FAQ's: Real Estate Transactions
Updated: Oct 18, 2022
We want to be the best real estate lawyers around - and we want to be a go-to resource for all your real estate legal needs. We're more than happy to take a call or answer an email. But sometimes you just have some basic questions you'd rather not have to call us about.
This FAQ article might be a good place to start. . . . see if your question is below. If not, call or email us today and we'll be sure to get right back to you. And of course check out our other blog posts as well.
QUESTION: HOW FAST CAN WE CLOSE YOUR DEAL?
We can close some deals very quickly -within a few days of receiving the unconditional Purchase Agreement and, if a purchase, the bank's mortgage instructions. Generally, transactions that have to close that quick would be treated as a 'Rush' deal and in some cases, additional fees may be involved. There are many other parties involved (other lawyer, Land Titles Office, Bank) that all impact how fast a deal can close - so we can't guarantee that the matter will close on the desired date. However,
we close every deal on time if it is at all possible to do so - and we are proud of our record in providing quality and timely services.
Generally, for a standard transaction, we would appreciate between 2 - 4 weeks heads-up. So a phone call, or better, the actual unconditional Purchase Contract and mortgage instructions, 2 - 4 weeks ahead of the actual closing (possession) date.
QUESTION: DO I REALLY NEED A LAWYER?
Well, in our very unbiased opinion . . . . yes! Here's why: all Real Estate transactions involve one party (usually the seller) blinking first (i.e. giving away legal title) and then waiting for the other party (usually the buyer) to come through on their end of the bargain (i.e. pay the purchase price).
Now all lawyer jokes aside, most people trust their lawyer more than a person they don't know. So lawyer's parachute in to help grease the wheels and allow the process to run smoothly - the seller is ok to give legal title away . . . . as long as their lawyer has made sure they are protected and are pretty much certain to get their money or at the very least title back. Lawyers help with that. On the other side, buyers and their lenders want to make sure that if they pay (or fund), they will actually get title and get it free and clear of the sellers mortgage and other encumbrances. Lawyers can help make that happen. For more details on this . . . . See blog our post about the Real Estate Purchase Process deal here.
QUESTION: DO I REALLY NEED A REALTOR?
Well, generally . . . . it sure can help! Here's why: Some people feel like they can do it all themselves - and that's fine! But most people require at least some help selling their home or finding a home to buy.
A signifcant value Realtors provide is in finding buyers or finding a suitable home (and then arranging for all the showings). But another valuable service is helping put together a clear and proper legal contract (the Real Estate Purchase Contract). And in our experience, putting together a legally binding and enforceable contract that covers all the things it should, is a cornerstone event. Without that, there is no deal. And as lawyers that get these deals after the contracts are signed and conditions removed, we sometimes have to pick up the pieces and spend significant time addressing issues that should have been properly dealt with in the contract. And that can actually turn into a costly endeavour.
Anyway - you can certainly try to do the deal yourself and we can help to some degree answer some basic questions along the way. But we recommend a good Realtor.
If you have any other questions let us know and we can add to this FAQ post.
This is not meant to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for your specific situation. You should contact one of our lawyers here at Richards + Company for further information and to discuss your particular facts and situation.
Darren L. Richards practices real estate and corporate/commercial law with Richards + Company in Edmonton, Alberta; he is consistently rated as one of the ‘three best real estate lawyers’ in Edmonton.