When Do You Need A Real Estate Lawyer?

Whether it’s your first-time buying property or your third, real estate is an expensive purchase. There are many things to take into consideration and understand. The legalities around selling or purchasing a house are often misconstrued by novice or first-time home buyers. Unfortunately, when it comes to real estate, silence is NOT golden. You WILL want a lawyer on your side to protect your rights and interests and ensure that every detail is covered in the contract.

Despite this, many home buyers are unsure WHEN a real estate lawyer would be beneficial to their transactions. In this complicated Canadian real estate market, you’ll need a knowledgeable guide. Here are some situations when having a real estate lawyer is your ace in the hole.

When you’re buying a house.

Perhaps the most common mistake people have is to think that real estate agents and real estate lawyers can do the same things. The truth is, they can both offer beneficial yet completely different services when it comes to property transactions.

Real estate agents are guaranteed to make simple the complex process of buying a home. They will handle the paperwork, purchase contracts, and other necessary paperwork, and handle the inspection and negotiations of the home you’re interested in buying.

The right real estate agent can also assist you in finding the right buyer. They will help you organize and run open houses if you are selling your home.

Real estate agents also assist with moving, making sure you get to your new home as quickly as possible. However, their local roles may differ from one province to another.

Real estate lawyers, on the other hand, document and review your real estate documents and transactions while agents process your documents. Even though real estate agents are familiar with legal documents, they do not necessarily have the expertise to explain the legal implications of each clause.

A real estate lawyer can also assist with title issues, purchase contracts, and insurance issues. When an exchange turns sour, he or she can also represent you in court to protect your interests.

When your sale is complicated.

There are two main areas where complications can arise: the property itself and the sale itself. Let’s look at these individually.

The property itself may have complications that make it difficult to sell, such as problems with zoning or repairs. The buyer’s agent could negotiate some repairs or perhaps resolve a zoning issue into the Agreement of Purchase or Sale, but it is likely the lawyer who not only helped the agent with the clauses for the agreement but will also ensure they are enforced before close.

The other area where complications can arise during the sale is regarding financing for either buyer or seller. The mortgage company may refuse to lend money, for example, resulting in a significant issue that needs resolution before closing. Alternatively, there could be terms that have to be met in order to be funded.

When you have concerns about the title.

The title is the record of ownership. It tells you who owns the property and what restrictions if any, are on that ownership.

If there are any problems with it, you can hire a lawyer to help resolve them. For example, if someone else owns part of your property, or if the property is encumbered by debt or mortgage, then you might need to hire a real estate lawyer to help get things straightened out.

When you are refinancing or taking out a second mortgage.

When you are refinancing or taking out a second mortgage, you should always hire a real estate lawyer.

This is because when you refinance or take out a second mortgage, you may be facing legal issues that will affect your mortgage. For example, if you have had a foreclosure in the past and wish to take out another mortgage, this could affect your ability to do so. Or your first position lender may have as an agreed term that no secondary financing is permitted.

A real estate lawyer can help you navigate any legal issues that may come up during refinancing or taking out a second mortgage.

When someone claims they have an interest in your property.

An interest in your property is any right to use, possess, or control any part of it. This can include claims of ownership or possession, but it also includes valid leases on the land.

If someone has an interest in your property, they may be entitled to compensation for the use of the land and for any improvements made to it. They may also be able to seek possession of the land if they have been using it for a long time and you have no right to do so.

If you find yourself in this situation, it is extremely crucial that you act as soon as possible. This will ensure that there are no issues with establishing legal rights over who owns what parts of the property.

When you start a business with others and need to determine ownership of the property used for that business.

A real estate lawyer can help you create the rights and obligations of each owner, such as what percentage of the property is in each owners control. If you are starting a small business, this can be especially critical. This determines how much each person has invested in the company and how much they stand to gain if the company is successful.

It is also helpful for businesses that have multiple investors or partners because it helps avoid disputes over who owns what percentage of the business.

For example, if you are starting a restaurant with two partners and the building was purchased by one of the partners, you may need to hire a lawyer to determine who has legal title to the building. The same could be true if you are opening a store in an existing building that has been owned by someone else before your partnership. It is crucial to determine what type of agreement exists between the partners. This agreement will be enforced if one partner fails to perform their duties under the agreement or becomes unable to pay their share of expenses for operating the business.


These are just some of the scenarios when a real estate lawyer is beneficial for you. But we hope it gives you a clearer picture of why a real estate lawyer is the most important person you hire during the buying process. They can help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a buyer. In addition, they can guide you through the process to make sure that all your needs are met. Make your real estate journey hassle-free. Connect with trusted real estate lawyers today.


