Buying Or Selling Through A Real Estate Lawyer - Yes, It's Possible

In the majority of cases, participants in the real estate market work with a real estate broker to buy or sell a property. Yet, bypassing the agent and working directly with a real estate lawyer is an alternative option.

In Ontario, the law allows only real estate professionals to trade on behalf of clients. However, real estate lawyers can fit into this bracket so long as the trade is a legal service offered within the menu of the lawyer's other legal services.

Savings And Seamlessness

When a lawyer is directly involved in a property deal, he or she can scour the Agreement, spot any weaknesses, make additional protective provisions, redraft documents and simultaneously re-negotiate the deal as needed.

The lawyer can also handle such tasks as reviewing condominium documentation, navigating liens, performing title checks and providing legal advice on such issues as zoning. In many respects, trading real estate through a lawyer can be a smooth, synchronized experience.

Where transactions are fairly straightforward, dispensing with a real estate broker can also translate into sizable savings - no small amount in today's heated market at typical 3% commissions rates.

Legal services and billing differ from firm to firm. Some charge set fees for a trade while others provide piecemeal options. Check the details and ensure that you know what services you will receive and how these differ from what a real estate broker might offer.

When Using An Agent Is An Advantage

Although buying or selling through a lawyer has definite benefits, lawyering and trading are admittedly distinct areas of expertise. Agents spend much of their time honing their skills in marketing, providing appraisals and market analysis, conducting property showings and maintaining extensive referral networks. As registrants with RECO and real estate board association members, brokers are also able to make listings on realtor.ca - a service that not all real estate lawyers provide.

Whether choosing to work through an agent or a lawyer, the decision is best made at the outset - before embarking on a real estate project and after weighing the benefits of each option.

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