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At Right Legal, we make finding the right real estate lawyer hassle-free. Here’s how:
Once you’ve completed a quick survey on our site, we’ll determine which leading lawyers match your criteria. Then, when we’ve put together a short list of Edmonton lawyers that are ready to help, you can choose the lawyer you wish.
We search, interview, and carry out background checks to guarantee you receive offers from the very best lawyers available. That way, you can feel confident that you have the right legal counsel for your needs.
A Brief Guide to Real Estate Law and Edmonton Real Estate Lawyers
Real estate, realty, or property is most commonly associated with land and the buildings come with it. Real estate law covers who owns the property and who may use it.
Investment in real estate typically amounts to the most important asset an individual or a company can have, especially when it comes to residential property. For these reasons, the laws surrounding real estate can be complex, with different areas that overlap one another.
What is Real Estate or Property?
Real estate can be divided into two categories: residential (private housing) or commercial (for businesses). Both refer to the buying and selling of land and any buildings on it, including any crops, minerals, antiquities or natural deposits.
It also covers the rights that come with land ownership, such as the right to have access to it (or the airspace above it), to mine it, to fish it, and so on. In some legal contexts, the terms real estate and property are interchanged depending on the case and different areas of the law. Any article that is movable or can can be taken with you (portable) is considered a possession, and does not fall under real estate law, though these articles can be included in the sale.
How Does Real Estate Law Work?
It is common for an intermediary like an agency or brokerage to handle the negotiations and sale of a property, while real estate lawyers make sure that the sale is legal and oversee its documentation, such as preparing the purchase agreements, mortgage documents, title documents and transfer documents. Real estate lawyers also handle any property conflicts or disputes and help both sides come to a resolution. If you own a houseboat, boathouse, RV, or mobile home, laws may apply differently, so it’s best to get the advice of a legal representative who is familiar with these more specific cases.
What can an Edmonton Real Estate Lawyer Do?
To better explain the role of a real estate lawyer, here is a short list of frequently asked questions about real estate law in Alberta. Since real estate law and its terms can be confusing, we encourage you to consult with an experienced real estate lawyer in Edmonton before going forward with any residential or commercial property transactions.
Right Legal can help you find the right Edmonton lawyer whether you are buying or selling a home, house, property or condo for the first time, or have been a part of many real estate transactions in Edmonton or Alberta. Get started by contacting us today.
Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Real Estate Lawyers in Edmonton
Q: When should I get legal advice with the purchase or sale of a home?
A: You should speak to a property lawyer before you make any offer to purchase. An offer to purchase is a contract and without the benefit of legal advice, you may unknowingly agree to terms that are not in your best interest. Your property lawyer will know what needs to be reviewed before you sign any documents.
Here are some key points to consider:
- Name of purchaser should include the name or nominee in case the lender (bank) requires another person to qualify for the loan.
- If the title to the property is subject to any limitations, such as easements, restrictive covenants, and encumbrances like mortgages or builder’s liens.
- If the property has been inspected by a qualified building inspector.
- If you have the necessary mortgage financing.
- How much property taxes are
- Ensuring that the seller is giving you a current Real Property Report.
Q: What is a mortgage?
A: When a conventional bank or mortgage company lends you money to buy a home, you are required to sign documents that are registered on the title to your home promising to repay it. In that agreement, you are called the “mortgagor” (the borrower in a mortgage, typically a homeowner,) and the lender is called the “mortgagee”. If you fail to pay your mortgage, your home will be repossessed by the mortgage holder to repay the loan and, in some cases, judicial action could be taken against you. Since there are many types of mortgages, it is important to get legal advice before making any decision.
Q: Can the buyer and seller use the same real estate lawyer?
Typically, yes. Discuss this option with the lawyer you select from our service. This may reduce legal costs but all parties, including the lawyer, must agree to it in advance to make sure there is no conflict of interest, nor can there be any disputes involving the property. If that is the case, each party must get separate legal counsel.
Q: What do I need to sell my property?
A: Once you have chosen a qualified realtor, be sure to have a current Real Property Report (RPR). If your report is old but your property has been maintained and there are no major physical changes since having made the Real Property Report (RPR), it is better to have a current report before any sale. If you do not have a Real Property Report and do not wish to pay for one, then the buyer must agree to Title Insurance instead. Check with City of Edmonton for the cost of getting a RPR report, along with its compliance certificate. This process could take days to a few weeks depending on the certified Alberta Land Surveyor. The cost of Title Insurance is a little bit less expensive as it is based on the size of the mortgage registered against your property.
Q: Can I put conditions on an offer to purchase?
Yes, you are entitled to put conditions on the sale. You could indicate that you are only willing to sell if one or more of the following conditions are met:
•Selling your existing home first.
•Getting your lawyer to approve the terms of the offer.
•Negotiating based on the Building Inspection Report.
•Getting bank approval of your financing.
•Seller removing any debris or physical structures before possession.
Q: What is a restrictive covenant?
