What is a Toronto Real Estate Attorney?
A Toronto real estate attorney is your go-to person whenever you are selling, buying or refinancing your home.
The duties of a real estate lawyer include making sure that the right papers are filed, that your rights are properly protected, and the transaction pushes through.
Lawyers charge differently depending on the complexity of the purchase transaction and the lawyer’s expertise. If you want to know more about Toronto real estate lawyer fees, then you’re in the right place.
How Lawyers Set Their Legal Fees
Lawyers set their fees according to rules regulating their ethical conduct. They must see to it that their fees are fair, competitive, and reasonable.
Toronto real estate lawyer fees are determined using three methods – time (hourly rates), contingency, and flat fees.
In real estate transactions, lawyers usually ask for a base fee depending on the type of property or home (condo, detached, etc). You will then pay for disbursements and registration fees which are explained further below.
In examining Toronto real estate lawyer fees, it is important that you are aware where you spend your money.
Legal fees are the compensation you pay for the services performed by a lawyer for you. A low-cost real estate lawyer will charge at a much lower rate, but you need to make sure that the lawyer can do his or her job right and will meet your needs satisfactorily.
Paying for Disbursements
During the entire real estate transaction, lawyers use their own financial resources when they have to pay anything ahead of time on your behalf.
Common expenses include photocopying, faxing, long-distance phone calls, carrier fees and court filing fees, land title charges and expert reports. These expenses are known as disbursements. They constitute the Toronto real estate lawyer fees.
Title Registration and Title Insurance Fees
Your real estate lawyer is also responsible for handling the process of changing the title of the property or home from the seller’s to yours (if you’re buying one).
On the other hand, title insurance is intended to protect you against financial loss if an undetected title defect is discovered.
Violation of an existing work order and municipal bylaws, property tax arrears or encroachments on adjoining property could greatly affect your title.
Toronto real estate lawyer fees include the title registration and insurance fees which are paid on the closing day. You can find a closing attorney near you by checking out a number of websites which provide a list of closing attorneys in your location.
Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) and Land Transfer Tax (LTT)
Another fee which forms part of the overall Toronto real estate lawyer fees is the harmonized sales tax (HST).
As a general rule in Canada, a vendor is required to pay tax on real property transactions. The tax is paid in the form of an HST, but there are cases where an individual is exempt from HST.
When you buy a house or property in Toronto, you are subject to land transfer tax (LTT) which will be paid upon closing.
Your LTT will depend on your home’s value, determined using the property’s purchase price.
Note that the LTT is a marginal tax; therefore each portion of your property’s value is taxed at its own marginal tax rate.
A land attorney near you can assist you with calculating this tax. You can also find the best real estate lawyers in Mississauga Ontario, just in case you’re in the neighboring city.
Breakdown of Rates
People who are in the real estate market (especially first-time buyers or sellers) would usually ask how much real estate lawyers charge for a residential purchase or a sale, including the breakdown of the rates.
The following is an example of a lawyer’s fee for a residential purchase.
- Residential Purchase
HST: $ 77.35
Total Legal Account: (approx.) $975.00
Title Insurance: (approx.) $350.00 (House) $160.00 (Condo)
Land Transfer Tax (depends on home’s value)
Registration costs: $71.30 each document
Deed and, usually, one mortgage = $142.60
Toronto real estate lawyer fees vary from lawyer to lawyer. Rates aside, you must see to it that the person you’re hiring has enough experience, and regularly deals with real estate transactions.
Look for a real estate lawyer who understands the intricacies of consumer law. It will guarantee you that your rights will be protected during the entire real estate transaction. Our lawyers are dedicated to help you with all your real estate needs.