Q&A: What to Expect as a First Time Home Buyer

HOMEBUYER: As a first-time home buyer do I need to hire a lawyer?

WINRIGHT LAW: Hiring a lawyer is not required by law, but it is recommended to help you better understand the required actions you must take, the documents that you will be signing, and to protect your interests in the buy-sell transaction―sometimes called a “conveyance”.  As your lawyer, we help ensure the smooth completion of your property purchase process and that your rights are protected in the event the seller or another party does not carry through with the deal as agreed.


HOMEBUYER: Do I need to hire my own realtor to negotiate for me or can I deal directly with the seller’s realtor?

WINRIGHT LAW: It is often recommended that you, the buyer, have your own realtor to help you obtain the best price and to do the various tasks, such as prepare the purchase and sale contract, and other tasks required to close the deal. However, if neither you nor the seller are using realtors and are directly negotiating your own deal, a lawyer, instead of a realtor, can also prepare the purchase and sale contract.


HOMEBUYER: If I do hire a lawyer to represent me in my home purchase, what exactly will he or she be doing for me?

WINRIGHT LAW: We ensure that we do our due diligence and coordinate the various documents produced in the course of your home purchase. We will collect the purchase and sale contract from the realtor, the mortgage documents from your mortgage broker, and, if you are purchasing a condominium or apartment, we also collect the strata documents from the strata management company. We check over title of the property to ensure that there are no encumbrances and issues with the title of the property prior to transfer. Then we will go over each document with you to ensure that you are signing what you had agreed to with the seller, your realtor, and your mortgage broker. Finally, we then carry out the ownership or “title” transfer of your new home from the seller’s name into your name by registering your signed documents in the Land Title Office.


HOMEBUYER: When will I be meeting the lawyer?

WINRIGHT LAW: The timing depends largely on whether you are purchasing the home with a mortgage loan and how long it takes for your lender to approve the final funds you qualify for. You can then expect that your appointment time with your lawyer to be two or three days before the completion date for the purchase. This is nothing to be worried about, as it is not unusual that financing approval from the head office of the mortgage institution does not get the final approval until a few days before the conveyance completion date. Without this final approval from your lender it would be difficult for us to verify exactly how much money you need to obtain in a bank draft form prior to meeting with your lawyer. However, should you need to sign all papers earlier, then you should inform your lawyer of this from the outset, so that your lawyer can notify all parties necessary to close your transaction. On the day that you are scheduled to meet with your lawyer, remember to bring two pieces of ID as well as this bank draft for the remaining balance of the purchase price needed to close your deal.


HOMEBUYER: What could delay my home purchase from being completed on time?

WINRIGHT LAW: The most common delays are related to funding approval. For instance, if you are purchasing your home with a mortgage loan, as most homebuyers do, you need to meet your mortgage broker sooner than later to sign mortgage loan documents so that these instructions can go to your mortgage broker’s head office before being sent to our law office. If we do not receive these documents on time, we will not be able to process the mortgage information and it could possibly lead to transfer of funds being delayed, and consequently, the completion of your home purchase being delayed. Other types of delays can involve the seller removing charges on his registered ownership as agreed and on schedule.


HOMEBUYER: How much will it cost me in legal fees if I hire a lawyer from Winright Law for this conveyancing transaction? Why not just hire a notary?

WINRIGHT LAW: Our law firm is built on a foundation of real estate clients, whether it be regarding residential or commercial transfers, or real estate development. Our lawyers are also experienced in real estate litigation issues so just in case your purchase runs into trouble, we will be able to provide you a full solution to any issues you have. Notaries, on the other hand, should not be providing legal advice so they may not be able to help you effectively if problems arise with your purchase.

However, we understand that many homebuyers may think that notaries are more cost effective if no problems arise―they are not. Our law firm understands the market for legal pricing quite well and offers very competitive pricing, so you can rest assured that we will be giving you the same pricing as most notaries in town, if our prices aren’t already lower.


If you found this article helpful, please let us know by emailing us or “liking” it so we know to write more articles for you. Should you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or at 604-559-2LAW (529). We’re happy to help you with all legal issues surrounding your purchase!

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