you found yourself unhappy with your home choice, you would have to go through the whole real estate process (confusing). Listing, waiting, paying all the fees, taxes. You may end up paying mortgage penalties among others.
If you found a home that needed some extra expensive or extensive renovations, you may want to reconsider and continue looking (unless you are searching for a flip).
- Be Mindful of The Costs.
As a home buyer, paying for the house of your dreams isn’t the only cost involved. In real estate transactions, there are always additional costs. Prepare your finances for insurance fees, inspection fees, land transfer taxes, and more. Ask your lawyer if you are unsure.
- First Time Home Buyers Have Discounts.
To support first-time buyers, Canadians are qualified to claim special discount programs like land transfer tax rebates. There is also an option to use your RRSP money towards a down payment.
- Ensure Which Items Are Included In The Sale.
Imagine deciding on a certain house only to discover that all the light fixtures were not part of the purchase. Your Integris Law Lawyer can review your agreement and ensure that you get what was sold to you. During your viewing, make it a point to ask which fixtures and chattels are included in the purchase.
- A “Solicitor Condition” in the Agreement is Important.
One thing you should know by now: purchasing a home is a complicated process. Including a “Solicitor Condition” in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale informs the realtors and lenders that you are properly represented by lawyers.
- Real Estate Lawyers Protect You
At any moment, anything can fall through the cracks. Some details can go unnoticed. Before you know it, you’ve lost more than you should gain. Real estate law firms are built to be thorough and conscientious. That means every possible area of risk is minimized. It’s our job to go through every document, every agreement, title, or lien to make sure it is exactly what it needs to be. No surprises! Instead, you can enjoy peace of mind and security as you move into your new home.
As Brandon says: “The best real estate deals are boring, meaning there are no surprises after all the documents are reviewed.”
Purchasing your home is one of the biggest milestones of life. We want you to have the best experience without the hassle and headaches. Don’t sweat the hard stuff, that is our job.
If you’re in Ontario and are looking to buy or sell a home, connect with Diane Ulman or Brandon Lee at Integris Law:
Home sweet home begins here!