Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Click on any bar for more information. Should you have a question other than the ones below, please don’t hesitate to contact Peter B Mason.
If you are planning to purchase real estate, you may be familiar with the fact that a lawyer is required in such a transaction. Whether it is your first or one of many– there still may be confusion about a real estate lawyer does. Read on for Peter’s general breakdown of the intricacies of real estate law.
If you are purchasing real estate, your lawyer may:
- Arrange & view title search;
- Ensure conditions are satisfied;
- Deal with lender & handle funds;
- Conduct business with seller’s lawyer;
- Counsel & defer to you: the client.
If you are selling real estate, your lawyer may:
- Obtain & review parcel info;
- Receive & respond to requisitions;
- Acquire funds from buyers for encumbrances or mortgage;
- Conduct business with buyer’s lawyer;
- Counsel & defer to you: the client.
WHAT TO EXPECT
When reviewing your real estate purchase, your lawyer may mention or refer to any of the following:
- Mortgage insurance;
- Zoning issues;
- Work order searches;
- Title insurance;
- Land transfer tax;
- Registration fees;
- Property tax certificate;
- Title search;
- Tax arrears;
- Legal fees;
- And more.
If you have any questions about the terms above, please contact Peter B Mason now!
Title search: Retrieval of documents for property to outstanding issues and proof of ownership.
Retainer: The contract between lawyer and client outlining the services rendered, as well as the cost.
Mortgagee/mortgagor: Terms used to identify the lender and the borrower when taking out a mortgage.
Escrow closing: Function of lawyers so documents and funds can be received in a secure arrangement before the final closing of the sale.
Conditions: Parameters considered necessary prior to an offer becoming a solid agreement.
Often homebuyers in Canada avoid finding a real estate lawyer until it’s too late for them to assist you to their fullest potential. Consider the complexities and intricacies you may be overlooking before ink meets paper. While it is rational to save on costs where you can, legal fees mean there is a professional in your corner– you’ll be 100% confident that your interests are in good hands!
THE SALE AGREEMENT
When buying a house, the most vital document is the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. It establishes the varied terms and conditions connected to transaction. Obligations and rights are listed, as well as all conditions to qualify for final closing. DIYers may try to analyze the agreement without a lawyer, but inking a contract with professional counsel is usually a risk you cannot afford to take. A qualified real estate lawyer can negotiate with the buyer, handle funds in trust, make changes to the sale agreement and much more.
HOLD THE DOOR
Closing a deal means just what it sounds like– the door is closing on the seller’s opportunity to their ability to influence the transaction. If you are unprepared to handle the complications of the closure of a real estate deal, you may incur unnecessary costs that are far from affordable. Closing also creates a labyrinth of paperwork and filing requirements that can be intimidating to the uninitiated. Last minute disputes are also a major risk that can be soothed by a capable lawyer.
What can happen without an attorney? Besides more time and stress for you or your family, the following are common obstacles:
- Buying a property in blind faith can reveal expensive, hidden problems;
- You could be on the hook for unwarranted fees or costs;
- Your deal may be weighted to the buyer’s advantage;
- Structural or tax issues that can mean long-term expense.
Don’t get caught in a blind spot or an uncomfortable position– always hire a real estate lawyer when selling a property! Nominal fees are all you need to cover to avoid hemorrhaging money in the future. Contact Peter B Mason today for a full assessment of your real estate law needs. Our expert staff will take care of your best interests thanks to their years of experience.
It’s a common occurrence for Canadian home buyers to not bring in a real estate lawyer in until the deal is already done. But what about all of the stuff that happens before you sign on that dotted line? Although it’s reasonable to not want to spend extra money on legal fees, when it comes to having a real estate lawyer on your side protecting your interests, it’s money well spent.
THE PURCHASE AGREEMENT
The purchase agreement is the single most important document in the house buying transaction. This document outlines the different conditions and terms that are related to the sale of the home. It outlines the each person’s rights and obligations and sets out what must happen before the final closing of the sale. While it’s possible for you to read and interpret this document yourself, it is highly recommended that you have a lawyer look over this document BEFORE you sign anything. Your lawyer can explain the details of the form and make any changes and/or additions to best reflect your interests and desires. Your attorney will also be able to make sure the agreement adheres to all state laws.
