Purchasing a home is one of the most important and costly investments you’ll ever make. It’s in your best interest to ensure reputable experts are managing your transaction. Understanding the basics of the real estate purchase process can protect you from any potential legal issues. At Realty One Legal, we work together with clients to assist them in managing the legal steps along the way.

Here is some information that will help you when purchasing a home in Alberta.

The Role of a Real Estate Lawyer in a Purchase

A real estate lawyer’s job is to get the purchase transaction closed by the deadline, which is noon on the possession date. We correspond with all groups involved in the transaction, such as the seller’s lawyers, mortgage specialists, and real estate agents. When working for the buyer, real estate lawyers will:

  • Examine the title to ensure there are no unexpected registrations
  • Search and adjust for municipal or rural district taxes
  • Draft closing documents such as lending documents and any statutory declarations necessary to satisfy the bank’s conditions
  • Provide conveyance of funds and documents through trust conditions
  • Secure the release of the keys by forwarding the closing funds to the seller’s lawyer
  • Negotiate any holdbacks for missing documents or encroachment issues
  • Ensure registration by presenting transfer records to land titles
  • Report to you after the transaction is closed.

Be Available to Sign

We’ll be in touch to set an appointment to sign the closing documents roughly 10 days to a week before closing. Inform your real estate lawyer immediately if you intend to be out of town during this period. Alberta Land Titles Office requires original, non-electronic signatures on all documentation presented for registration. Virtual meetings can be arranged, but more lead time is required in order to courier documents from your signing location back to our office.

Insurance for Your Home

Proof of insurance for the full replacement value of the home is necessary in order for the lender to advance funds. Most lenders require complete replacement coverage. We will direct you as to how the insurance certificate must be registered.

What to Bring to the Signing Meeting

Each buyer of the home must provide two pieces of valid identification –at least one being a government-issued photo ID and one piece that is either a birth certificate, passport, social insurance card, or credit card.

You must also have the following:

  • Proof of home insurance
  • A bank draft for the cash difference amount –meaning, the difference between your deposit and the net mortgage amount, adjusted for taxes and condominium fees, if applicable
  • Payment for legal fees

We will provide you with the exact monetary amount for the bank draft before our meeting.

Possession Day

You will likely do a final “walk-through” of the property with your realtor before possession –either the night before or the morning of. The property and any goods to be included in the property (such as the stove and fridge) should be in the same condition as they were on the date you signed the real estate purchase contract, except for reasonable wear and tear.

If you notice anything missing or damaged during your walk-through, you should contact your lawyer immediately so it is possible to negotiate a solution with the seller’s lawyers prior to transferring the funds.

Get Assistance With Your Real Estate Needs

If you have recently entered into a real estate purchase contract, finding an experienced real estate lawyer to work with you is vital. You need the assurance of correct advice and excellent service. At Realty One Legal, we can assist you in buying a new home in Alberta. Contact us today for professional assistance with your real estate transaction needs.

Blog posts from Realty One Legal are for general information only. The content should not be considered legal advice. If you are in need of professional legal advice, please reach out to our Realty One Legal team/lawyers.

By Corrine Fiesel |
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