The buyer's agent will prepare the purchase contract, but there may be instances where either or both the seller and buyer may want to review the offer with their lawyer before it is signed. This is particularly so where the transaction is complex. It is also important to note that the standard Residential Real Estate Purchase Contract form is designed to deal with residential property and is not appropriate for the sale of an acreage, commercial property, business or farm. If the buyer's agent is using a standard form prepared by the Alberta Real Estate Association it his responsibility for ensuring that the correct form is used.
Following the acceptance of the offer and removal of all conditions the lawyer will take all necessary steps to see that the transaction is completed in accordance with the terms of the purchase contract. Your lawyer will arrange for you to come into his office approximately 7 to 10 days prior to the possession date to review and sign all documents.
As a general rule the seller and buyer use different lawyers: however, there may be some instances where one lawyer acts for both parties provided all parties agree.
The Seller's Lawyer
Conveyancing practices have grown increasingly complex over the years; however, the essential elements remain the same. The Seller's lawyer is responsible for preparation of all necessary documents required to transfer the title to the buyer. He will search the title to the property and check the standing of all encumbrances registered against the title and property taxes. He will prepare a Statement of Adjustments which reflects any necessary adjustments called for in the purchase contract. The most common adjustments are to the taxes, mortgages, rents, and GST. He will also arrange for the discharge of any encumbrances which must be removed from the title. The lawyer will meet with the seller to review the transaction and to have all necessary documents signed. The documents are then forwarded to the Buyer's lawyer.
The Buyer's Lawyer
The Buyer's lawyer will review all documents and make the necessary searches to ensure that his clients receive good title to the property subject only to the encumbrances which were accepted by them in the Purchase Contract. If appropriate, he will arrange for title insurance. He will also make sure that the Statement of Adjustments has been calculated correctly, and where necessary, will require the seller to discharge unwanted encumbrances.
If a new mortgage is involved the buyer's lawyer will prepare the mortgage documents. The buyer's lawyer will be responsible to register all documents at the Land Titles Office. When title as been transferred the buyer's lawyer will pay the purchase price to the seller's lawyer. The actual granting of possession to the buyer is coordinated through the lawyers and the real estate agent. It is always desirable that possession coincides with the transfer of title and payment of the purchase price. In some circumstances the purchase price can be transferred by the Seller's lawyer and possession given by a process called Western Protocol. Upon completion of the transaction the lawyer will provide you with a complete report of the transaction including full accounting for all monies and copies of all pertinent documents.