Buying real estate is like being Dorothy in the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (by Frank L. Baum)!
The negotiation of the purchase and sale agreement can a whirlwind of emotions for all involved, and there are many considerations and preparations that need to be accounted for before a contract is hammered out between the parties.
If you’re buying or selling resale property, the negotiations require thought about the provisions of the contract. If you’re buying new construction property, there are hidden pitfalls that can trip up unsuspecting purchasers.
Working with your lawyer is like having a Yellow Brick Road to get to Oz, the Great and Powerful, so you can get home (or close the deal).
Just like Dorothy, you will meet a cast of characters who will either help or hinder your progress (or both!):
1. Getting a mortgage from a lender
This is like meeting Glinda, the Good Witch – she promises you will be able to get home (or in our case, get a mortgage), but you have to do a whole bunch of stuff first before you can get there. These days, buyers have many more requirements in order to qualify for a mortgage – just like Glinda giving a number of quests before you can get to where you need to go
2. The Government
This is like coming upon the Wicked Witch of the West – and she’s sending out her Winged Monkeys to trip you up to get your ruby slippers! Land transfer taxes, title insurance, and Tarion – oh my!
These are all the costs and taxes and fees, as well as all the procedures that are required before a transaction can close.
3. Your lawyer is your Companion!
a. The tin man – Your real estate lawyer should have a heart! You need someone who understands and will have your best interests in mind (and heart) and will appreciate that buying real estate is likely going to be one of the most significant purchases you will make in your lifetime, and will treat you and the transaction accordingly.
b. The scarecrow – Well, this is a no-brainer (pun intended). Your real estate lawyer’s brain really comes in handy. I can provide information about your contract, about the closing process, about what problems you may run into given your particular situation. This is a good time to pick your lawyer’s brain about any questions you have. You should provide your lawyer with information about the use to which you’re going to put the property. Will you be using a corporation, entering into a partnership, are there estate concerns, parents investing some funds, family law questions, etcetera, etcetera?
c. The cowardly lion – You need a good measure of bravery to buy real estate. In our world, you get bravery by being well-armed with information about what to actually be scared of, and what you can manage or plan around. Your real estate lawyer can help you be brave.
Then you get to the Emerald City – the Closing Date! You’re almost there. The gatekeeper is the Registry office – in order to close, we have to register a transfer with the Land registry office. You can only do that (and get into the Emerald City) with a real estate lawyer.
And when you finally get to see Oz, your real estate lawyer is the one that going to find out it’s only a man behind a curtain! Your real estate lawyer is going to do title searches to verify whether there’s anything on title, or on a survey that you should be concerned about, or that may affect your use of the property, so that you can ensure you get what you think you’re getting.
This way, even without Oz, you’re going to get home. Your real estate lawyer will get you there.