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Do I Need a Real Estate Lawyer to Buy a House in Canada? | Bernard Lau & Co.

Buying a house is one of the most significant and costly purchases you will ever make. Because buying a house is often a long-term investment that can cost you a considerable part of your savings, you may want to ensure that you consult the proper real estate professionals before you commit to anything. Besides a real estate agent, hiring a real estate lawyer is also recommended.

Hiring a real estate lawyer is more than just hiring someone to read the fine print: a real estate lawyer can help safeguard your rights and interests before you commit yourself to a significant transaction such as a home purchase or sale. In this article, we discuss why you should consider hiring a real estate lawyer before you make or accept a real estate offer to purchase or sell your home.

1. A lawyer can help safeguard your interests

Just like a real estate agent, a real estate lawyer can help you safeguard your rights while buying or selling a house, but in different ways. While a real estate agent can help you find your dream house and negotiate a good price, a lawyer is trained to give you legal advice and can spot or address legal issues that may arise that a real estate agent may not be trained to do. A real estate lawyer works for you during the real estate process, representing your interests, and negotiating legal terms on your behalf. Your lawyer can assist you in navigating the complexities of real estate transactions and can function as a safeguard. Just like real estate agents, lawyers are obligated to act in your best interests and can help to give you additional peace of mind as you take the next step toward homeownership.

2. A lawyer can increase transparency

Someone needs to read all the documents and comprehend their contents before you sign them and agree to their terms. Hiring a real estate lawyer to review your real estate agreements and documents and aid in negotiations from the start of your real estate transaction can help ensure transparency so that you know what the transaction entails. You may rely on your lawyer to explain complex legalese, advise you on your legal rights and obligations, and ensure that your needs are properly communicated, represented, and documented during this process before you sign on the dotted line.

3. Real estate lawyers have legal experience

Your real estate lawyer may have experience handling a variety of real estate transactions. They should have a breadth of knowledge in real estate transactions, and they should thoroughly understand real estate laws that may help identify pitfalls or other legal issues that you may not have considered. It’s highly recommended to have legal support to help you navigate the real estate transaction and to minimize your legal risks in your real estate transaction.

4. A lawyer can help protect you from financial loss

A real estate lawyer can help protect you against financial loss. For example, if the house is discovered to have severe problems, such as mold, a leaky roof, or even an oil tank in the yard, a sales contract without legal protection clauses addressing these problems can be quite costly for the buyer. Engaging a real estate lawyer can help protect you through their suggestions of various legal options that you can consider before you complete the transaction. A real estate lawyer may even help negotiate the inclusion of the terms of sale in the contract so that the buyer can be protected if problems are discovered. The earlier you act, the more options you may have to remedy these problems. As the Latin saying goes in real estate law, it’s a caveat emptor, or buyer beware.

Are you looking for a real estate lawyer in Richmond?

If you are looking for a real estate lawyer in Richmond, contact us at Bernard Lau and Co. Our team is ready to answer your questions, help you resolve real estate legal issues, and assist you in your next real estate transaction.

Call us today at +1.604.285.5240 or contact us at info@bernardlau.com

The content on this website is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Users of this website are advised to seek specific legal advice by contacting members of Bernard Lau and Co. (or their own legal counsel) regarding any specific legal issues. Bernard Lau and Co. does not warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information on this website and should not be relied upon as being proper, accurate, timely or fit for any particular individual’s own circumstances other than for educational purposes.
Accessing or using this website does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Although your use of the website may facilitate access to or communications with members of Bernard Lau and Co. via e-mail transmissions or otherwise via the website, receipt of any such communications or transmissions by any member of Bernard Lau and Co. does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Bernard Lau and Co. does not guarantee the security or confidentiality of any communications made by e-mail or otherwise through this website.

Real Estate Contract: Do I Need a Lawyer to Review It? | Bernard Lau Law

Real estate purchases are complex transactions that involve several steps. The purchase and sale agreement, or contract, is often the central document prepared for the sale. It outlines key terms, such as sale price, for both the buyer and seller. This document is legally binding and should be reviewed carefully before signing.

Given the risk involved in such a substantial investment, you may want to seek advice from a professional with knowledge of and experience in real estate. That’s where a real estate lawyer comes in. Without consulting a lawyer, you could, for example, make a deposit payment on your dream home and commit yourself to the property before you have taken legal steps in the contract to protect yourself. Remember, a contract is a negotiable document between the buyer and the seller, and you may want to be aware of legal options that you have available to you before you commit to the transaction. Real estate lawyers can help you reduce the risk of buyer’s remorse by advising you of certain terms that you may wish to be aware of or to include in the contract that can provide assurance to you even after the property completes and transfers to your name.

Here are some reasons to consult a real estate lawyer before signing your contractꓽ

A real estate lawyer protects your interests

The most important reason to get a lawyer to review your contract is that your legal advisor looks out for your interests. A lawyer can explain any legal ambiguities and intricate details which may be confusing. Understanding the contract will help you to advocate for better terms. A lawyer also ensures that the conditions are fair to you and help protect your investment. While a real estate agent can help you find your dream home, your real estate lawyer can help you view the home from a legal and more objective perspective.

