2 minute read.
A real estate lawyer may not be at the forefront of your mind when you are thinking about buying or selling a property. In fact, their role may seem a bit invisible until it comes to the closing day but make no mistake, choosing an excellent real estate lawyer should be a priority!
Your real estate lawyer’s job is to facilitate your transaction while protecting your best interests. Aside from the exciting moment of your lawyer handing you the keys to your property on closing day, they are also responsible for checking and transferring title for the property, ensuring that you are aware of any encumbrances and right of ways on the property, making sure the property is free of any liens and working to register your mortgage with the bank. As I am sure you can see, they are a very valuable part of your team!
In a sea of lawyers, how do you find the best one for you? Here are a few things to consider:
- What type of property have you purchased? Believe me, this matters! For example, if you’ve purchased a commercial property, the terms of the agreement could be quite specialized so it’s important to find out if the lawyer you want to work with has experience with commercial transactions. If it’s a house or condo, be rest assured that this specialization will make up the majority of real estate lawyers.
- What do other people think? Your mom used to tell you ‘who cares what other people think’ but when you’re choosing a professional for your team, reviews matter. Look online for Google reviews, Facebook reviews, legal forums, talk to friends and most importantly, consult with your Realtor!
- Look for experience. If something happens to come up during the course of your transaction, you’ll want someone with a wealth of experience ready to deal with the problem so that your transaction is smooth.
- Shop around. Once you’ve got a couple of names in mind, call their offices and find out what their fees are. You’ll want to ask what is included in their ‘disbursements’ including the small items such as faxing and photocopying. Keep in mind that their fees will be different if they are representing you for your purchase or sale or both. Most real estate lawyers have a ‘price list’ that their clerk or receptionist gives out.
- Lastly, choose a real estate lawyer much like yourself. If you are a highly detailed person, do yourself a favour and find a detailed oriented lawyer. If you are a ‘talker’, find a lawyer that you can easily talk with. In the end, you will always feel more comfortable working with someone similar to yourself.
In closing, although you may have a family friend or relative that practices law, make sure they are well suited for the job as it will only be tougher if you are disappointed in a family friend or loved one.
If you are looking for a great real estate lawyer, we would be happy to recommend one. If you have any additional questions about your real estate needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us!