Legal Matters

Buying and selling a home is a complex legal transaction.

To ensure all your real estate agreements are in your best interest – personally, legally and financially – you will want to carefully select a lawyer and financing specialist to guide you through the process.

Use of Lawyers or Notaries

The purchase of real estate represents a major transaction in one’s life. The transfer of real estate, often accompanied by a mortgage, and the adjustment of the matters between the vendor and the purchaser involves a complex set of procedures. The property title and tax records must be reviewed to ensure that the purchaser does not inherit the vendor’s liabilities. Deposits, rebates, holdbacks, surveys, appraisals, mortgage proceeds and discharges, municipal taxes and utilities, property transfer tax, GST and vendor’s residency must all be accurately taken care of. To complete these tasks, one needs to have an expert on whom one can rely. Both lawyers and notaries have the expertise and are empowered to prepare and register real estate documents including transfers and mortgages.

In the area of practice involving changes to the title of real estate, notaries and lawyers perform the same tasks. The expected duty of care is exactly the same. Unlike lawyers, however, notaries do not represent their clients in court, nor do they handle lawsuits on behalf of their clients. Notaries are trained to handle non-contentious legal matters and specialize in drafting documents that define and protect one’s interest in real estate.

When you have made a commitment to purchase a home, make sure you explore the opportunity of having your transaction completed with your local lawyer.