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(NC)-Buying a home is an exciting time and there are many considerations that require attention. One of those is finding a real estate lawyer.
"A lawyer is often found through referrals from friends or relatives and people should expect a high level of service and professionalism from whomever they choose," says Kathleen Waters, a specialist in real estate law and vice-president of TitlePLUS title insurance. "In order to know if you are getting good value in your service, it's important to understand what to expect."
In Mississauga,Ontario, lawyers have recently adopted new practice guidelines for residential real estate that outline six professional principles that are designed to help ensure the best level of service for clients. But these are just guidelines - no matter what province you live in, you should expect professionalism and due diligence from your lawyer.
The guidelines highlight the importance of communication between lawyer and client and also outline what information a lawyer should share with clients at the beginning of the deal and what is useful for you to tell the lawyer at the outset. For example, depending on your needs, tell your real estate lawyer if you are planning on building a swimming pool or when you are buying a condo, whether you plan to have a pet. All of these issues are affected by the purchase agreement and it's important for the lawyer to examine options to protect your interests where you do not expect to use the property exactly "as is."
The guidelines also direct lawyers about title insurance, which provides coverage for title-related risks associated with real estate transactions. It is designed to provide protection against the unpredictable or undetectable issues such as forgery, fraud and missing heirs that can affect the right of ownership. If you are obtaining title insurance when you purchase, ask your lawyer to review the policy, and especially any exceptions to coverage, with you. It is really useful to know where the easements are on your property and whether there are any restrictions on use registered on title.
Another important aspect of the new guidelines is the reminder to lawyers to provide, when requested, a timely estimate of fees and disbursements for the deal.
To learn more about real estate lawyers, title insurance and other real estate matters see the TitlePLUS Real Simple Real Estate Guide, available for free at www.lawpro.ca. The guide also offers useful calculators, a glossary of terms and a locate-a-lawyer tool.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.