Real Estate 101: Buying a home.
Buying a home is exciting, whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a seasoned veteran you will need to work with a lawyer through the process.
The lawyers at Perren Blackett are part of a team that includes you, your Realtor, your Lender and our office. Usually your lawyer is not involved with the negotiation of the contract – although we can be if you want, especially if you are not using a Realtor.
When you’re ready to make an offer on a home you’ll likely be using an Alberta Real Estate Council published purchase contract. The document is used to negotiate a number of items, including:
What fixtures are included (and excluded – please be sure to itemize anything you wish to stay in the home, such as appliances, window coverings and any other furnishings or fixtures)
Key Dates – including possession date
Of course, there is much more to the purchase contract than the terms listed above, and it is very important that you read and understand the terms in their entirety. If you need help understanding and/or navigating the document, ask for help from your Realtor or our office.
It is a common Buyer’s condition to request a “lawyer’s review” of the purchase contract, which allows our office time to provide advice and answer your questions.
Once you’ve negotiated the terms of the contract, you will have a condition period to complete your due diligence – including such tasks as obtaining financing, a home inspection, reviewing condo docs (if any), and any other conditions negotiated into the contract. Remember many Lenders require an independent valuation or assessment of the property – be sure to build that time into your condition period. The condition period is the time for you to be sure that the home you’re purchasing is worth the value you’ve placed on the deal. It’s a very important time period.
During the condition period or once conditions are waived, you will likely be paying deposits to the Seller’s Realtor or to a law firm “in trust”. Pay attention to those deposit terms in the purchase contract, and the circumstances that may see you forfeiting those deposits to the Sellers – even if the deal does not ultimately close.
When you’re satisfied with the due diligence process and you’re ready to move forward with the deal, you will waive conditions. Congratulations, the deal is “firm” and now the lawyers get involved!
We will work with the Seller’s lawyer, your Realtor and your Lender to ensure the appropriate paperwork is provided to our office, and we’ll prepare your purchase documents.
When we’re ready, we’ll arrange a signing appointment and provide you with all the information and documents we need from you to finalize the deal – including the “cash to close” amount.
The cash to close is made up of a number of items, for example: any differential between your mortgage amount and the purchase price, adjustments for any property taxes, condo fees, and other assessments relating to the property ownership costs, disbursements relating to the purchase and our fees.
When you meet with us you will need to bring two pieces of ID, one of which must be government issued photo ID, your “cash to close” and likely evidence of insurance for the property. We’ll let you know if you need to bring anything else.
We’ll be meeting with you for about one hour to go over and sign all the mortgage documents, the statement of adjustments, the Real Property Report (if any), any Dower considerations, discuss property taxes and utilities, and answer any of your questions.
Usually, once you leave our office after the signing appointment, you’ve got a lot more work to do … packing!!!
On the day of closing or possession, assuming all goes well, our office will exchange all necessary documents with the Seller’s lawyer, provide purchase funds and take care of registering title of your new home in your name.
Of course, there is a lot to do when purchasing a home – on your end and on ours.
We’re here to help and happy to answer your question. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Disclaimer: the above is for information alone and should not be considered legal advice.