Saving money

Real estate lawyers’ consultation fees are likely less expensive than the costs of negotiation and litigation if problems crop up after the completion. The cost of having your agreement reviewed beforehand is significantly lower than the time and expense that you may need to incur after you’ve already committed to purchasing the property.

Furthermore, real estate purchases typically involve large sums of money. Costly mistakes can arise if the transaction is not properly conducted. A lawyer helps ensure that the contract includes contingencies to help you to avoid these mistakes. These contingencies may include your right to inspection and appraisal, financing, or even a review of the property’s history and strata minutes.

Risk reduction

Having your real estate contract reviewed thoroughly before signing helps you identify possible risks and helps to prevent surprises later in the process. Real estate lawyers ensure that judgments on title or title defects are appropriately disclosed, helping to mitigate the risks involved. Your real estate lawyer may suggest certain steps to take in order to reduce the risk of existing issues such as the discovery of an oil tank, roof leakages, or anything significant which may impact the value and liveability of your property after the completion. Retaining a real estate lawyer to review your contract will help you understand what you’re getting with the purchase and may help reduce the risk of future litigation.

Peace of mind

Real estate is the largest investment many people make in their lives. Given the size of the investment, naturally, it can be a stressful process. Having someone who can review the paperwork and provide advice and guidance helps mitigate this stress. Although a real estate lawyer isn’t always required for a property purchase, it is beneficial to have a legal advisor to explain the legal complexities of the property transaction.

Buying or selling property in Vancouver

When buying or selling property, the benefits of having a good real estate lawyer are innumerable. If you are buying or selling property and seeking legal advice or an office to help with your conveyance transaction, contact Bernard Lau & Co. Our team of legal professionals will provide guidance and protect your interests. Our firm has a strong reputation for delivering high client value. Let us help you achieve your real estate dreams. Contact our office at (604) 285-5240 to schedule a consultation today.

The content on this website is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Users of this website are advised to seek specific legal advice by contacting members of Bernard Lau and Co. (or their own legal counsel) regarding any specific legal issues. Bernard Lau and Co. does not warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information on this website and should not be relied upon as being proper, accurate, timely or fit for any particular individual’s own circumstances other than for educational purposes.
Accessing or using this website does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Although your use of the website may facilitate access to or communications with members of Bernard Lau and Co. via e-mail transmissions or otherwise via the website, receipt of any such communications or transmissions by any member of Bernard Lau and Co. does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Bernard Lau and Co. does not guarantee the security or confidentiality of any communications made by e-mail or otherwise through this website.

The Role of a Conveyancing Lawyer | Bernard Lau and Co.

Buying a home is exciting; however, it is a complex process that can become very complicated if not done right. When preparing to purchase or sell a property, whether a house or a condominium, you should consider hiring a conveyancing lawyer. In real estate, conveyancing refers to the process of transferring property ownership from one owner to another.

Roles of a conveyancing lawyer

A conveyancing lawyer specializes in property purchase and sale transactions. They help to ensure that the process goes through legally and smoothly. There are four ways in which they can assist you:

Acting as a legal representative

One of a conveyancing lawyer’s roles is to act as a legal representative for the parties involved in the purchase or sale. They operate in the best interests of their clients and ensure due diligence is conducted on behalf of their clients. The due diligence process involves making the necessary checks such as reviewing a title search for liens, mortgages or other encumbrances and advising clients on how best to handle any issues arise that could affect the transaction, such as outstanding taxes, damage to the home, or liens on the property.

Giving legal advice

During a transaction such as a property purchase, lawyers can also provide legal advice specific to the client’s needs. The advice they provide helps buyers and sellers make informed decisions during the process. For example, it’s always a good idea for a lawyer to review and consult with you on your purchase and sale contract before signing off on it.

Preparing legal documents

Purchasing or selling a property is a complex transaction and requires the legal drafting of documents. Conveyancing lawyers prepare all the legal documents that are pertinent to the transfer of the property. They also compile all necessary records for the smooth transfer of ownership. These documents may include purchase and sale contracts, property transfer tax returns, property tax receipts and adjustments, title search, surveys, and renovation contracts. They also work with the counterparty’s representative to promptly register the required documents with the Land Title Office and ensure that sale proceeds are delivered, so that the closing process can proceed as planned.

Handling post-closing matters

Conveyancing lawyers can also sort out the property transfer matters and iron out the final details after completion. These details may include conducting a post-registration title search, paying the necessary strata arrears or holdbacks, and keeping track that the seller pays and discharges the remaining charges and mortgage on the property.

Benefits of hiring a conveyancing lawyer

1. Reducing stress
Although you can do your own research on the basics of buying or selling a property, some aspects may be confusing. Inexperience with such a complex process can cause stress, and a conveyancing lawyer is able to help by providing invaluable knowledge and expertise. Although some people prefer to transfer a property through private sale, the process usually still requires the preparation of legal documents and witnessing of document-signing by a lawyer or a notary public.

