It is already a wild and crazy world in the real estate market as we approach what is usually our busy time in the calendar year. Whether you keep tabs on the market statistics or not, it is hard to ignore the speed and activity of the industry evident in many markets these days. 2020 and 2021 are not quite what most of us in the industry expected. Likely for various reasons, both prices and volume are up in many markets, which introduces a unique set of circumstances for the real estate industry from a legal perspective. For those seeking to enter the market, the pressure can be overwhelming for what is an often an already exciting and somewhat scary experience.
In this article, we want to provide some tips for buyers and sellers to keep in mind as they navigate the world of the 2021 COVID-19 real estate environment and to help make transactions run as smoothly as possible. These tips will also help us all help you complete your transaction in an unusually busy market:
- Be in contact with your legal professional early in the process! We are seeing many law firms and notary offices in a position to have to turn away files based on volume and firm capacity. Contacting your chosen professional early can assist in getting a spot on their list which are seeming to fill up quicker than normal. This is especially true if you expect a short turnaround transaction or there are time limitations on your availability.
- Once you have secured a lawyer or notary, try not to make changes to the dates without first confirming with your professional. While month end and mid-month days are historically busier closing dates, they seem to be extremely popular right now and it is less likely that a lawyer or notary will be able to manage a month end or mid-month date change unless they have been alerted to the change and approved it on their end.
- Be cautious. We are hearing about more and more offers being submitted without conditions or subjects (financing/legal advice/inspections/etc.) as a result of the immense demand. While this can be feasible in some circumstances, be sure you get advice about how this will impact you, and where possible, try to complete as much due diligence as you can prior to making the offer.
- Expect to pay a bit more. With a combination of the added complexities in the last year on lawyers/notaries/real estate transactions in general, including the Land Owner Transparency Registry filings, increases in Land Title and Survey Authority cost and the demand on the industry, the cost of legal/notarial services in the real estate industry seem to be creeping up. This is particularly true if you need services on a rush basis.
- Be available! Timing is not as predictable as it may have been previously. Lawyers and notaries require information from other parties in the transaction (real estate offices/banks/insurance companies) to push towards completion and these pieces are not always in the control of the lawyer or notary. As much as most of us would like to have transactions prepared and ready to go early, that may not always be possible if another piece has not yet come together. Try to be available as much as possible leading up to closing (especially in the last 7 – 10 days) and communicate any limitations on that availability to your professional. Note, in most cases, a physical signing with a lawyer or notary is still required for completion of a transaction.
- Provide information early. Your lawyer or notary will need to gather information from you to be able to prepare for your closing. We recommend ensuring they receive that information from you as early in the process as possible to provide as much time as possible to manage the time demands.
At the end of the day, the market is exciting and stressful and our number one tip is to ensure you communicate with those that are assisting on the transaction and, where appropriate, provide approval for your professionals to communicate amongst each other to ensure the transaction will complete as smoothly as possible.
Author: Una Kuzio
This information is general in nature only. If you would like more information on engaging our firm to assist on a real estate transaction, please do not hesitate to contact one of the lawyers at 250-448-2637 or firstname.lastname@example.org