Buying and selling your home is a big transaction. Without the right professionals, it could go really wrong. Aside from always working with a good real estate agent, you’ll also need a good lawyer. Like any professional, it’s a good idea to get to know them before you start the process. Here are a few questions to ask to make sure working together will be a great experience.

1. Tell me about your experience?

It’s important to go with experience. It’s tempting to want to save a few bucks by going with a less experience lawyer. Is it worth it? Consider the value in working with a seasoned professional who can handle your specific case. Real-life experience goes a long way in ensuring your deal goes through without issues. A good lawyer will recognize problems before they arise. After all, buying or selling a home is a monumental transaction, and the legal documents are where the rubber meets the proverbial road. An experienced lawyer is a sage guide and will make sure all of the finer points are looked after and verified.

2. Is there anything unusual about my transaction or my property?

Seasoned lawyers will have handled countless cases like yours but it’s important to ask what might be unique to your situation. They should do searches for unusual restrictions on property, such as, is it on a flood plain. Ask about the zoning and what other information can have on the future of your neighbourhood. It’s also OK to ask what might go wrong and how you can avoid issues.

3. Always ask what’s next

Learn about each of the steps in your transaction, and what you can expect along the way. What will be expected of you? Will you need to be available during the day at any time?

4. What is the cost and how will I be billed?

Most lawyers can give you a ballpark idea of how much the buying and the selling transactions will cost. These are generally based on their hourly fees and include the help of their assistant, legal secretary or a junior lawyer. Generally speaking, lawyers take their fees at the time of the transaction. Legal fees are a part of the purchase or sale of a home. Don’t try to DIY your way through the experience. It may seem simple, but trust me…it’s not.

5. Who are the members of your team?

Know that it takes an entire team to complete the legal details. You may not interact directly with your lawyer for each touch point along the way. Make friends with their support staff, and they’ll make everything easier. Choose a team you feel has your best interest at heart and is available when you need them.

6. Do you have references?

A lawyer cannot provide names of previous clients. Going by referral is a great way to find someone you can trust. Don’t be afraid to ask why they are being recommended. Knowing what to expect takes a lot of the stress out of both buying and selling.

Call me if you’re in the market for a sale or purchase and want to talk about what you can expect. Speaking of referrals, if you know someone else who is looking for a new home or is interested in selling, I’m here to help!