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.

Amandeep

Amandeep

Richmond, BC

Buying real estate in BC involves more written documents and administrative filings than you might think. While your realtor might prepare the contract of purchase and sale, a real estate lawyer or notary public will help with the conveyancing documents to make sure you’re the legal owner when the transaction closes. And there’s further coordination here that a legal professional might handle when it comes to making sure your mortgage comes through — banks and lenders will require many documents to be signed off on and reviewed before they lend you the money.

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 have a recommendation for a lawyer or notary, but you should 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 to help you out; they’re not looking out for your interests. 

Whether you try to do this on your own, or plan to 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 March 2022

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