Buying, selling or leasing a property is a major event that you will want to have legal protection for. Whether it is a condo, house, or commercial property, our real estate lawyers serving Brampton and Mississauga can help make the process as smooth as possible. Some frequently asked questions about real estate law are provided here below.
A typical contract for the purchase and sale of a property will usually include:
- the identities of the buyer and seller;
- identification of the property being sold, often by a land parcel identification code (which typically appears on the land title), and by the property’s commonly known municipal address, if available;
- the purchase price of the property, and information about any existing mortgages, and whose responsibility it is to satisfy and discharge the mortgage(s);
- any conditions to the agreement, such as making acceptance of the agreement contingent upon financing or a satisfactory home inspection;
- any items included in the purchase price, aside from the land and dwelling house or physical building (e.g., appliances, electric fireplace);
- the state of repair of the property, such as “as is where is”;
- dates/deadlines, such as when the purchaser must confirm acceptance of the agreement when any stipulated repairs must be completed, the closing date and any possible shortening or extension of dates.
- signature lines or areas to initial for the vendor and purchaser, witnesses, and agents.
“As is”, in the real estate context, basically means the seller is not guaranteeing that the property is in perfect condition; it is the buyer’s responsibility to fully assess the property being sold and determine that it is satisfactory for his or her purposes, by conducting whatever searches or due diligence check necessary.
“Where is” refers to where the property is located, and that vendor will not assist the buyer in expenses associated with getting to the property or moving anything on or included with the property. For example, the vendor will not build a road to access forested land or supply a boat to access an island, nor be responsible for removal of any trees that might have fallen there.
Put together, “as is where is” is a common clause contained within real estate agreements that means the buyer takes the property at his or her own risk. Because of this clause, it is critical for a buyer to consult with a lawyer to conduct all due diligence necessary to ensure that the buyer will be satisfied with her or her purchase and to ensure that all encumbrances are brought to light and understood by the buyer.
Real estate transactions often involve an encumbrance, which entails limiting or restricting the land owner’s rights and often grants a non-owner certain rights to use of the land. Examples of encumbrances are an easement, encroachment or lien.
An easement is the right of a non-owner party to cross onto, over, or otherwise use the owner’s property in certain circumstances, or for a certain purpose. Examples include a road or path which goes through the property to allow another person access to his or her own property or allow a utility company to conduct work on the land as necessary.
An encroachment is when a neighbor puts up a structure (e.g., fence, shed or swimming pool) that crosses over or protrudes the property line or an established building setback line. You may wish to have this rectified with either relocation of the structure or compensation (e.g., a sale of that portion of land) first before closing the sale.
A lien is a different type of encumbrance altogether; it is a charge attached to the land title while the landowner is indebted to a creditor, such as a mortgage company. Certain types of encumbrances will be shown on the land title, which a digital record held by the Land Registry Office.
Your real estate lawyer in Brampton or Mississauga can oversee all legal aspects of a purchase or sale. He or she can draft, review and provide advice for the purchase, sale or lease of a condo unit, house, or commercial property. He or she can help you understand the implications of the terms of the contract before you sign it and help you negotiate to include or revise any terms that are unsatisfactory to you.
The lawyer will also assess the legal viability of using the property for the purpose you intend (e.g., reside in and operate a home business), any zoning changes that are proposed, and he or she can arrange for title insurance. Title insurance will protect you against financial loss from defects in title to the property.
A due diligence search will also be necessary to assess a property for existing encumbrances, structural issues, compliance with the by-laws, and potentially, any environmental issues on the property. Your lawyer will want to ensure you understand what is involved in the contract to help you avoid litigation with the other party to the contract in the event of a dispute.
The specifics of the property and your needs as well will be considered. For example, if it may be relevant, you lawyer will mention the federal government’s Home Buyers’ Plan to you. Also, your lawyer will want to discuss all the closing costs with you, including the land transfer tax applicable if you are the purchaser.
You can expect a set fee for the legal services and an appointment just before the closing date to sign all the documents and provide any payment due.
Connect With MAKs Law Firm for a Real Estate Lawyer in Mississauga or Brampton
A real estate lawyer at our firm can assist you with your real estate purchase, sale or lease and also arrange any mortgage with your financial institution. We can help you feel confident and prepare all the complex and time-consuming legal documents for you. Choose us each time for your real estate needs. Call today at 647-955-1681.