A: The developer of the land has the right to restrict how the owner uses the land, the size of house, type of exterior finishing, landscaping, etc. This is to ensure the uniformity of a particular development and its property values. A real estate lawyer can explain how this could affect your purchase and the property.
Q: What is an easement?
A: This gives an individual. agency, or corporation the right or privilege to a limited use of the lands that belong to someone else. For example, homeowners grant easements to provide a limited right of access to install utilities and services, such as water, power, or cable lines.
Q: What is an encumbrance?
A: It is a financial cost against the property that needs to be paid. It may be a mortgage, lien, and also include other restrictions such as an easement or a covenant.
Q: How are legal fees for real estate legal services calculated?
A: There is a wide variance in the fees charged by law offices in Edmonton who offer legal services for property transactions. As a rule, your real estate lawyer should give you a complete review of legal fees in writing before, along with any other fees and charges, including payments to a third party, such as Land Title Office Registration (disbursements) and GST.
Q: Besides legal fees, what other fees apply when you buy a home?
A: There is no fixed schedule in real estate and costs can change depending on the market. It is not mandatory to order a building inspection, though it is highly recommended and well worth the additional fee for your security and that of the buyer/seller. An Edmonton real estate lawyer can recommend a building inspector to you, one of the many services they oversee in the process. Here are some other fees that may apply:
•Appraisal fees (if requested by your bank or mortgage)
•Building Inspection fee
•Fee for a Real Property Report
•Registration fees issued by your local Land Titles Office
•Adjustment for taxes (depending on the date of purchase)
•GST if you are purchasing a new home (GST does not apply to previously owned properties.)
•Fees related to the acquisition of a new mortgage
•Interest charges (Applicable if there is a delay between getting your mortgage and needing to make a payment.)
Q: Who pays the real estate agent’s commission?
A: The seller pays the commission.
Q: When do I expect to get payment of a sale?
A: This may vary, but it can be the same day as closing, if possible. The time frame varies, depending on the seller, municipal offices, the real estate agent or broker, and the lawyer handling your real estate transaction. It’s in your best interest to be involved in every step of the process with written documentation of services, reports, conditions, or contracts before any financial exchanges are made.
Q: If I am selling a property in Edmonton, when do I need to meet with my lawyer?
A: A real estate lawyer can complete a sale within 10 days before the Completion or Closing Date.
Q: Within the province of Alberta, what needs to be included in a purchase offer?
1 – Names of the vendor (seller) and the purchaser (buyer)
2 – Legal and municipal title of the property
3 – Purchase price (including any articles in the sale, such as drapes, appliances, structures, etc.)
4 – Disclosures of warranty information or the state of repair of the property (warranties about land use, and property conditions related to the sale, such as obtaining an acceptable Building Inspection Report)
5 – Any time limits or requirements (how much time the vendor will have to accept the offer, or a time-limited closing sale)
6 – Insurance information (renewals, payments, costs and current payees)
7 – Guidelines in case one or both parties pull out of the transaction
8 – Arrangement to get the signatures of the vendor and purchaser, their witnesses, and real estate agent
9 – GST and any other taxes
Q: Is there more than one way to register ownership?
A: Yes. The most typical approach is to register the title to a home as “joint tenants.” This way, if one tenant dies, the other inherits the property. A joint tenant can not leave the property to another person in the will. The other common approach is “tenants in common.” In this case, each tenant owns an equal interest in the property and has equal rights to occupy the entire property. Either tenant can pass on his or her own interest in the land by selling it or leaving it to someone in a will.
Know all the options available by consulting your lawyer before making any decision.
Q: What happens when someone has Dower rights?
A: Under the Alberta provincial statute called the Dower Act, a widowed spouse is granted the right to occupy the matrimonial property or use any of its contents during his or her lifetime. It was created to prevent a spouse from selling the matrimonial home (or homestead in the case of a farming couple) without the consent of the other spouse.
For more information on your case, whether you are buying or selling a home, or property for the first time or have completed many real estate transactions in Edmonton or Alberta, contact Right Legal for the best selection of Edmonton real estate lawyers now.
Finding A Real Estate Lawyer in Edmonton
To make sure the legal part of your transaction goes smoothly, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when selecting a real estate lawyer in Edmonton.
Here are some tips:
1. Specializes in Real Estate
Work with a lawyer that specializes in Edmonton real estate law.
2. Go Local
Real estate laws fall under the Province, but regulations tend to be local. You should consider getting a lawyer in the area if you are selling or buying.
3. Comfort Level
Get a lawyer that you feel comfortable enough with to speak openly about your goals and concerns.
4. Know Your Goal
Communicate your goal clearly to your lawyer, then he/she can represent you to the best of their ability. If you’re not sure what to do, or have trouble making a decision, this can lengthen or complicate the process. When you know what you want, lawyers can then advise and help you to resolve any issues that come up along the way.
If you’d like more information on Edmonton real estate and how it works, take a look at the Edmonton Real Estate Board.
For more information on property law see the Canadian Real Estate Law Website.
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