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A lawyer’s role in your dream home purchase

Let’s set the scene.

You have been fantasizing about your dream home for a few months now. You have been checking realtor.ca daily, have created half a dozen “dream home” Pinterest boards, and have saved any spare coins you find in your jeans to put towards your down payment.

You have been pre-approved for your mortgage, your real estate agent has helped you prepare and sign an Agreement of Purchase and Sale, and (cue the drum roll) your offer was accepted! Things are feeling very real.

You are a perfect mix of excited and nervous when your agent tells you that you now need to get in touch with a lawyer. “A lawyer? Wait a second, my dream home fantasy includes a lawyer? Why?” (a few possible questions you may be asking yourself).

My question in return: “do you want the short or the long answer?”

Short Answer: Yes! Your dream home fantasy does in fact involve a lawyer — two to be precise. One for the seller and one for you as the buyer.

Why? On top of many other things (see long answer), a lawyer is the only professional who can actually turn your dream home fantasy into a reality by completing the transaction through the registration of title in your name. Lawyers are the only professionals who have the authority to do this.

Long Answer: There are so many things that a lawyer does in assisting you to fulfill your dream home fantasy which are done behind the scenes — this “long answer” is by no means an exhaustive list.

To start, if asked, your lawyer will review the Agreement of Purchase and Sale and provide you with advice. Once the agreement is finalized, your lawyer will open a file and diarize all important deadlines. Your lawyer will complete several searches relating to the property including a Title Search, Property Tax Search, and Zoning Searches (to name a few) and will carefully review these to ensure there are no outstanding issues or problems when you take ownership. If there are any issues, your lawyer will be able to navigate these. They will communicate with the seller’s lawyer requiring any issues to be addressed and resolved before you close your transaction.

When it comes to funding your dream home, your lawyer will receive and review mortgage instructions from your lender and will take all the necessary steps to prepare the mortgage documents. They will then meet with you to review and sign them and on the closing date will arrange to receive these funds to complete your dream home purchase!

Shortly before closing day, you will meet with your lawyer to go over the many documents that were prepared in advance of your purchase, including statutory declarations, directions, authorizations and sworn affidavits. Don’t worry! Your lawyer will take you through each document to make sure you understand what you are signing.

Closing day is a busy and exciting day for everyone involved in your dream home fantasy — including your lawyer! As you prepare yourself for the excitement of your move, your lawyer will receive the mortgage funds from your lender, will compete all the necessary searches and will prepare and certify cheques to complete the transaction. Your lawyer will arrange to receive the keys from the seller’s lawyer, will register your mortgage and will complete the transfer of title naming you as the owner! Once title has been transferred to you, your lawyer will arrange to have the keys delivered to you. On the odd chance that the closing doesn’t go smoothly, your lawyer is there to represent and protect your interests and help find solutions to get the deal back on track. Your lawyer is there to make sure your dream home fantasy becomes reality.

So, let’s go back and re-set the scene.

You are a perfect mix of excited and nervous when your agent tells you that you should get in touch with a lawyer. “A lawyer? Of course! There’s enough room in this fantasy for one of those!”

The views expressed herein are solely those of the author and should not be attributed to Krawchenko Law. This article is presented for informational purpose only and does not constitute legal advice nor does it create a solicitor- client relationship between the author and the reader. If you are seeking specific advice, please contact Krawchenko Law for a personal consultation.

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