Real Estate Lawyer Fees in Ontario

Real Estate Lawyer Fees and How to Choose One in Ontario | Fivewalls

Sellers, Buyers
Last Updated: Jan 20, 2021

When you purchase a home, a real estate lawyer can help you save both time and money - as well as ensure the entire transaction goes smoothly.

This ultimate guide will help you understand what a real estate lawyer does and how you can choose one. 

How Can Real Estate Lawyers Help Home Buyers?

A Toronto real estate lawyer can be extremely beneficial when you are buying a home

Once you're ready to sign the offer to make the purchase, the lawyer will help you with everything from conducting a title search and obtaining title insurance to registering the home in your name. The lawyer will also develop a Statement of Adjustments and facilitate the financial transactions on the closing day. 

Hiring a lawyer when buying a house will also help you with the following:

  • Draw up and review all mortgage and legal documents 
  • Calculate land transfer taxes due at closing
  • Ensure that there are no claims against the property 
  • Exchange legal documents with the seller’s lawyer 
  • Get your keys at closing 

How Much are Real Estate Lawyer and Legal Fees?

So, what are the legal fees associated with purchasing or selling a home

It all depends on how complicated the transaction is - and the expertise of your real estate lawyer. Typically, there is a base fee that varies depending on the type of home, as well as a registration fee. 

A real estate lawyer in Toronto could cost anywhere from $700 to $2,000. Some may charge a flat fee for their services during the mortgage process, while others may charge an hourly rate for their assistance. 

It may also cost between $300 to $800 to register the mortgage on your behalf. 

Since there are additional contracts to draw up and more work to be done when you sell a home, a real estate lawyer may be more expensive in this scenario. 

Although you may view this as an additional expense, having ongoing, professional legal help with expertise in real estate can save you time and money in the long run. 

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Do You Need a Real Estate Lawyer When Buying a Home?

Do you really need a real estate lawyer? The short answer is yes!

Buying a home, selling a property, and refinancing a mortgage are some of the most significant transactions you will ever make in your lifetime. They can affect both your short-term and long-term goals, and a real estate lawyer can help ensure that everything goes smoothly. 

There is a lot of money on the line, and one of the worst things that could happen is that your legal documents are not in order, and something goes wrong. A reputable real estate lawyer will understand everything that is required to make your transaction is successful – and ensure that you abide by all relevant laws and regulations. 

Benefits of Real Estate Lawyers for Sellers 

You may be thinking that you only need a lawyer when you are buying a home but partnering with a real estate lawyer to sell your house is also important. 

They are responsible for drafting the deed that will be given to the buyer, preparing the Statement of Adjustments, and completing the remainder of the financial transaction. The biggest difference in this scenario is instead of handing you the keys at closing, they will be giving you the check for any additional funds left over after paying off the mortgage and fees. 

Here are some additional tasks that a lawyer can do when you sell your home: 

  • Remedy any title issues as they occur 
  • Help you negotiate terms and conditions 
  • Review the agreement of sale 

How Do Real Estate Lawyers Help with Refinancing?

A real estate lawyer can also be of use when you are refinancing your mortgage. They will do an additional title search to make sure that there are no defects so that both you and the lender are protected. 

Once this is completed, the lawyer will register the new mortgage, draft up all required legal documents, and facilitate the entire financial transaction.

Their role in a mortgage refinance is very similar to when you purchase a home, the only difference is that your transaction is only with the bank - not with another seller or buyer. 

How Can I find a Real Estate Lawyer in Toronto?

As you can see, it does not matter if you are buying, selling, or refinancing your home - working with a real estate lawyer can make all of the difference!

You should contact one as soon as you are ready to sign a purchase offer or agreement to sell. 

In other words, it is necessary to have your lawyer review any legal documents before you sign them, so you can avoid expensive fees related to breaking the contract later down the road. When you hire a lawyer to buy a house, they can also help you define the legal terms in plain English. This way, you can completely understand what you're getting yourself into. 

Working with the right real estate lawyer is just as essential as hiring one, to begin with. Here are a few things that you should look out for when choosing your attorney:

  • Be sure that they specialize in real estate 
  • Shop around for competitive fees 
  • Ask them about their experience with similar properties and situations 
  • They must be familiar with the area 

Since your real estate lawyer will be responsible for a significant portion of the transaction, don't be afraid to ask them about their references and experiences with other clients. They should have the skills necessary to prevent problems from arising and eliminate them as they come up.

Also, the real estate attorney should be equipped with technology that lets them handle quick transactions. Delays in closing will cost you time and money! 

Hiring an Ontario real estate lawyer is well worth the fees. They will give you peace of mind throughout the entire process and eliminate any additional stress that may be caused by planning for such a significant milestone. 

Other Real Estate Resources You May Be Interested In

A Guide on How to Buy A Home

First Time Home Buyer Incentives and Tips in Canada

Land Transfer Tax in Ontario

Land Transfer Tax in British Columbia

Mortgage Pre-Approval Process in Canada

What is Title Insurance?


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