Integris Law has five locations based in Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga and Etobicoke and we are happy to come to you. We provide legal services across the Greater Golden Horseshoe and regularly see clients in Mississauga, Toronto, Oakville, Burlington, Woodbridge, Milton, Brampton, Dundas, Hamilton, and Stoney Creek.

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The Final Walk-Through: What You Need To Know

The much-anticipated closing day is upon you. However, there is one major step homebuyers or sellers should complete before we reach the finish line – the final walkthrough.

Why is this process so important? How is it different from the home inspection early in the home buying stage? Who participates in this process? What goal do we want to achieve? We’re answering all these questions and more today.

What Is a Final Walkthrough?

Exactly as it sounds, a final walkthrough is going through the house you’re about to buy. During this time, you and your real estate agent can look over the property room by room. It’s a thorough review, inside and out. The goal is to ensure that all things are working as they should. Remember that this is different from an inspection, on your final visitation you are ensuring the other side has fulfilled the obligations of the agreement before closing.

What is the Purpose of the Final Walk-Through?

Think twice before you decide to skip this step of the process. A final walk-through provides you with one last opportunity to ensure that the property is in the same condition when you agreed to buy the property and issues raised during the home inspection have been fixed.

Here are a few things you want to see in your final walkthrough:

  • Repairs that were agreed upon have been completed.
  • The seller has moved out of the property.
  • All the fixtures and furniture during the sale are present.
  • All appliances and home systems are functioning.
  • The property has been cleaned to the minimum standard of being in broom swept condition.
  • Any junk/large items not part of the transaction have been removed/dumped as usually municipal waste disposal will not pick these items up from the curb.
  • Checking to ensure the seller has not damaged the property in moving out (holes in the wall, counter damage, etc).


Who Should be Present at the Final Walk-Through?

Even with solid preparation, the final walk-through can be stressful and confusing. Although your real estate agent is alongside you in this process, it’s beneficial to have an attorney on your side.

Count on Integris Law for a team you can trust. We are a nimble and modern firm that makes your real estate experience a breeze. We can help you draft a final walk-through checklist. When inspecting your future home, we can provide suggestions for what to look out for.

It’s rare for the seller and buyer to be in the same room during this process. However, if the home seller is around, their realtor should be present as well.


When is the Final Walk-Through?

The most ideal time for final walk-throughs should be as close to the closing day as possible, ideally after the seller or tenants have moved out. Some happen a day or two before closing. It can also be set on the closing day itself.

It’s a tight schedule, we know. But setting it near the closing day ensures that the property is in the condition you want it to be – completely empty or with all the appliances and fixtures in good working order. 

What To Bring to the Final Walkthrough?

Be prepared for anything. Here are some things you should have with you:

  • Purchase Agreement – the contract that lays out all the terms agreed upon by the buyer and seller.
  • Home Inspection Report – contains all the results from the prior home inspection. Go over this to see which areas the inspector flagged. Find out if the seller made all the repairs that were agreed to.
  • Camera – for documentation.
  • Something to test outlets – a phone charger or nightlight are excellent tools for this. Use them to test out electrical outlets.

What to do if You See Issues During the Final Walk-Through.

A walk-through may reveal problems, but that’s not a deal breaker. Despite what you may think, you won’t need to start over. Real estate lawyers can communicate with the seller’s party to resolve issues and keep the sale on track.

In our experience, issues are rare and minimal. You can be sure this step will run smoothly when you work with an expert team of agents and lawyers!

Final Thoughts:

Final walk-throughs can be a nerve-wracking experience. There are a lot of things to remember, and even more to check before you move into your new home. You don’t have to face this process alone. Your trusted real estate lawyer can help you go from house hunter to homeowner.

Integris Law has five locations based in Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga and Etobicoke and we are happy to come to you. We provide legal services across the Greater Golden Horseshoe and regularly see clients in Mississauga, Toronto, Oakville, Burlington, Woodbridge, Milton, Brampton, Dundas, Hamilton, and Stoney Creek.

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7 Most Asked Questions About Selling A Home

The decision to sell a house is not an easy one for any homeowner. After years of spending on improvements and years of making precious memories in a home, it’s not always easy to uproot the family and move.

There are also various concepts, steps and procedures that you need to learn to make sure that you are selling your house at the right price.

To make this real estate journey a smooth and hassle-free ride for you, we’ve rounded up some of the most asked questions about selling a home. Check them out below.

