Independent Legal Advice for Real Estate
Signing complex real estate documents without objective legal advice can jeopardize your finances. Axess Law's legal advisors explain the risks and consequences of buying property in Ontario. They help you understand buyer and seller financial obligations when signing real estate contracts. Before you make a legally binding decision, get independent legal advice (ILA) from Axess Law.
Why You Need Independent Legal Advice
Ontario realtors sometimes suggest dual agency arrangements, where one agent represents both home seller and buyer. Your realtor may tell you dual agency makes it easier to match homes for sale with buyers they know. They may even offer to lower their commission or kick in cash to get the deal done.
Without an independent legal advisor, you could be signing offers to purchase that are not in your best interests. Realtors are advised against proceeding to closing a deal unless both property sellers and buyers produce ILA certificates.
A certificate of independent legal advice form (Ontario) confirms you took the time to consult a lawyer before making real estate offers. It can prevent misunderstandings or frauds that put your home purchase or mortgage financing at risk.
You need independent legal advice if:
- you share a realtor or real estate lawyer
- your spouse or common law partner who wants to leave you off the property title for a home you buy or mortgage together
- you are offered $1 or other nominal sum in return for being removed from a property title
- mortgage refinancing instructions remove you from the property title
- you have a signed cohabitation agreement, made before you bought or acquired property as a couple.
Prevent Legal Conflicts of Interest
Independent legal advice is not the same as getting a second opinion. It's a completely objective appraisal of your agreement of purchase and sale or other communications a realtor, private buyer or seller or mortgage broker may have had with you.
For example, real estate agents may offer to act for both home buyers and property sellers while closing real estate deals. Axess Law's Ontario realty attorneys give you fair and objective legal advice that protects you financially in these potential conflict of interest situations.
Ontario courts prefer home purchasers get Independent legal advice about potential adverse outcomes of agreeing to real estate transactions. An ILA certificate from Axess Law's licensed Toronto area lawyers shows the court you took the time to ask a lawyer about the nature and consequences of signing real estate purchase agreements.
Selling a home can put you in a legal spot if buyers take you to court to say they were coerced into purchasing property from you. When you give an ILA certificate to a judge, you demonstrate you know your legal obligations as a seller.
Independent Legal Advice on Mortgages
Ontario courts have ruled mortgage borrowers are free to take risks as long as they understand the adverse outcomes in advance. Most new mortgage agreements include an independent legal advice clause. Bankers can only give you a financial opinion, not a legal opinion you can use in court if your mortgage deal falls through. It's another good reason to ask for legal advice before you consent to mortgage loan terms.
Finding an Ontario Lawyer
Only a licensed, practicing lawyer, not a notary public, can give you independent legal advice in Ontario. A free "dial-a-lawyer" phone call is no substitute for our services. Asking a relative or friend who's a lawyer is a conflict of interest for them.
Axess Law's real estate attorneys review agreements of purchase and sale and offer legal opinions on whether dual agency arrangements or mortgage loan agreements are compromising in any way. If getting time away from home or work is a concern, our licensed Greater Toronto Area lawyers make remote video calls 7 days a week, day or evening, at times convenient for you.
Documents We Need
Bring documents to your Axess Law appointment to wrap up your consultation as quickly as possible:
- agreement of purchase and sale
- buyer's representation agreement from your realtor
- listing agreement, if you are selling an Ontario home
- realtor and bank forms, emails or communications
- mortgage loan documents
- cohabitation agreements or marital contracts, if they apply
- and government-issued ID, like a driver's license or OHIP photo health card.
You can email documents to us for online video calls.
What to Expect at Your Legal Consultation
Our experienced real estate lawyers take time to understand your situation and meet with you alone. Let us know ahead of time if English is your second language and an interpreter may be required. We review documents you provide and ask questions to ensure you understand what they mean. Our advice is documented in case you have questions later. Our lawyers require that you pay for independent legal advice yourself or disclose who is paying so we can verify you are not being coerced or unduly influenced by other parties to your real estate or mortgage arrangements.
Confidential Services You Can Trust
We verify your identity online or in person before discussing details of any real estate transactions or mortgage loan offers. Your conversation with us is completely confidential. After your call or meeting is over, our lawyer gives you an independent legal advice form (ILA certificate). It's your assurance you got advice from a lawyer who represents only your legal interests.
Affordable, Flat Fee Legal Services
Legal consultations don't have to be pricey. With Axess Law Ontario's flat fee legal rates, you can easily afford independent legal advice costs. We give you an ILA certificate for only $349.99. Our licensed Ontario lawyers near you make remote video calls online at times that suit your schedule. Our virtual video calling software protects your privacy, regardless of where you are calling from. You can talk to a lawyer by video conference anywhere in Ontario, from the convenience of your home or office. Documents are returned via email or you can pick them up. In person meetings can be arranged at any of our Greater Toronto Area law offices.
Appointments Made Online
Making appointments is easy. Just use our online booking form or call 1-647-479-0118 to select a convenient date and time to discuss your real estate offer or mortgage loan contract.