Real Estate Lawyer vs. Real Estate Agent: Who Does What?

The house is covered by a hand protecting to the client the buyer of the house in the real estate concept.

Posted by heritagelaw on Mar 2, 2023 in Blog, Real Estate Law

When you buy or sell a home in Alberta, there are two extremely important members you need on your team:

The real estate agent and the real estate lawyer.

Consider agents and lawyers as opposite sides of the same coin: one will help you find or list your home, while the other will help you legally purchase or sell it.

Where a real estate agent knows all about market analyses, home values, and neighborhoods, a real estate lawyer is versed in real estate law.

Together, they can ensure that the process of buying or selling a home is comprehensive and legal.

Let’s take a closer look at the differences between a real estate agent and a real estate lawyer in Alberta:

What Does a Real Estate Lawyer Do in Alberta?

Real estate lawyers in Alberta help clients looking to buy a home navigate the legal aspects of home-buying. 

In this province, it is mandatory that you work with a lawyer while buying a home to make sure the transfer of land from the seller to the buyer is legally enforceable and binding.

While you may be tempted to seek the services of your estate planning lawyer in Alberta to help you through the home-buying transaction, it is recommended that you hire a real estate lawyer.

Real estate lawyers are experts when it comes to titles, property-related bylaws, insurance, and inspections.

If you do have an estate planning lawyer in Edmonton, check to see if the firm also employs a knowledgeable real estate lawyer.

Here is a summary of what a real estate lawyer does:

  • Advise clients on relevant real estate laws.
  • Draft a purchase agreement, mortgage contract, and title documents.
  • Assist in closing the deal.
  • Arbitrate contractual disagreements.
  • Represent their clients in court for matters related to real estate.
  • Represent tenants in disputes with landlords.
  • Assist landlords with lease agreements and rental applications.
  • Assist with foreclosures, bankruptcies, and short sales.

What Does a Real Estate Agent Do in Alberta?

In Alberta, a real estate agent meets with clients and researches listings that fit their needs. They plan property showings and answer any questions their clients have about a home.

They also help with the necessary paperwork and will assist clients in hiring an inspector, negotiating with stakeholders, and drafting a contract.

Real estate agents can also help you find the right mortgage lender.

Overall, real estate agents in Alberta guide their clients through the home-buying process and help them make informed decisions.

Here is a summary of what a real estate agent does:

  • List properties for sale.
  • Prepare homes for viewing.
  • Host open houses.
  • Take prospective buyers to listed properties.
  • Advise sellers on the best price for their homes.
  • Help sellers make their homes more appealing to buyers.
  • Promote properties for sale.
  • Oversee deal closure between the buyer and the seller.
  • Asses mortgage options and help their clients make the best decisions.

What Happens When There’s Confusion Between Them?

While many real estate agents may feel that their job is done as soon as they send the documents over to the real estate lawyer, it’s important that they maintain contact in case something happens with the deal.

If you are moving forward with the purchase or sale of a new home, it’s possible that you may end up with a real estate agent and real estate lawyer who do not regularly work with each other.

Ideally, you want an agent and lawyer who communicate regularly and stay on the same page.

As the client, there is not much you can do if there is confusion between the lawyer and agent except to ensure that you are staying in the loop when it comes to issues.

Be sure to introduce your agent to your lawyer and set the expectation that you want them to work as a team on your property transaction.

Many real estate agents and real estate lawyers value open communication and professionalism.

Can I Buy or Sell a Home With Just a Real Estate Lawyer?

It is possible to buy or sell a home through a real estate lawyer without seeking the help of a real estate agent.

If you’re selling your home, you can do what is called a “private sale,” where you advertise your home and take offers directly from potential buyers. The legalities of the sale are handled by the real estate lawyer.

This can save you money, but also takes a lot of time and effort.

You can also buy a home without a real estate agent to save money. Because the seller won’t have to pay a commission to an agent, you can negotiate a lower price.

However, real estate agents can facilitate an easier purchase and research, view, make offers, negotiate, and close a deal.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to whether or not you want to work with a real estate agent, but either way, a real estate lawyer is required to complete the transaction.

Real Estate Lawyers in Edmonton

If you are looking to buy or sell a home, you can count on our professional team of real estate lawyers to help you through the entire legal process.

Heritage Law will ensure that all legal aspects of the transaction are covered.

We can also review your purchase and guide you on factors such as mortgage insurance, zoning issues, land transfer tax, liens, tax arrears, and more.

We are more than happy to work with you and your real estate agent to ensure that all of your needs are met!

Contact us today for more information.