BUYING OR SELLING REAL ESTATE
Don't be intimidated
It is important both from the standpoint of the substantial investment it represents, as well as in terms of the long-term satisfaction you will derive from investing in real estate. The process of investing in or selling real estate can appear to be very intimidating.
However, the long terms benefit of holding and owning real estate as a homeowner or investor are attractive and generally worth it. Whether you are a real estate investor looking to grow his or her portfolio, with the assistance of private investors, expert legal advice and the knowledge and experience of a team that speaks the same language as you - we are here to help.
If you are a first-time home buyer, there are programs available in Ontario to help you.
The terms “Offer” and “Agreement of Purchase and Sale” are essentially the same. The Agreement of Purchase and Sale, once signed by both parties, is a legally binding contract, which determines all aspects of the real estate transaction. It should clearly spell out all terms and should not be signed by either party until fully understood.
The pre-printed agreement includes a number of critical clauses, which you should familiarize yourself with before signing. One of the important clauses to include relates to the inspection of the property by a qualified professional. A minor expenditure for an inspection report can save you from potentially expensive surprises.
When do I need a lawyer?
Your real estate agent will normally prepare the agreement of purchase and sale. Although a skilled agent will generally produce a suitable agreement, you should feel free to contact a lawyer prior to signing it, if you have any questions or concerns. To ensure that you, or your agent, have instant access to legal advice regarding an offer, it is our policy to make every effort to be available to provide such advice.
Conclusion: Go For It!
The investment in or sale of a real estate can be both complex and far-reaching, with the results extending many years and dollars into the future. Our objective is to fully protect you and your investment, by providing thorough and professional legal services at a reasonable cost, while at the same time making the process a positive learning experience and giving you the confidence to make the right choices.
How much are the legal fees?Our fees are based on the complexity as well as the time expended on a transaction. After reviewing the offer, you will be provided with an estimate showing a projected range of fees. If the transaction proves to be straightforward, our fees will be at, or close to, the lower figure quoted. We will not exceed the upper limit of our estimate, even when the transaction turns out to be complicated and, as such, requires a greater than usual expenditure of time.
Must my will be witnessed and recorded?The law does not require that a will be witnessed. In Ontario, you can make a holograph will. This is a will in your own handwriting, signed by you and without witnesses. This “do-it-yourself” approach often creates serious problems. Nonetheless, a lawyer usually provides for 2 witnesses to prove the signature of the testator, when the will is offered for probate. A will is not recorded in Ontario during the lifetime of the maker. It is recorded (i.e. probated) only after death. This permits the maker to change or rewrite the will, as circumstances require, and to keep its terms confidential until probate. If you have real estate in another province or country, such as a vacation house, the law of that jurisdiction prevails. Requirements on witnesses may vary elsewhere. In Ontario, a gift to a person who witnesses the will is void.
Does a will increase probate fees?No. Just the opposite is true. It is possible for a well-drawn will to actually reduce expenses.
When should I make a will?You should make a will NOW – before it is too late!
What is a living will?A "living will" is also known as an advance care directive. This is a document used to communicate what you would want to happen if you can no longer communicate your treatment and personal care wishes. We cover this aspect off in your Power of Attorney for Personal Care document.
Fees & Costs
This information is based on Ontario law and does not constitute legal advice. It is intended to inform and not to advise and does not create a solicitor/client relationship. The statements above are general in nature. The individual facts in a given case may alter their application or involve other laws not referred to here. Any amounts referred to are subject to change.