Traditionally, buyers have used real estate agents to assist them to locate and negotiate for the purchase of real estate.
In such instances, the Buyer’s agent will prepare an offer to purchase and submit it to the Seller or his or her representative. Once both parties have executed the Agreement, the signed agreement is then sent to a lawyer who is requested to complete the purchase. Once signed by both parties, an agreement of purchase and sale cannot be amended without the consent of all parties.
Most agreements to buy and sell real estate are created on pre-printed forms which have been created by the real estate industry or by lawyers. These forms are generally very good and complete, but they deal with a lot of issues and can be complex.
Understanding your obligations and entitlements of your Agreement of Purchase and Sale before you sign it can avoid disputes and lower your costs. Having your lawyer review the Agreement of Purchase and Sale with you before you sign it can ensure that understanding.
Some properties are bought as new homes and some are bought as resale homes. New home purchases are covered by Ontario’s Tarion Warranty. Resale homes are not covered by any warranty other than what is given by the seller and agreed to in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale.
It is therefore imperative that buyers negotiate for warranties to be given by Sellers so as to protect themselves from any issues which arise after closing.
When you hire a lawyer to assist you with the purchase of real estate, the lawyer should perform a number of searches to ensure that the possibility of problems with the real estate is minimized. You, as a buyer, should discuss with your lawyer what searches are available to you and which are appropriate for your purchase transaction.