With the spiralling complexity of real estate law and the various forms, documents and policies which are often comprised of dozens of pages of small type legalese, any real estate transaction participant, whether buyer or seller, who decides that the best course is to avoid obtaining professional legal representation is prototypically "penny wise and pound foolish."
There are so many convoluted factors involved in any residential real estate transaction that it is possible for any individual entering into the transfer of a property to end up in court over details in a document they signed without having full comprehension of its terms. The value of a seasoned, professional legal advisor is by far the best investment from both the buyer's and seller's perspective, to ensure that the transaction proceeds smoothly to a close and that there are no unknown or secret liabilities which may surface at any point in time to severely impact any party.
How To Find The Right Lawyer
The search for the right lawyer for your preferences, requirements, and conditions can take some time,but it istime well spent. If you do not have a personal recommendation from a trusted family member, friend, or co-worker as to a lawyer that they have personally used in previous activities and have found to be reputable and knowledgeable, you can start by reviewing the lists of lawyers in your area, available online or in local directories.
The first step is to ensure that you are seeking a lawyer who practices the correct type of law for your needs. There are many different kinds of real estate lawyers in Canada, specializing in commercial, industrial, agricultural or even landlord and tenant issues exclusively. The lawyer you want is the one who is a noted and acknowledged residential property transaction specialist with expertise which dates back many years in successfully closing real estate deals on homes in your region.
Subject Lawyers To An Intensive Screening
Next you must screen these lawyers to bring your list down to two or three prime candidates. During this screening process you must consider various factors:
- Check the number of years the lawyer has been practicing residential real estate law.
- Confirm the types of clients that the lawyer traditionally represents: Some lawyers specialize in representing developers, contractors, landlords, or lenders and are not the choice for a buyer to contract for legal services.
- Make sure that the lawyer's office is readily accessible and open regular hours: Some lawyers especially in rural areas may only be at their office for a few hours a week.
- Carefully review the contents of the report on that lawyer which you can obtain through your provincial law society.
- Ask for references and check them all.
- Google is always your best friend: Are there justified, legitimate derogatory statements on various websites from the lawyer's previous clients?
Of course, the retainer agreement should also be scrutinized meticulously as well as the amount of the retainer. Check with a variety of lawyers to ensure that you have a clear understanding of the prevailing market rate for a legal retainer in your region for the specific type of property, as the requests for retainer can vary wildly from one lawyer to the next.