The documents have been signed, the title search has been done, and you are one step away from owning a home. However, this last step can be a tricky one to navigate on your own. There are always closing costs associated with the sale of a home, and it’s useful to have an attorney to explain what they are and ensure that they are fair to both parties. Once the deed and mortgage papers are signed, your lawyer can ensure that these documents are appropriately executed and explained to both parties. In the event of any last minute disputes, a real estate lawyer will be capable of handling the situation and making sure your best interests are represented.
WHAT CAN HAPPEN WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY?
While hiring a real estate lawyer isn’t a legal requirement when buying a home, having one can save you both time and stress. The following are some of the scenarios people without a real estate lawyer sometimes find themselves in:
- Not knowing everything there is to know about the property you are buying
- Signing off on hidden costs associated with a new build project
- Entering into a deal that doesn’t have your best interests in mind;
- And many more scenarios that can end up costing you money.
Real estate documents are confusing. We can all admit that. Don’t handle one of the biggest purchases of your life alone. Heritage Law’s team of expert real estate lawyers are ready to help make sure you don’t lose any sleep over your next home purchase. Contact Peter B Mason today! Peter can providing the service you require when buying a house.
“So where is the Nota Republic anyway?” It sounds like a punchline to a bad joke, but notary publics are actually vital to the Canadian legal system. They provide an authentication service that dates back centuries, ensuring the signors of documents always have someone in their corner. Still, you may wonder what a notarized document really achieves– read on for more!
WHAT DOES ‘NOTARIZED’ MEAN?
A document that is notarized must be signed or sealed by an official known as a notary public. The person endorsing or signing their name to the document must appear before the notary public and provide adequate identification. Because government recognizes notary publics as trustworthy, their ability to notarize is used to confirm the reliability of your document.
Almost all lawyers practicing in good standing within Canada are approved to be notary publics. There are also non-lawyer notary publics, examples include but are not limited to copyright agents, large trade unions and senior government officials. Once certified by the Canadian government, a notary public “can legally administer an oath, affirmation or declaration… and can also verify that signatures, marks and copies of documents are true or genuine.”*
ADVANTAGES OF A NOTARIZED DOCUMENT
There are many reasons to have a document notarized:
- Deters fraud, such as forgery;
- Provides protection in legal matters, such as contract disputes;
- Fulfills mandatory requirements, as with deeds, powers of attorney, etc.;
- Removes need for witness to appear in court (self-authenticating);
- Elevates the pedigree and inherent value of the document.
As you can see, there is a wide range of reasons that you would get a document notarized– and there’s also more than one way to do it! If you are engaging in legal proceedings of any kind, signing important documents or even making major life decisions, you may want to consult with a notary public to see if you would benefit from their backing. Contact Peter B Mason today and your documents will be notarized before you can say, “Nota Republic!”
All lawyers practicing in Canada may identify as “barristers and solicitors”– yet some only practice under one title. Why is that? Read on for Heritage Law’s reference guide to help differentiate between the two categories.
WHAT IS A BARRISTER?
The word barrister originates from the “Bar” or traditional position of a counsel in the courtroom. Also known as a litigator or courtroom lawyer, a modern barrister may or may not spend a significant portion of their time in court. A barrister’s focus consists of the following: advocacy, preparing for hearings, attending examinations for discovery, drafting pleas. At any given time, a barrister may be found attending to administrative tribunals, mediations, arbitrations or court processes.
WHAT IS A SOLICITOR?
To solicit has roots in Latin meaning to agitate or to put in motion, but the modern term means to access or obtain something. In a legal sense, a solicitor works primarily with their clients to assist them with a wide range of matters. Some typical tasks are: filing securities prospectuses, applying to protect intellectual property rights, incorporating and maintaining companies, handling real estate transactions and even drafting wills and personal directives.
HOW ARE THEY SIMILAR?
Barristers and solicitors both:
- Negotiate on behalf of a client;
- Prepare legal opinions;
- Provide legal advice; and
- Meet with clients.
It is the context of the legal issue that makes the major difference.
If you are still unsure whether you need a barrister, a solicitor or both– contact Peter B Mason. Our professional staff will guide you the right advice and counsel for your specific situation.