Common legal mistakes to avoid when selling your home

Apr 27, 2017

Selling your home is a complicated process that involves navigating many legal issues and requirements. These legalities may seem overwhelming, but working with the right Niagara real estate lawyer should make this process simple and easy for you.

There are certain legal tasks that are commonly done wrong, which have the potential to result in serious complications for homebuyers or sellers. During the real estate transaction, it’s very important to ensure that both you and your real estate lawyer keep these common mistakes in mind so that they are not replicated in your transaction, and you finish the purchase or sale of your home without any unforseen consequences.

Contractual mistakes

Within the Agreement of Purchase and Sale there are a number of clauses. These legally binding clauses spell out the ownership and rules of the transaction. If clauses are not worded thoughtfully or correctly there may be issues for the buyer or seller.

A vague home inspection clause is an example where a contract can fall through for a seller. Buyers can take advantage of a non-specific home inspection clause and back out of the deal, if they receive feedback and complaints that are not addressed as binding within the clause.

In order to mitigate this risk, an experienced real estate lawyer would word the clause carefully, and may consider including an option for the seller to repair any issues the buyer has with the home. This will protect both the seller from having buyers back out at the last minute of a transaction, but it will also protect buyers from having to shoulder the burden of repairs.

Cancellation of home insurance

Many homeowners are too quick to cancel their home insurance.There are strict timeline adherence requirements and legal consequences in doing so too soon. Your real estate lawyer is best suited to advise you on when to take this action.

In Ontario, you are obligated to keep the property insured as a seller until the real estate transaction is officially completed. If insurance is cancelled in advance, under Section 14 of the Ontario Real Estate Associate Agreement, the homeowner incurs any costs of damage to the home. Closing dates change for many reasons; do not risk being uninsured by cancelling your home insurance too quickly.

Consult with your Niagara real estate lawyer before making any decisions to ensure that you are fully aware of your legal rights and responsibilities as a seller. Selling your Niagara home? Meet with a member of the Chown Cairns real estate law practice today.

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