#1 – Do I really need a real estate agent?

Though technically it is not required for a property to be bought or sold, it is

highly recommended in today’s market. One of the first and most important steps a seller needs to make is to find a trustworthy real estate agent. 

Be prepared with all the right questions when interviewing. Take the time to read reviews and connect with former clients to get a feel of how they do their work. 

Here at Integris Law, we know how every homeowner is different. We can help you find the right real estate agent that matches your needs and expectations.

#2 – What is a Seller’s Listing Agreement? Do I need one of those?

Once you’ve connected with the right real estate agent for you, you’ll need to sign the Seller’s Listing Agreement. 

This document details all the conditions of your partnership with the real estate professional. Don’t move forward in your real estate journey without this document. This will keep you informed with pertinent details including the commission rate, the agent’s actions to sell the property and more.

#3 – When do people start seeing my home?

Once you start working with a real estate agent, your home will be promoted to buyers almost right away. It’s helpful to start preparing your home the moment you decided to sell.

Get necessary renovations in the way. Talk to your agent about initial property inspections and home staging. 

#4 – Where do I list my home?

List your home through a multiple listing service. Your agent will use this to properly promote your property sale through various platforms. 

Listing in multiple channels will alert more potential buyers to see your house and increase interest in your property.

#5 – What happens in an open house?

Now that you are officially selling your house, work with your agent to organize open houses or private viewings. You will need to schedule these in advance. 

Make sure that your house is clean and ready for buyers to see its truest potential. Don’t forget that your entire family (and pets) need to be out of the house when agents showcase the property. 

#6 – Why isn’t my house selling?

There are many possible reasons for a house not selling. It could be: 1) It isn’t priced right; 2) It hasn’t been marketed well, or 3) It does not stage well for potential Buyers. 

Talk to your agent and revisit your strategy.

#7 – There’s a buyer! When do we move out?

So the sale is finally complete! What happens next? There’s no doubt that this is one of the most emotional moments for the whole family.

Discuss with your lawyers how much time you have before you need to give the keys to the new homeowners. 

It may seem like a lot of work to get your house sold. The good news is, with the right real estate team (agent and lawyer) by your side, you can reduce the confusion and stress. 🏡

Integris Law has five locations based in Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga and Etobicoke and we are happy to come to you. We provide legal services across the Greater Golden Horseshoe and regularly see clients in Mississauga, Toronto, Oakville, Burlington, Woodbridge, Milton, Brampton, Dundas, Hamilton, and Stoney Creek.

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Buying a House: What Happens On A Closing Day?

Closing day for a new home is a huge moment for everyone. It’s cause for celebration. It’s the day the property gets transferred from the seller to the buyer.

If you are the buyer, it’s the culmination of those weeks or months spent searching for the ideal home. You are now one step closer to home sweet home. However, what does closing day entail? What happens on a closing day in Ontario?

Today we will learn what happens on closing day, as well as help you prepare for the said day. With the right preparation, and the right team working with you, you can have a smooth and hassle-free closing day.

What does Closing Day mean?
Sometimes called “Completion Day “this is the special day buyers close on the property and successfully transfer the title. It’s the day your attorney purchases the property in your name and on your behalf.

A few days before closing the buyer will be signing and reviewing documents prepared by the lawyers. Matters regarding their mortgage loan, down payment, closing costs, the purchase price, property title and more, will be ironed out.

This process will involve the buyer’s lawyers and the seller’s lawyers. Your team of realtors or mortgage brokers need also to be actively involved in the process. They may supply the lawyer with the proper documents. Lawyers then need to prepare the statement of adjustments to issue the final closing cost.

What happens on Closing Day?
The process involved in closing a home may vary from province to province. In Ontario, the following are the summarized steps that one can anticipate on closing day:

1. The buyer signs various documents from the bank or financier prepared by their lawyer. These are documents relating to your mortgage loan and other home purchase matters.

2. The buyer receives the amount required to close on the property. Think: down payment and closing costs. The buyer must then provide a bank draft with the closing amount to the lawyer to account for other costs like transfer taxes.

3. Once it is confirmed that all the funds have been received, the lawyer registers the purchase electronically. This is the stage where the buyer officially gets listed as the owner of the

4. The seller will then receive the money they earned from the sale once their mortgage balance and closing costs have been paid off. The new homeowners get the keys and a copy of the transfer!

With a proactive real estate legal team on closing day you don't have to stress about documents and surprises. On the said day you can expect to move to your new home with the keys in hand. Cue the celebration!

