A home is likely the most significant and expensive purchase a person will make in their lifetime. It is both a short-term decision for where to live, as well as a long-term decision for investment purposes. A home is more than just its purchase price – you must consider how much more you will need to spend in moving costs and renovations until it becomes, in essence, your dream home. You should also consider the value of the property and appreciation rate – if you decide to sell it later, will you earn a profit on your investment?
There’s a lot of money on the line, and this is why it is so important to ensure all your decisions and financial transactions are protected by a credible representative who understands and abides by the necessary rules. Real estate lawyers offer a multitude of services that aid their clients in purchasing or selling a home, taking the legal matters related to the purchase or sale completely off your hands. Because let’s face it – legal jargon can be a tough field to navigate, and making a mistake can be easy, yet costly. This particularly rings true if you are buying a home for the first time.
What does a real estate lawyer do?
Real estate lawyers can serve a number of purposes for their clients, whether they . This includes reviewing all legal documents, including the Agreement of Purchase or Agreement of Sale and, in the case of a condo purchase, the Status Certificate. Real estate lawyers ensure property taxes are up-to-date and no claims are listed against the property. They also confirm if there is a valid title and calculate the land transfer tax that is due upon closing.
How much do real estate lawyers cost and how are they paid?
Some people may be under the assumption that using a real estate lawyer will lead to unnecessary additional expenses when it comes to buying or selling their home. However, having the ongoing help of a professional advisor who understands the ins and outs of real estate legalities can save you both time and money.
The costs associated with real estate lawyers are considerably reasonable, but also depend on whether you’re buying or selling the home, as well as the complexity of the transaction. These services in big city areas will usually run up to $2,000, but could also be as low as $700. Additional costs sit in the range of $300 to $800 for lawyers registering a mortgage on behalf of their clients. Hiring a real estate lawyer can often be more expensive when selling a home since there is more work to conduct.
Can I buy a property without a real estate lawyer?
The real estate market can have its ups and downs, but if there’s one thing that stays consistent when buying or selling a home, it’s the significant amount of paperwork involved before you can just exchange keys and addresses. The added cost of utilizing a lawyer might deter some people from doing so. But it is arguably crucial to have the expert advice and guidance of various professionals in your corner to ensure this exchange goes as smoothly as possible.
For what ends up being only a small fraction of the amount clients spend on buying a home, a real estate lawyer is often necessary and worthwhile. Going without one could ultimately result in much greater costs—both financially and figuratively.
As mentioned before, a home is most likely the largest investment you will ever make. Protect yourself from being held legally responsible for the mistakes of owners past. You won’t regret it.
This post has been updated.