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Your real estate lawyer sees what you can’t see - and knows what to do about it

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Whether you are the buyer or seller of a property, you have rights and duties. It’s the job of a real estate lawyer to ensure you are aware of and accept those responsibilities before you sign on the dotted line.

Avoid real estate litigation by checking with Edmonton real estate lawyer Andrew Geisterfer before you sign a real estate deal

Learn why it is a mistake to sign on the dotted line without first getting the expert legal advice offered by Edmonton real estate lawyer Andrew Geisterfer

An untrained eye can look at a real estate document and miss something that a trained and experienced real estate lawyer would see instantly. "It’s what you don’t know or understand that can hurt you,” says leading Edmonton real estate lawyer Andrew Geisterfer. "My job is to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Why a non-legal service provider is not the same as a real estate lawyer

Chances are you have heard of individuals who claim they can handle real estate legal service even though they are not lawyers. You may even be tempted to use this option because it is "cheaper” than hiring a real estate lawyer. Think again. There are many ways that you can get an unpleasant surprise. For example, a purchase price may not be the same as the final price because it excludes closing costs. Or you may be lured in by a sales incentive that is dramatically reduced in the actual sales agreement. "The sad fact is that it is relatively easy to take advantage of someone who does not have legal representation,” Andrew says.

In addition to protecting your interests, a real estate lawyer gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are hiring someone who is subject to professional regulations and must carry errors and omissions insurance. Settling for anything less makes no sense when you are about to buy a property that could very well be your single largest purchase. Moreover, you will likely need a lawyer to arrange a mortgage and insurance, mainly because the providers want an assurance that the title is clean (no liens or other encumbrances).

Also beware of do-it-yourself forms. They may look simple, but a single wording error or omission could cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Legal Scenario

Condo Special Assessment

"I am buying a condominium in Edmonton. The seller has indicated that there is a Special Assessment outstanding on the condominium and they have asked me to assume responsibility for it."

What Would Andrew Recommend?

Before accepting this obligation, you need to understand the extent of the Special Assessment and work this into the purchase price. For example, you may decide to revise your purchase price to take into account the negative financial impact of the Special Assessment. The key is to make this decision before the purchase, not after, and to consult with your lawyer before making any decision. Remember: It is your lawyer’s job to look after the details – this could be a very important detail.

Meet Andrew Geisterfer Edmonton Real Estate Lawyer

Andrew Geisterfer

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