However, while most people know that the real estate journey involves a lot of document signing and transferring funds, the rest of the process may still be a mystery to inexperienced homebuyers. There are several prior preparations.

What are Closing Day Preparations in Ontario?
To make the best real estate experience for you and your family, here are the steps you should take to prepare for closing day.

1. Ensure that your mortgage is in order
Meet with your banker and arrange a mortgage well ahead of closing day. The banks need time to approve your application and process your paperwork and your attorney can’t have a final meeting with you until the bank gives them mortgage instructions.

2. Conduct a final inspection of the house.
Inspecting the property protects the homebuyer and helps you identify any issues that need to be fixed before closing day. Hiring professionals to inspect specific aspects of the home is a smart move.

3. Prepare your finances.
Make sure your finances are ready and available. Keep in mind that the homebuyer will be paying for the deposit and closing costs. Other fees will also need to be taken care of.

This is why having a trusted real estate lawyer on your team is most crucial. Having a successful closing day relies on the hands-on expertise of your lawyer. Come home successfully.

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Nine Tips To Get You From Homebuyer to Homeowner

Earlier this year, the Financial Post made a shocking headline: “Ontario housing shortage is the worst in the country…” Talk about a great start to the year.

Canada may not be the easiest place to buy a home. With a shortage of homes available and an increasing demand, it may be a huge problem for first-time homebuyers.

Though finding a home is difficult, it’s not impossible. Even if you may not be lucky enough to be a member of the bank of mom and dad, homeownership is on the horizon for you. Take comfort in this statistic reported by Re/Max:

“Over the last 20 years, the home-ownership rate in Canada has steadily increased, rising from 63.9 percent in early 2000 to 68.55 percent before the… pandemic.”

Thus, you can find your new home with the right mindset and team, here are some tips you can do to become a homeowner. 

#1: Get Pre-Approval

This should go without saying but if you are truly new to the real estate journey, getting pre-approved is the first thing you should always do. This will give you a general idea of how much cash you are working with. 

#2: Consider Being a Landlord

Albert Einstein once said, “in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Indeed, while there’s plenty of difficulty in finding the right home for you, there’s also an opportunity at hand. Pay attention to properties that come with rental units, or spaces that could be one. Consider the basement, a tiny house in the backyard, or a spare bedroom. You could rent this out monthly or earn residual income via Airbnb!

Talk to your real estate lawyer about the legalities involved in making this side hustle. Canadian municipalities vary in their rules and regulations regarding secondary suites. 

#3: Flee The Big City

We know this might be a bit of a surprise to urban dwellers, but moving to the countryside is a growing trend. Here’s why: when the pandemic hit, many Canadians left the big city for greener pastures. Also, work-from-home measures allowed workers to set up home offices from anywhere. 

A house in the countryside may give you more square footage for a lesser price. However, be sure to consider all the other factors like the commute or nearby schools.

#4: Save For A Huge Downpayment

Save as much as you can for your down payment. The bigger the down payment, the smaller the mortgage, which can save you thousands of dollars in interest charges, not to mention the CMHC mortgage loan insurance if your deposit is under 20% of the purchase price.

You may have to endure and make short-term sacrifices, but your reward down the road will be a land with your name on it! 

#5: See Beyond The Staging

Staging a home for a showing has become a standard feature of the listing process. There are a handful of tricks and hacks that a home seller and realtor can do to design the most alluring of houses. We say, enjoy it! It’s all been done with a homebuyer like you in mind. And as you take in the sights and smells of the staged home, always remember to see beyond the superficial. Get professional home inspectors and be meticulous. 

#6: Co-Own with Family or Friends

Have you found the perfect home in the best neighborhood but can’t afford it? Here’s a solution that’s a tad bit unconventional: buy with friends. You can discuss taking a floor or wing if there’s enough space. Lenders accommodate this set-up with a term called, “mixer mortgages.”

While this is fun and exciting, you’re going to want to cover all grounds in a co-ownership agreement. 

#7: Keep an Exit Strategy

study done by the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals estimates the average Canadian will own 4.5 to 5.5 homes in their lifetime.

What does this tell us? An exit strategy should be part of your homebuying plan. Before you purchase your home, consider how the space can be easily improved when the time comes to maximize your sale.

#8: Write A Letter

No matter how much technicality and legalese are involved in real estate, finding a home is still an emotional experience. When you’re in a bidding war or trying to make an offer, adding a personalized letter could help you seal the deal. 

As you write your letter, make the seller feel a personal connection with you. Share your real estate journey, tell them what you like about the home, and give them an idea of how their house would be with you in it. 

