Posted by: SMARTER BOLDER FASTER | July 24, 2009

Choosing a Real Estate Lawyer

By Elias Metlej

A client told me that when she bought her first home she met with her lawyer once, for only 15 minutes. Following this, she understood only two things – she paid a lot of money and she owned a house. Unfortunately, far too many people experience this legal blur when purchasing or selling their home.

A property transaction will be an overwhelming experience. In our business, surprises are problems, and choosing the right lawyer will help avoid them. The following are some of the factors you should consider when selecting a lawyer for a property transaction:

Use A Real Estate Lawyer – There are more than 2100 lawyers in Nova Scotia, and most can complete a property transaction. You can expect specialized service and a greater familiarity with the subject matter from real estate lawyers.

Seek Multiple Meetings – Your lawyer’s role is to explain everything and coordinate your file. Achieving this during one consultation will be difficult, especially if it occurs on or just before the closing date. Find a lawyer who provides an initial consultation to review the legal and financial aspects of your deal. Many lawyers offer this service at no extra cost.

Compare Prices – While most lawyers charge fixed fees for property transactions, be sure to investigate exactly what is included in the price. Quoted legal fees may not represent everything you are responsible to pay for. Avoid the persuasion of the lowest price; fees are a significant factor but should not be the sole basis of your decision.

Rely On Trusted Sources – Follow the advice of your realtor, banker, or those close to you who are familiar with a lawyer. Hopefully they will guide you towards someone you trust and are comfortable with; possible the two most important qualities of a lawyer.

– Elias Metlej is a real estate lawyer with the Halifax firm Blois Nickerson & Bryson. You can write to Elias at

Reposted from the Metro Daily News (June 14, 2009)


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