Yigal Rifkind, Barrister & Solicitor

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Real estate disputes can begin in the sales process

Real estate transactions come with plenty of areas where misunderstandings and disputes can arise. Even before the sale is completed, disputes might occur; if disputes don't come to the forefront during the transactions, seeds for a later dispute might have been unknowingly planted. Understanding Canadian and local real estate law and working closely with all parties in a transaction to ensure communications are clear are two ways to reduce the chance of real estate disputes.

One area where a dispute might occur is between a buyer or seller and a sales representative. Sales representatives in Ontario are currently allowed to charge commissions on transactions. Those commissions can be in the form of a percentage of the sale, a fee or both. This is a recent change in providence law.

Individuals who are not familiar with the change in law might not expect to pay a fee plus commission. After paying what is often a non-refundable fee up front, sellers might be upset when the final sales price is net a percentage commission to the representative. Contracts are also usually signed between the seller and the brokerage, so that injects even more parties into the equation.

Whether you are dealing with a residential real estate transaction or engaging in larger commercial transactions, contracts are a critical component of the endeavor. Contracts help keep disputes from arising, but only when all sides to a transaction understand the language in the contract and how the contract will play out throughout the transaction and beyond. Working with someone who understands the intricacies of real estate law can help you reduce understandings, which reduces the chance of disputes.

Source: TheStar.com, "Real estate fees can be a percentage, flat fee or both," Joseph Richer, Sep. 12, 2015

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Yigal Rifkind, Barrister & Solicitor Attorney

5001 Yonge Street, Suite 301
Toronto, ON M2N 6P6

Toll Free: 416-222-4597
Phone: 416-222-4597
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