#9: The Real Estate Lawyer is Your Friend

Even if you aren’t a first-time home buyer, your real estate lawyer has gone through this process more times than you. It’s not just bringing you to moving day, they have the working knowledge to help you avoid potential landmines. When you hire a real estate lawyer, you hire protection. What you get is someone who will represent your needs and negotiate on your behalf throughout the real estate purchasing process. 

With trustworthy real estate law experts, you get peace of mind knowing that your interest and investments are protected. 

Integris Law has years of experience protecting homebuyers and homeowners in Ontario. Connect with us today and start the journey towards your new home.

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10 Things Real Estate Lawyers Want Home Buyers To Know

“I didn’t know I was supposed to do that!”

In our combined years as Real Estate Lawyers, the team at Integris Law has witnessed a fair number of clients come in unprepared not knowing what they should and should not do to make the process smooth and hassle-free.

The real estate industry can be loud and noisy. We can tell you as much: there’s a lot going on all at once. Yet, for all the information that’s available out there, homebuyers or home sellers still end up in a jumble.  

The problems and issues that we’ve witnessed in the practice over the years mostly stem from clients lacking information. They could easily avoid unwanted anxiety and heartache by consulting their Attorney first.  

If you are contemplating a sale or purchase any time soon, don’t worry, mate, we are right beside you! Below are some of the most important things you should remember as you begin your real estate journey.

  1. First, Get pre-approved.

Before anything else, arrange your financing. It will be an emotionally draining experience when you start visiting listings without knowing your price range. Getting pre-approval from your lender gives you the information you need to decide on a home. With this, a showing won’t just be about the fixtures and pretty decor, but it will also mean interest rates and payment terms. See above change

  1. Connect with your lawyers ASAP.

Some homebuyers make the grave mistake of getting a legal team very late into the game. Maybe it’s the irrational fear of lawyers, or the strong will to avoid the extra cost that’s stopping them. See above change

Without your lawyer from beginning to end, you won’t have the protection and foresight to make it a smooth and hassle-free experience. 

When you bring in your lawyer into the process in the middle or near the end, we’ll spend more time troubleshooting and picking up the pieces. We’re definitely the team for making your headaches go away, but wouldn’t it be a better experience if your real estate journey was smooth sailing from beginning to end? 

  1. Real Estate Lawyers Can Refer Real Estate Agents.

A friend of a friend’s sister’s cousin might sound like a bad idea. A smooth house hunting experience requires the most professional real estate agent on the job. The good news is real estate lawyers can connect you with the agents. We have worked with amazing professionals throughout Ontario who could be the perfect fit for your needs. Call us anytime for a referral.

  1. Review the Agreement of Purchase and Sale with your Lawyer.

We suggest you practice this rule of thumb: do not sign any document without your real estate lawyer reviewing the documents. Sometimes, in the excitement and urgency of events, you might be rushed into signing something. Know that signatures are binding, and you might enter a contract with serious consequences.  Never feel pressured into signing something, we are always a phone call away.

An Agreement of Purchase and Sale lists the purchase price, amount to deposit, period of validity on the offer, and other important details. Without a lawyer by your side, there might be certain points that are missed when signing. It could be against your best interest.

  1. Remember Your Present and Future Needs.

When choosing the best house for you, know what you need, not only for today but for the future. While most items that we buy can be returned or simply swapped, we can’t do that with houses.

If you found yourself unhappy with your home choice, you would have to go through the whole real estate process  (confusing). Listing, waiting, paying all the fees, taxes. You may end up paying mortgage penalties among others. 

If you found a home that needed some extra expensive or extensive renovations, you may want to reconsider and continue looking (unless you are searching for a flip). 

  1. Be Mindful of The Costs.

As a home buyer, paying for the house of your dreams isn’t the only cost involved. In real estate transactions, there are always additional costs. Prepare your finances for insurance fees, inspection fees, land transfer taxes, and more. Ask your lawyer if you are unsure.

  1. First Time Home Buyers Have Discounts.

To support first-time buyers, Canadians are qualified to claim special discount programs like land transfer tax rebates. There is also an option to use your RRSP money towards a down payment.

  1. Ensure Which Items Are Included In The Sale.

Imagine deciding on a certain house only to discover that all the light fixtures were not part of the purchase. Your Integris Law Lawyer can review your agreement and ensure that you get what was sold to you. During your viewing, make it a point to ask which fixtures and chattels are included in the purchase.

