Bill Pope: Lawyer

Normal Expectations: By the time you receive your lawyer's report on the conclusion of your home purchase and/or mortgage, or on the sale of your home), you will likely receive confirmation about the receipts and payments of money, and the state of title of the property. Generally, you will see that one lawyer's report looks much like any other lawyer's report, by the time the deal is done. You should not expect the "legal title" or payments from one lawyer to be any better or any worse than those coming from another lawyer.

Commitment to Service and Communication: Throughout my work on your purchase, sale or mortgage, I shall work closely with the other parties involved in the process, to be sure your interests are properly represented. I shall also work closely with you, to be sure you get what you expect, and to be sure you know what you are getting. I believe my clients are paying for more than a letter and a few supporting documents: they deserve care, courtesy and communication. Moving can be a stressful time, and professional and courteous service can go a long ways toward reducing your stress and letting you turn your attention to other matters.

Costs: A transaction involving the sale, purchase or mortgage of a home is a Major Event for most people. Expect to face "costs" of stress and time, as well as the monetary costs (legal fees and related expenses) involved.

Legal fees for a purchase and mortgage of a home are typically $1,000; for a purchase without a mortgage (or a mortgage without a purchase), the fees would be $600. Those fees can vary, depending on many factors (including the value of the home, the complexity of the transaction, the timing of the purchase/sale, and the type of security (mortgage) that might be required. You should always consult with a lawyer at the start, to make your needs clear, so your lawyer can make a firm commitment on his or her costs. In addition to the legal fees, there are several other expenses that will be incurred through your lawyer's office.

Other costs and disbursements for a purchase and/or mortgage will vary depending on the transaction, but could include many of the following: G.S.T. on legal fees, sales tax on legal fees, title search costs, registration fees for the purchase, registration fees for the mortgage, agents' fees (if necessary) for registration of documents, photocopying charges, fax and long distance phone charges, courier costs, property tax search costs, and (again, if necessary) survey or title insurance costs.

Additional costs: there are many additional costs associated with a move, and they will vary depending on your circumstances; you should consult your realtor, or look at other resources (movers, banks, internet, library) for information on the kinds of additional costs you might expect; in British Columbia, most home purchases are subject to this Province's Property Transfer Tax. That tax is currently calculated as 1% of the first $200,000 of the value of the property, plus 2% of anything over $200,000.

Time: it is possible for all the legal work in a home purchase to be completed in a couple of days, but most home purchases (especially those involving a mortgage, and those where the people involved are in different locations) require a week or so to complete; keep in mind that fees could be increased if your lawyer has to work outside of normal hours, and/or put aside other work to accommodate a tight schedule; it is therefore a good idea to contact a lawyer at least a few weeks before the scheduled completion date.

Stress: if you are planning for a move, or any other sale, purchase or mortgage of property, you likely have plenty of other things to occupy your mind: a lawyer's office should be prepared to reduce your stress, by assuming the responsibility for getting the legal work done on time and as planned: that's what we do!