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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

Leaking basement

"I moved into my new home in early January and at that time there appeared to be no issues with my basement. However, when the usual spring thaw came in April I noticed that my basement was leaking. What should I do?"

What Would Andrew Recommend?

This scenario highlights the importance of having a property inspection done before you sign a deal. A property inspector is trained to see thing you don’t see. For example, in the winter, when everything is frozen, you are not going to see any water accumulation in your basement and you may therefore assume it is dry. A trained and experience home inspector will look for stains on a wall or other indicators that there was a leak during the summer months. It’s even better if you also have the sellers expressly warrant that the property has never been subject to flooding and they are not aware of any flooding issues with the home. That way you have a legal recourse if it turns out that they were not being honest.

Meet Andrew Geisterfer Edmonton Real Estate Lawyer

Andrew Geisterfer

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