Real Estate Lawyer
HART Legal is now offering real estate law services in Victoria and Vancouver BC. If you need to speak with a real estate lawyer, please call our firm at 1-844-695-2875 to book a 30 minute consultation. We have offices in Victoria, Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, and Toronto.
Below are some frequent questions that clients ask our Vancouver real estate lawyers.
Question: Is a Realtor needed to buy or sell a home?
No. However, most Realtor fees are free for buyers. Many sellers save money by listing themselves online or by putting a for sale sign in front of their house with their own cell phone number. If your property is in a hot market, you can save large money by doing this.
However, regardless of whether you use a Realtor or not, you will need to hire a Real Estate lawyer to check title and review the purchase agreement. You also need to make sure you have the appropriate subject to’s in place in the purchase agreement. Before you make an offer with or without a Realtor, please contact your real estate lawyer or HART Legal.
Question: What are some standard conditions you should include in a real estate offer?
You want to make sure at the very least you include a subject to home inspection and financing (mortgage.) You can also include more advanced subject to’s, such as subject to approval of rezoning or the seller replacing the roof.
Question: What is a default on a mortgage?
There are a number of things that can cause a default in your mortgage agreement. Some of the more common are listed below:
- Selling a property without bank approval.
- Adding a different mortgage on a property
- Not having insurance on the property
- Destroying the property
- Not paying your taxes
Question: How do condos differ from a house?
In a condominium, each owner owns his or her own unit. However, they own the common elements of the building together. This may include the hallways, hot tub, fitness room, or lobby. Each owner is responsible for repairing and maintaining their own condominium.
When purchasing a condo there are a number of unique things your real estate lawyer should review. The buyer need to make sure that the strata (H.O.A in the USA) is in good financial condition and does not have any outstanding lawsuits or debts. If you buy into a strata that get’s hit with a massive bill, you may have to pay for part of it.
It is also important to make sure that the strata have a large reserve on cash in case they have a large expense come up. A condo buyers purchase agreement should be conditional on the buyer receiving this information and having enough time to review it. If the buyers real estate lawyer advices against closing the deal, the buyer should be able to back out of the deal and get their deposit back.
Question: Whose name should be on title?
Answer: It depends on the buyers. Lawyers have several options in setting out a title. You can split it up with one owner having 60% and the other investor having 40%. Most lawyers will recommend that marred or common-law couples own their home equally as joint tenants. HART Legal has family lawyers who you can discuss this with.
Sometimes, matrimonial property laws can override your decision on who holds title. Please contact HART Legal to discuss the best option. If your property is already in one person’s name and you want to switch it to a joint tenancy, please discuss with us first. The government might charge you an unexpected fee.
Question: What is title insurance?
You purchase legal ownership of a title for a property as a buyer. Title insurance is great for buyers who want advanced protection when buying real estate. However, they will pay a large upfront fee for this, which is often added to the mortgage. If you hire a real estate lawyer, title insurance may not be necessary.
Your real estate lawyer should be able to make sure there are no problems with the property, such as:
- Problems with the title
- Zoning problems
- Ownership issues
Question: What is the role of a lawyer in a real estate transaction?
Real estate lawyers protect you during the buying or selling a home process. Your real estate lawyer will also review the agreement of purchase and sale to make sure you understand what it all means. Most people make an offer on a home without consulting a lawyer, and then consult with a real estate lawyer before removing subjects.
After subjects are removed the real estate lawyer has many administrative tasks to perform. These may include:
- Checking the zoning
- Checking the survey of the property
- Making sure there are no unpaid taxes
- Checking for mortgages, liens, or easements registered against the land
- Transferring billing information with the utility companies and municipality
Here are some real estate terms that you should be aware of:
Mortgagee: The lender of mortgage money.
Mortgagor: The borrower.
Principal: The amount of money borrowed and still owing on a loan.
Title: The legal ownership in a property.
Vendor take back mortgage: The seller provides some of the financing.
Call Hart Legal and reach out to one of our Real Esate lawyers at 1-844-695-2875.