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  • Writer's pictureIan Boyd

Real Estate Lawyers... Basics for closing a deal!

Buying a home is one of the most significant and costly purchases. Therefore, always ensure that the transaction is handled by reputable professionals. Real estate lawyers assist realtors and their clients in completing a home purchase. The real estate lawyer offers a variety of services that will take care of the legal issues related to the purchase of your home. However, there are still real estate law basics one should know to make the transaction as stress-free as possible.

What Do Real Estate Lawyers Do?

Real estate lawyers do everything in their power to ensure that the transaction closes on time. Coordinating with all parties involved in the transaction; including real estate agents, mortgage specialist and the sellers’ lawyer.

When acting for the buyer, real estate lawyers:

  • prepare closing documents: transfers of land, tenancies at will, mortgages, and directions to pay;

  • meet with the client to sign all closing documents;

  • negotiate amendments to trust conditions with the seller’s lawyer;

  • forward closing funds to the seller’s lawyer to secure release of keys;

  • submit transfer documents to Land Titles for registration;

  • ensure the title to the home is in good standing;

  • provide reports to you two to three months after the transaction closes.

Insurance For The New Home

If the buyer has a mortgage, lenders requires proof of insurance prior to funding the mortgage. Almost all lenders need full replacement coverage. Sellers also require insurance to grant a Tenancy at Will also known as possession and occupancy. Delays in possession, and interest payments often happen due to the failure to purchase the required insurance.

Paying for Property Taxes?

Your real estate lawyer will calculate what taxes are owing and can advise on how frequently the seller was paying taxes on the property and the options available to the buyer. Depending on what time of the year a home is being purchased and how often the seller paid their taxes to the municipality, the buyer’s ability to register for the City of Calgary’s Tax Installment Payment Plan (the “TIPP Program”) may be impacted. Applying for the TIPP Program allows buyers to pay their property tax on a monthly basis instead of in one lump sum payment every June.

Real Estate Law Basics For The Possession Day

For most cases, possession date is when funds are transferred to the seller’s lawyer on the closing day or completion day at noon. The property should be in substantially the same condition as when the parties entered into the contract and was signed, unless the purchase contract was amended. In the event that major damages to the property occurred at the time of moving in, such as flooding, or missing or broken appliances contrary to what was agreed to in the purchase contract, contact your real estate lawyer as soon as possible. If you inform your real estate lawyer of any issues even a day or more after closing, they will have no leverage to negotiate with the seller’s lawyer.

Special thanks to:

Jacalyn L.Symonds, LL.B, BA Hons

Barrister and Solicitor


Main line: (403)225-8810

Direct line: (403)450-4376 (ext) 376

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