|Lawyers are an integral part of all real estate transaction. Your lawyer is there for you to look after your interests and to ensure a successful closing or very occasionally not depending upon the particulars of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale.
The standard Agreement of Purchase and Sale has been designed, with legal input, to allow for a buyer and seller to use it with a minimum amount of additions. Nonetheless there may be times when a purchaser wishes to have his/her lawyer check over an offer before it is signed/presented.
When an offer is accepted and usually after any conditions have been removed your Realtor's office will send copies of the offer and any other relevant documents to your lawyer. Your lawyer will then search the title of the property to make sure that you are buying what you thought you were buying, that there are no liens or mortgages (which can't be discharged), check with City Hall to make sure there are no work orders on the property and obtain the various clearance letters necessary to close a sale. Your lawyer will also prepare the Land Transfer Tax Affidavit and if you are getting a mortgage the documents will be prepared and registered by your lawyer.
Prior to the day of closing, usually the week before the closing date, you will visit your lawyer to sign the final papers and give a cheque to your lawyer for his/her fees, the Land Transfer Tax, and the balance of your down payment plus adjustments.
On the day of closing, this is the day you actually become the owner of your home, your lawyer or a "closer", someone he/she has hired, will go down to the Registry Office, in Toronto. This is in the east tower at the Atrium on Bay (it is open to the public and has some of the most helpful government employees you will ever meet. Anyone can go there and search the title of his/her home to see its history), and meet with the Vendor's lawyer to register the sale documents and exchange money for keys.
In the event that your lawyer does uncover complications he/she will begin a dialogue with the vandor's lawyer in order to try and resolve the dispute. Very occasionally there are problems with a real estate deal that end up resulting in an unsuccessful closing. If this occurs you will definitely be seeing more of, or talking more to, your lawyer as you decide what to do about the problem.
Real estate is a very specialized field in the legal profession. When you are selecting a lawyer to represent you in a closing, make sure you use someone who has experience closing real estate deals.