Qualities to Look for in a Real Estate Lawyer

Congratulations!  You are a real estate agent and you just found that perfect house for your client.  You watch with joy as your clients mentally plan where their furniture will go and imagine the happy memories that they will have in that home. 

Then, your clients turn to you and ask, “Do you have a real estate lawyer that you recommend?” How do you answer that question? 

Giving a recommendation is more than just pulling a name from the Yellow Pages or Google.  That recommendation attaches to your professional reputation. Therefore, it is crucial to select someone trustworthy and exceptional. 

While you may have done your part to perfection, it is human nature to remember the last interaction. This means that when your clients think back to your service, the closing will be a large part of that memory. 

The right referral will add to the overall value that you provide your clients. The wrong referral will have your clients questioning your overall judgment. 

How can you choose?  Here are some of the qualities that are crucial to selecting the right real estate lawyer. 

Experience and Expertise

The first thing that you want to consider is a lawyer’s experience and expertise. Some questions to ask include: 

  • How long have they been practising? 
  • Where did they go to law school?
  • Where else have they practised?
  • Do they specifically list “real estate” as one of their practice areas?

The Law Society of Ontario provides some of this information in its directory.  For example, real estate lawyers in Ontario must be specifically insured to offer those services to the public.  Is your lawyer properly insured? It will also list if a lawyer has any practice restrictions or has been disciplined.

Some lawyers choose to solely handle real estate transactions whereas others prefer the litigation that can arise from real estate transactions. Firms like Beeksma Law provide comprehensive and sound legal advice in both areas. 

Ideally, there are no disputes during or after a real estate transaction. However, an experienced real estate agent knows that disagreements can arise.  When that happens, a savvy realtor is prepared with recommendations for their clients. 

Attention to Detail 

Real estate transactions tend to follow a pattern and an efficient lawyer will have checklists and protocols for each type of transaction. However, just like each client is unique, each transaction is also unique.  You are not providing cookie cutter service and neither should anyone that you recommend. 

A high-caliber real estate lawyer knows the questions to ask at the beginning to really learn about their clients.  Understanding their motivations, as well as any roadblocks that may arise, helps a legal professional be proactive. Issues may arise; however, getting ahead of them is a key skill to succeeding as a real estate lawyer. 

Never should a real estate transaction be treated as “run-of-the-mill”.  Instead, a sharp lawyer will give advice with your client’s specific situation in mind. 

This is also where a lawyer that handles real estate litigation is helpful for your transactions.  For example, having litigated transactions that have failed to close, Beeksma Law knows how to avoid unnecessary exposure to liability.

Responsiveness 

Real estate transactions are, by nature, fast-paced. Timing is absolutely everything. Meeting a deadline can make the difference between a deal closing or not. 

You need a law firm that will be responsive so that your transaction can move forward. A lawyer may have years of experience and a wide breadth of experience; however, that is of no use to you if you cannot contact them!

For the sake of your clients and your own peace of mind, the real estate lawyer that you want on your team must be a strong and responsive communicator.  

Client-Focused

While all professionals in the service industry should be client-focused, this takes on new meaning in a real estate transaction. Buying a home is the single largest purchase many of us make in our lifetimes. 

However, buying a home is simply not a purchase, and leaving a home is not simply a sale.  A home is deeply connected to our peace of mind and our personal security. It’s the place where traditions are created and passed down. A home is where we build our lives with our partners, raise our children, and celebrate so many of our milestones. 

Understandably, many clients have a lot of questions and concerns about buying or selling a home. This is especially true for first-time buyers since many concepts are being introduced for the first time. 

How should a lawyer answer those questions? Patiently and clearly. A good lawyer knows the law, but a great lawyer can take complex concepts and explain them in a way that is digestible and easy to understand. A lawyer’s ability to share information will be the key to helping your clients feel empowered, and not overwhelmed, when buying a home. 

Protect Your Reputation

As mentioned at the outset, your reputation is your most important asset as a real estate agent. Your clients trust you to give them good advice about their purchase or sale, and that includes the other professionals that you recommend. 

At Beeksma Law, we understand what a privilege it is when another professional introduces us to their clients. We view it as a high honour, but also as a weighty responsibility. 

We are an award-winning law firm that has been recognized multiple times for our work in the real estate field.  Our clients rave about our professionalism, but also our kind and patient approach.  Our peers in the legal industry recognize the high pedigree of education and experience that we provide. 

For each and every one of our clients, excellence is the minimum standard that you can expect.  Shayna Beeksma and her team have built a reputation based on their client-focused practice, their ability to leverage technology to be even more responsive, and their strategic and attentive approach to each new transaction. 

We would be happy to discuss whether our practice is a good fit for your clients.  You can book a call with us here

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