As an articling student beginning my legal career, I find myself at a time in my life where many of my friends and family members are buying their first homes. As I watch the process unfold for others, I witness the flurry of excitement that comes with buying a home, but also the stress associated with making this huge financial decision, especially in the current, competitive market.
A lawyer’s role in the home buying process is to help minimize this stress and ensure that the purchase goes as smooth as possible. Lawyers are available to walk you through the process from start to finish — reviewing the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, answering any questions you might have, and facilitating conversations between real estate agents, lenders, and the seller’s lawyer. However, there are a few key things that lawyers do that you might not know.
Complete Title Searches and Arrange for Title Insurance
While the introduction of title insurance changed the home buying process, it is still imperative that a lawyer complete a title search on the future property before you sign on the dotted line. This search will give you information regarding any potential defects on title and prepare you to deal with any issues with your lawyer before you purchase the property.
Lawyers work closely with title insurance companies and can provide you with all necessary information to assist you in making that purchase. The title insurer will often rely on your lawyer to provide them with an opinion as to the title of your future property.
Facilitating Financing and Working with Lenders
The buyer’s lawyer takes on a central role in facilitating the transaction among the other parties, including the lenders. One of the benefits of hiring a real estate lawyer is the confidence in knowing that someone else is handling the transaction behind the scenes. Your real estate lawyer will work with your lender to ensure that the money you need is in place when you need it.
Assisting with Closing
Closing day is an exciting day for the buyer — and it is also the day that you will need to rely the most on your real estate lawyer. On closing, your lawyer will ensure all the right documents are signed, proper financing is in place, transfer of funds between parties, register the transaction on title, and most importantly for you — give you the keys to your new home!
Buying a house is a huge investment, but it should not be a stressful and confusing process. You deserve to enjoy it as much as possible. The assistance of a real estate lawyer from the very start will give you the peace of mind you need so the only thing you will have to do is enjoy your new home!
Lauren Frijia has an undergraduate degree from Western University with a specialization in criminology, and she attended Western Law. She has worked as a research intern and volunteer with several local centres supporting abused women. Connect with Lauren on LinkedIn.
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