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Posted on May 2nd 2011 in Real Estate

Buyers and Vendors Beware

The purchase and sale of homes are common activities that happen on a daily basis and ones that many people will be involved with at least once in their life.

When deciding whether to sell or buy a home, the first professional that most will contact is a real estate agent. While vendors and purchasers recognize the importance of involving a lawyer, the majority do not meet with their lawyer until after the agreement of purchase and sale has been signed. The following illustrates why you should contact your lawyer as soon as you decided to buy or sell. Janis entered into an agreement of purchase and sale for a townhouse owned by Kimberley. As part of the agreement, Janis provided a deposit in the amount of $15,000.

This townhouse was one of five that were attached to each other. Running across all five properties, both driveways and backyards, were easements allowing all five property owners access to the other properties. Nothing in the easement text limited the use to which the easements could be put. Janis was informally told of the easements when she asked about building a fence for her dog. Not only did the agreement of purchase and sale not mention the easements, it provided that the title to the property is good and free from all restrictions, charges, liens, and encumbrances except as otherwise specifically provided in this agreement… The result was that Kimberley was unable to deliver good title to the property and Janis refused to close, instead suing for a return of her deposit.

The Court agreed with Janis and Kimberley was ordered to return the $15,000 plus interest. An experienced real estate lawyer, would ensure that such crucial items were properly disclosed and included in the agreement of purchase and sale.