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Real estate legal matters can be daunting. To help you out, we've put together some information you may find useful. Use the links below to jump to the section you'd like to read about.

How much time do you need to prepare my file for a closing? How can I hire your firm to act for me in a real estate transaction? How soon after you receive my paperwork will you contact me? When will you start working on my file? When do I have to come in and sign the paperwork? Who will I be meeting with when I have my appointment? When do I need to pay you or bring in the money to complete my transaction? How can I pay you the money I need to bring in? What is a Real Property Report and do I need one? I’m purchasing and selling a property at the same time. Is there anything I need to know in case there are delays? What happens if my transaction is delayed? I will be out of the province of country leading up to or on the day of closing. Does this matter? What kind of information will you need from me once you have my file? I’m purchasing or selling a property. What happens with the keys for the property?

How much time do you need to prepare my file for a closing?

At Reich Law, we can sometimes work miracles. The shortest deal we have ever completed was received the same day it was closed. But we prefer not to do this everyday! To give us the most amount of time to prepare your documentation, we prefer to have the unconditional agreement in our office at least 2 weeks before closing.

During busier periods, we charge $150 as a rush fee if we are opening your file and preparing your documents less than 2 weeks but more than one week before closing. If we have less than a week to prepare, we charge at least $200 as a rush fee, depending on how much time we have to get everything done. We will sometimes waive these rush fees depending on the circumstances, so please Contact Us for more information.

How can I hire your firm to act for me in a real estate transaction?

If you have a realtor, simply provide them with our firm’s name and contact information. They will forward the real estate contract to our office and we will get in touch with you from there. If you don’t have a realtor, but you’re getting financing, send our firm’s name and contact information to your lender, and they provide us with the documents we need to open a file for you.

If you don’t have a realtor, or you aren’t getting financing, feel free to send us your paperwork directly, either by email, fax or in person.

How soon after you receive my paperwork will you contact me?

We will contact you within 2 business days to let you know that we received the paperwork, and confirm that you would like us to act for you.

When will you start working on my file?

Most of the sales, purchases, and refinances that we assist with have conditions that must be met before they will proceed. To avoid incurring unnecessary legal fees on your file, we always wait until all conditions are met to open a file for you and complete any work. If your transaction is one where we don’t recommend waiting for this to happen, we will get in contact with you and get your instructions, but this is quite rare.

When do I have to come in and sign the paperwork?

Approximately 1-2 weeks before the closing of your transaction, we will contact you to gather any last pieces of information that we need to complete the paperwork and will schedule your appointment.

Who will I be meeting with when I have my appointment?

At Reich Law, you will always meet with a lawyer to review and sign any necessary documents. When your file comes into our office, your file will be assigned to one of our lawyers. For more information on who is handling your file, feel free to take a look at our Team.

When do I need to pay you or bring in the money to complete my transaction?

Typically, we will issue our account once the transaction has completed and will pay it from the money that you have either received from the transaction or that you bring in to our office. For most sales, purchases or mortgages, we do not require you to pay anything before we open your file (sometimes referred to as a retainer).

If you are closing a transaction and you need to bring money in to our office, you will receive a detailed calculation for how much money you need to bring in. Most clients find it to be convenient to bring in the funds when they come for their appointment, but others still need some time to get their funds in order. We will need all of the money necessary to complete your transaction 2 days before the closing or completion date.

How can I pay you the money I need to bring in?

Since we will need to process the funds right away, we require funds either by bank draft or certified cheque, made payable to James F. Reich Professional Corporation. If the amounts are smaller, you can also provide payment by e-transfer.

What is a Real Property Report and do I need one?

A Real Property Report is a survey of the property’s footprint on the land, or in other words, a drawing that shows all of the structures and where they are located on the property. This survey is submitted to the local municipality or county to confirm that any structures that are shown comply with municipal bylaw requirements.

If you have a house or a condo where you own the ground underneath your unit, you will need a Real Property Report. If you are purchasing a property, we ensure that you are provided with this from the seller. If you are selling the property, you are responsible for paying to have one done. Most banks will require a copy of the real property report showing that there are no issues before they will fund their mortgages, including for a refinancing.

If you have any questions about whether a Real Property Report will be required for your transaction in particular, or if you would like some more information about the process of getting a Real Property Report, please Contact Us and we would be happy to assist you.

I’m purchasing and selling a property at the same time. Is there anything I need to know in case there are delays?

The reality is that there can always be delays with real estate closings. This can be caused by a wide range of things, including delays with funds being received, Real Property Report Issues, difficulty getting documents signed by parties who are out of the province or country, power outages cause by natural disasters, etc.

Particularly if you are buying a property in another jurisdiction and are selling your property locally or vice versa, we highly recommend that you have bridge financing in place, unless you already have the funds on hand to complete both deals. This will ensure that any delays from one transaction won’t affect the other. Feel free to inquire about this product with your bank directly.

What happens if my transaction is delayed?

If we believe that it is likely that your transaction will be delayed, we will let you know as soon as possible. The nature of the delay will impact what we would recommend, but in many cases there are options available to help minimize any impact that a delay may have on you.

I will be out of the province of country leading up to or on the day of closing. Does this matter?

Please let us know if you will be out of the province or country as this may impact how we schedule your appointment. It will also help ensure that our office can get in touch with you should anything arise on your file.

If necessary, it is possible for our office to send the documents to you to have them signed in another province or country, but we will typically need as much time as possible to make these arrangements.

What kind of information will you need from me once you have my file?

The Law Society of Alberta requires us to obtain certain information on our clients for every transaction. This includes:

I’m purchasing or selling a property. What happens with the keys for the property?

If you have a realtor for the transaction, the lawyer acting for the seller will contact the realtor once all of the purchase funds have been received. That realtor will contact the purchaser’s realtor and will facilitate the release of keys.

If there is no realtor and you haven’t made arrangements with the other side, let us know. We can always handle the release of keys at our office, or may have other suggestions to make things as easy as possible for everyone involved.