The 411 on Choosing a Real Estate Lawyer

By jayson Schwarz

So you have started the hunt for your next home. That means it's also time for your to choose a lawyer. Below I've provided a few basic steps to get your started.

The first thing to do is figure out wher you want to live, and learn about the area. what does this mean? research, research and more research! Block out, as broadly as possible, the boundaries of the area you want to be in the then drive and walk around it. Familiarize yourself with schools, parks, shopping facilities, hospitals and recreational facilities.

Then check out what industry is in the area. will big trucks come down your street? Will you hear stamping presses at 2 a.m? Are there lots of children? The next important thing to do is visit City Hall and speak to the planning, building and zoning departments to find out if there are any surprise planned. If you are satisfied this area is right for you, the next step is finding the right lawyer.

Find the right lawyer ahead of time. A lawyer must advise you at the time you make your offer, to help and guide you in understanding the offer(agreement of Purchase and Sale)> the right lawyer will explain how real estate agents work, what documents they will ask you t sign and what is to be included in the offer. It is important that you lawyer explains all the potential costs you will face and what you may encounter.

How do you find that lawyer? There are few different ways. The Law society of Upper Canada offers a lawyer referral service for lawyers in particular areas of law. If you call them they will refer you to three lawyers who practice in real estate and can even provide you names of lawyers who practice in a given geographical area. Check newspaper and magazines and see who have had a good experience with a particular real estate lawyer and then interview them. Go online and Google anyone you are going to see. Visit their Web site and see what they offer.

Once you find a lawyer, ensure you get a pre-arranged fee with the solicitor. Get the fees locked in. How much is right, you ask? Okay, here is a range - the fees to close the average resale home or condominium under $500,000 should be somewhere between $750 and $850 plus taxes and disbursements. This may vary in special circumstances. Also, make sure you get a free offer review. Then have your lawyer provide a list of disbursements. Disbursements are those monies expended by your lawyer on you behalf necessary to property search and close the transaction. Be Careful, it is here that someone may try to take advantage of you by charging large fax, mail and photocopy fees. Ask your lawyer to justify all expenditures that don't make sense. Insist on this and if you don't get what you want or need, see another lawyer.

There are no comments

Thank you! Your comment has been submitted and is awaiting approval.

Kathleen Xie

Kathleen Xie

CENTURY 21 Leading Edge Realty Inc., Brokerage*
Contact Me