When Do You Need a Real Estate Lawyer?
An Agreement of Purchase and Sale is a legal document that outlines the rights and obligations of a Buyer and Seller in completing the real estate transaction. It sets out what must happen, and who must do what before closing. As such it is advantageous to have the Agreement of Purchase and Sale reviewed by a lawyer before it is signed. This will help to protect your best interests and prevent you from agreeing to something that is disadvantageous to you.
In most circumstances, when buying or selling a resale property, an Agreement of Purchase and Sale will be drafted by your Real Estate Agent and signed before you meet with Solicitor. Real Estate Agents are skilled professionals and have the necessary knowledge and experience to draft the Agreement of Purchase and Sale which will benefit your position, as long as you identify and communicate all the relevant facts pertaining to your situation or your property to your Agent. Because of this, the risk to you of not having the Agreement of Purchase and Sale reviewed by a lawyer prior to signing is minimized.
However, when buying a new home or condominium from the builder, the Agreement of Purchase and Sale is drafted by the builder’s lawyer with only the builder’s best interest in mind. It usually contains clauses relating to extra fees such as development charges, park levies, utility connection fees and others for which you will be responsible and which may be several thousands of dollars if not removed or capped by your lawyer.
If the Agreement of Purchase and Sale and any amendments to it have already been signed, it is important that it is reviewed by a lawyer while the offer is still conditional and before the deal becomes firm.