  1. A “Solicitor Condition” in the Agreement is Important.

One thing you should know by now: purchasing a home is a complicated process. Including a “Solicitor Condition” in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale informs the realtors and lenders that you are properly represented by lawyers.

  1. Real Estate Lawyers Protect You

At any moment, anything can fall through the cracks. Some details can go unnoticed. Before you know it, you’ve lost more than you should gain. Real estate law firms are built to be thorough and conscientious. That means every possible area of risk is minimized. It’s our job to go through every document, every agreement, title, or lien to make sure it is exactly what it needs to be. No surprises! Instead, you can enjoy peace of mind and security as you move into your new home.  

As Brandon says: “The best real estate deals are boring, meaning there are no surprises after all the documents are reviewed.”

Purchasing your home is one of the biggest milestones of life. We want you to have the best experience without the hassle and headaches.  Don’t sweat the hard stuff, that is our job. 

If you’re in Ontario and are looking to buy or sell a home, connect with Diane Ulman or Brandon Lee at Integris Law: 

(647) 707-2011


Home sweet home begins here!

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An Easy Guide To Setting The Asking Price

When it comes to selling your home, expect a few challenges here and there. One, there’s the emotional attachment pulling you back from letting go. Second, there’s the matter of setting the right asking price. Homeowner, fret not, even the most adept professionals struggle sometimes.

If you set your home price too high, you might end up on the market for too long. Potential buyers could pass off on your home with doubts and more questions. 

On the other hand, if you set the price too low, you could lose out on the real value of your home.

Whether you’ve decided to do FSBO or work with a listing agent, knowing these factors will help you gain understanding and set the right asking price.

Neighbourhood Comps

On top of any list for determining the “asking price,” agents and appraisers often rely on neighbourhood comparables or comps. 

If you think it’s about comparing your house to another house within your neighbourhood, you are, in fact, correct! Comps are properties in your area, that are slightly bigger or smaller than your home. You look at factors such as square footage, home condition and age. If there are any properties sold within the last three months, you’ve got yourself the best comps. 


You might be thinking your home has the best location yet. It’s close to your workplace, near a pet store, or just around the corner from your parent’s house. A location’s selling factor sadly doesn’t work that way. What might be convenient for you, isn’t the case for potential buyers. 

Appraisers consider the value of a property’s location based on 3 key indicators. 

  1. The quality and proximity of local schools.
  2. Available employment opportunities
  3. Proximity to essential facilities and amenities, especially groceries and recreational centres.

There are also less desirable features that could play a role in your home price. If you are near utilities like a railway or bustling highway, expect to set a lower asking price. 

Home Size and Usable Spaces

When determining the asking price, identifying the square footage isn’t enough. It’s also about a home’s usable space. Think of your livable spaces such as bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, living room, etc. Most appraisers often do not include in the computation: garages, attics or unfinished basements.

When checking on your neighbourhood comps, look at how the houses have sold recently in terms of square footage. Take the final sale price and divide it by the square footage. This way, you will find the average price per square foot in your area. This can serve as your guide when pricing your home.

Age and Condition

Some people enjoy the quirkiness of a vintage home. However, in real estate, homes that are newer often appraise at a higher value.

This is because critical parts of the house (like the plumbing and electrical) are updated and less likely to give headaches to new homeowners. 

A house that’s ready to be moved into, can have a higher price tag. That’s because buyers don’t have to do much for upkeep. So keep your house ready to go.

The Local Market

Even if you’ve covered all the factors above, it all boils down to the local market. How many other properties like yours are up for sale? How many buyers in the market are there? 

You’ve got a seller’s market if a lot of buyers are competing for fewer homes. It’s a buyer’s market if there are too many homes but not enough buyers. 

Stay on top of the trends and identify when it’s a seller’s market to best position your asking price. 

There are many ways a first-time home seller can make a misstep. You can avoid this by having the right real estate law team by your side. Ensure that your real estate journey is running smoothly by hiring the right real estate lawyers.

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Selling a Home In Canada? Don’t Forget the Closing Costs

Selling your home is one of the biggest decisions you can make in your adult life. The past few years may have played a role in the decision-making of your living situation. 

Staying at home more frequently, many Canadians found their home to be too small for their growing family. A bigger home, with more space to call your own, a beautiful yard, and extra rooms for every person is one of the strongest factors that influence people to move.

Maybe you need to move to a new location. You’ve been wanting a change of pace, or perhaps, work is taking you someplace where it’s economical to sell your current home. Or maybe, there’s a need for you to make space for your elderly parents or in-laws? 

