I’m about to buy a condo. Do I need a lawyer or notary public for this, or can I do it myself?

I’m on a tight budget. I gather the legal fees will be over $1,000.



Richmond, BC

Buying real estate in BC involves more red tape than you might think. Your realtor might prepare the contract of purchase and sale. A real estate lawyer or notary public can help with the conveyancing documents that need to be filed to make sure you’re the legal owner. And banks and lenders will require many more documents to be signed before they loan you money. These are tasks that legal professionals usually take care of.

You can do this all on your own, but there’s a lot of precise paperwork involved. Real estate lawyers and notaries do these transactions for a living, so it’s highly unlikely they’ll miss the important details. 

Your real estate agent might suggest a lawyer or notary, but you should feel free to shop around. Most legal professionals will be able to give you an all-in quote in advance, so at least you’ll have cost certainty. And don’t rely on the seller’s lawyer for help; they’re not looking out for your interests

Whether you plan to go it alone or hire advisors, check out our detailed guidance on buying or selling a home. It’ll get you up to speed on your legal rights and give you great strategic tips to take some of the stress out of the home-buying process.

David Kandestin

David Kandestin

People's Law School
  • This information applies to British Columbia, Canada
  • Reviewed for legal accuracy in July 2023

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