2. Simplifying the process
Conveyancing lawyers are familiar with the legalities of buying and selling property, which means they can navigate the process effectively. Experience allows them to complete the transactions and facilitate the transfer of ownership smoothly, making the interaction easier for both buyers and sellers.

3. Saving time and money
If you are unfamiliar with buying and selling property, you may find researching the legalities of property transfers cumbersome and confusing. You may also make costly mistakes. Conveyancing lawyers have accumulated expertise and knowledge to help buyers and sellers save both time and money.

4. Purchasing property in Metro Vancouver
If you’re looking for a real estate lawyer to help you with your property transaction, contact Bernard Lau and Co. We are a boutique firm specializing in real estate and conveyancing matters. Our experienced team is committed to providing clients with the best legal representation available.

We understand that legal issues may arise during the property-transfer process, and our team is equipped to handle these situations effectively. Our services include purchases and sales, title searches, mortgages and refinancing, title examinations, property lien removal, and real estate disputes and litigation.

Call us at 604-285-5240 or visit our website to schedule a consultation today. Let us help you achieve your dream of property ownership.

The content on this website is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Users of this website are advised to seek specific legal advice by contacting members of Bernard Lau and Co. (or their own legal counsel) regarding any specific legal issues. Bernard Lau and Co. does not warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information on this website and should not be relied upon as being proper, accurate, timely or fit for any particular individual’s own circumstances other than for educational purposes.
Accessing or using this website does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Although your use of the website may facilitate access to or communications with members of Bernard Lau and Co. via e-mail transmissions or otherwise via the website, receipt of any such communications or transmissions by any member of Bernard Lau and Co. does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Bernard Lau and Co. does not guarantee the security or confidentiality of any communications made by e-mail or otherwise through this website.

What Does It Mean to Notarize a Document? | Bernard Lau and Co. Law

Notarization is the process of verifying and witnessing the identity of an individual signing a document. This process helps ensure that a signature purporting to be from a particular person is authentic and can be trusted. A notary public oversees the proceedings, including verifying ID, confirming the signing party’s capacity and understanding of the document, and ultimately, witnessing the signing of documents. Remember, all lawyers are also notaries public, but not all lawyers offer notarization services.

There are various categories of documents that can be notarized, from personal planning documents to legal documentation.

Here is a shortlist of some documents that can be notarized:

  • Passport application documents
  • Travel letters for minors
  • ICBC or other insurance loss declarations
  • Execution or authentication of international documents
  • Sponsorship letters
  • Statutory declarations
  • Government application forms
  • Bank declaration forms

Copy certification

Certified copies are verified by a notary public that they are exact replicas of the original document. Almost any document can be certified-copied, including passports, marriage licenses, driver’s licenses, social security cards, birth certificates and medical records. The person in possession of the original document must present it to the notary, who will make a copy of it then place their stamp on it certifying it as a certified copy.

The process of notarization

The process of notarizing involves witnessing the signing of important documents, verifying the identity of the signers and their willingness to sign, their awareness of the contents of the documents and their ability to sign. Let’s take a look at the process.

Identity verification

All parties must have their identity verified by the notary. You must present an original piece of a government-issued photo ID and preferably an additional piece of ID.

Willingness of signers

Once the identity of all parties is verified, the notary public establishes each person’s willingness to sign the documents. On observing the signing of the documents, the notary public will look for any signs of pressure or undue influence. If the notary believes that one party is being forced to sign the presented documents, they will not sign off as witnesses.

Capability to decide and sign documents

Your notary public ensures that you understand what you are signing. In addition, your notary ensures you can confirm what you are signing.

Do you have documents to be notarized? At Bernard Lau & Co., we can assist you with the notarization of English and Chinese documents for use overseas or locally.

The content on this website is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Users of this website are advised to seek specific legal advice by contacting members of Bernard Lau and Co. (or their own legal counsel) regarding any specific legal issues. Bernard Lau and Co. does not warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information on this website and should not be relied upon as being proper, accurate, timely or fit for any particular individual’s own circumstances other than for educational purposes.
Accessing or using this website does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Although your use of the website may facilitate access to or communications with members of Bernard Lau and Co. via e-mail transmissions or otherwise via the website, receipt of any such communications or transmissions by any member of Bernard Lau and Co. does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Bernard Lau and Co. does not guarantee the security or confidentiality of any communications made by e-mail or otherwise through this website.

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Bernard Lau & Co. remains fully operational during the COVID-19 health emergency. Our commitment to providing excellent client service is still a priority. While you may be used to coming in to our office to drop off your information and to meet with us in person, we are recommending the following alternatives: phone calls or video conferences may be scheduled in lieu of face-to-face meetings, and your personal information can be emailed to us at your convenience. We are providing remote signing for conveyancing.Learn More