Whatever reason there may be that’s pushing you to sell your home, there’s a couple of things you need to remember to make this journey of your life a success. You might be imagining yourself happily holding that handsome cheque and sashaying away to your next abode… but before you start imaging where your windfall is going, there are some expenses you need to prepare for.

Expenses? If you’re selling a home, why do you have to pay for anything? The closing day may be payday for you, but before you splurge, there are some Closing Costs you need to cover first. 

Closing costs are fees owed on or before closing day that must be paid for your home sale to be completed.

To give you a rough idea of what to expect, we’re sharing some of the most common expenses in this list. These expenses are approximations only, may vary by region and are prone to frequent changes that may not be reflected here. 

  1. Realtor’s Commissions

It’s a common misconception that buyers have to pay realtors or real estate agents commissions. But the truth is, sellers are responsible for this fee. These commissions can set you back somewhere between 3-6% of the selling price of your house. 

Some sellers wish to avoid this service fee, and so they try to sell their houses themselves. Carefully study this option, and understand the challenges you might face, before deciding on this. 

  1. Legal Fees

Unless it is under very limited circumstances, both the seller and buyer will be working with their own real estate lawyer. You are required to get a lawyer to help you sort through all the legal paperwork involved to make this an accurate and binding transaction. 

Legal fees will include services like legal documentation, reviewing the title, discharging any mortgages, delivering the closing packages to the buyer’s lawyers, and more. 

  1. Closing Adjustments 

Part of your real estate lawyer’s task is to prepare a statement of adjustments. It is like a bank statement that includes a list of debits and credits with the balance at the end. These adjustments depend entirely on how you pay your property taxes, condo fees, and some utilities. 

  1. Bank Fees

If your home is on a mortgage and you plan to pay it off with your income from the sale of the property, there may be bank fees to take care of. 

  1. Costs of Repairs or Replacements

The buyer of your home may request for some repairs or replacements on certain areas of your home in their buyer offer. It could be upgrading electricity wiring upgrades or roof repairs or mould removals. Be ready to shell out costs here.

  1. Home Staging Cost

It’s always a great idea to “dress up” your home for potential buyers. A bit of cleaning and decluttering won’t cost you much, but sometimes, it’s good to show potential buyers what this home could be like for them. That might mean buying a few accessories and tools. Budget wisely and work with a professional to highlight the best parts of your house.

  1. Moving Costs

Unless you are uprooting yourself to another country, you are most likely moving from one house to another. Many factors are involved in the price of this cost.

  1. Capital Gains Tax

In Canada, 50% of the value of any capital gains are taxable.  Are you selling your primary residence?  If yes, good news, your primary residence is exempt from capital gains!

These 8 possible closing costs might take you by surprise if you haven’t factored them in your real estate transaction. 

Talking with your lawyer and discussing all the details makes a world of a difference. Here at Integris Law, we can do the heavy lifting for you.

Connect with us today!

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What Does An Ontario Real Estate Lawyer Do?

Your home buying journey is unique to you. It’s about you making decisions for yourself and your future. It’s about your dreams and your needs! But while it’s all about you, this journey isn’t solitary. To get from Point A to Point B, you need a whole team of people to bring you home. That includes a Real Estate Lawyer.

If you’re thinking of buying a house or condo in Ontario, you’ll need a real estate lawyer to help represent your interests. You need to protect your rights and avoid headaches that could potentially pop up in the future. Having a real estate lawyer helps you stay compliant with all the terms of your agreement and more!

With a Real Estate Lawyer by your side, you can confidently navigate the different areas of buying and selling property. From closing to dealing with title insurance, this is why you need an Ontario real estate lawyer.

Real Estate Lawyers Protect Your Interests

Legal jargon, as it is, is complicated to understand. Real estate transaction documents often sound like they don’t want people to understand what they are signing. Real estate lawyers safeguard your interests and ensure that you fully comprehend the stipulations written in the contract. 

There are dangers even when legal documents are involved. Lawyers help ensure that the documents are authentic. They thoroughly read and determine that the contract is in order. If there are changes or agreements that you’d like to be written in, your real estate lawyer can do that on your behalf. 

Real Estate Lawyers Assist with all Real Estate Transactions

When you choose experienced Real Estate Lawyers, you get the benefit of someone who is knowledgeable on the nitty-gritty rules and regulations of buying or selling property. You don’t want to be misled, or have to deal with bigger problems down the line. Your real estate lawyer can review the offer you’ve made on a property. They can ensure there are no claims listed against the property and more. 

Real Estate Lawyers Assists With Closing

Closing date is one of the most exciting two words in the English language, and it’s also one of the final steps in a property transaction. Once you’ve reached this stage of your real estate journey, that means the ownership of the property has been officially transferred. The property has now gone from seller to buyer. 

This is a crucial part of the transaction process, with good reason. When you sign the final papers and get those keys, you don’t want to encounter any major hiccups. 

On closing day, you can expect your real estate lawyer to handle the financial transactions. They will also create a statement of adjustments, an important document that shows in detail, all the fees involved. You will find the deposit, adjustments, the final amount, closing fees, and more. You need this document to prove that you’ve made the correct payments and complied with all the steps necessary to own the property. 

Closing dates sometimes come with surprise fees! With a real estate lawyer, you can avoid jump scares. Make the day memorable in a positive way with a real estate lawyer handling all the heavy lifting for you. 

Role of A Real Estate Lawyer for Buyer Clients in Ontario:

  • Review mortgage documents
  • Review the Purchase Agreement and all other legal documents.
  • Ensure that there are no claims registered against the property.
  • Ensure you have a clear title upon closing.
  • Ensure your property taxes are compliant.
  • Calculate land transfer tax due
  • Close the transaction and guarantee that all legal, as well as financial conditions, have been met.

Role of A Real Estate Lawyer for Seller Clients in Ontario:

  • Review the Sale Agreement and verify all legal documents before you sign
  • Handle and Manage Negotiations on your behalf
  • Prepare the Transfer of your property
  • Handle title issues should they occur
  • Close all transactions
  • Ensure all legal, as well as financial conditions, have been met.

Choosing a Real Estate Lawyer is something Integris Law can assist you with! Connect with us today to make your Real Estate Journey a happy one.

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Common Mistakes First-Time Home Buyers Make

So you’ve finally decided to buy your first home. We know how exciting this time can be. It’s not akin to buying a new pair of jeans. On the contrary, it’s one of the most significant financial transactions of your lifetime. 

You are jumping from renter to homeowner! In the flurry of excitement, you might put yourself in a less idyllic position. Property newbies are prone to make these common mistakes as they navigate the home-buying journey.  We don’t want you to end up doing this! 

Mistake #1: Not Getting Pre-Approved for A Mortgage

Ask anyone in the industry – Real Estate Agents, Mortgage Brokers, Inspectors, Real Estate Lawyers. If they are experienced and knowledgeable, they will tell you the first thing you should do in property search is get pre-approved for a mortgage. 

Your mortgage broker will tell you the maximum amount you can spend on your home, this way you’ll have a better picture of the price range in your house hunting. 

Mistake #2: Not Budgeting for Closing Costs

Closing costs are often overlooked in the house-hunting budget. Don’t let this important part of the deal take you by surprise. 

Keep that in mind and set aside a budget in addition to your down payment. Note that your mortgage lender won’t cover these costs, thus it’s important for you to keep the closing costs in mind. 

What’s involved in closing costs? Take note of fees for home inspection, legal fees, land transfer taxes, insurance, and registration fees are all part of closing costs.

Mistake #3: Buying a House based on Appearance

If you’ve started your home-buying process, you know this feeling. The door opens and you’re immediately love-struck. The immaculate floors, granite countertops, open kitchen design… it’s speaking to you from every appliance from every corner! 

But we want to stop you here. Please don’t make this big purchase on this basis alone. Real estate agents are trained to stage a home. They can design and decorate a space based on your preferences. By all means, enjoy the ambiance, but don’t get distracted by these “wow” factors.

Focus on the bones of the home. Check out the sturdiness and usability of the windows and doors. Find out if the roof and other structural elements are secure. And don’t fall victim to this next mistake…

Mistake #4: Skipping the Home Inspection

When the housing market is sizzling hot, it’s too tempting to skip the home inspection, especially when you’re competing with other buyers. If you don’t act now, you’ll lose this dream home!

That urgency might just lead you to your nightmare. That’s why conducting a home inspection is non-negotiable, especially if you’re eyeing an older house. Consider obtaining a home inspection before you submit an offer if you cannot include an inspection condition in your offer.  A home inspector that will provide you with a comprehensive report to keep the house in tip-top shape. 

Mistakes are part of the journey, but some are too costly to make. In buying a home, it’s crucial to make the right moves. You don’t have to be alone in the homeownership journey. Build a team of experienced professionals – a real estate agent, a mortgage broker, and a real estate lawyer. This will make your first property-buying experience an especially happy one. 

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