Why use a BC Notary for Conveyancing?
By Linda Caisley, CFP
Wondering about whether to use a lawyer or a BC Notary Public when you are buying or selling your home (called “conveyancing”)? Here’s how a BC Notary can help you with your conveyancing:
A Full Range of Legal Services for Conveyancing
In addition to traditional conveyancing services, BC Notaries can also:
review title search results and contracts with clients in the “subject removal” stage
conduct detailed titles investigations, or help REALTORS® with additional due diligence
give legal advice with respect to any aspect of a conveyance
draft private contracts for clients directly, or help REALTORS® draft unique terms for contracts where needed
review strata documents with clients
help clients work through any aspect of a complicated deal, including rush deals, late closings, “ready, willing and able” issues, collapsing deals, transactions involving non-residents, back-to-back transactions, foreclosure properties or transactions where clients are away
help clients who are selling for an estate, or using a power of attorney
add or remove people from title due to marriages, separations, or death
help clients negotiate with other parties to their contracts, their legal representatives, or REALTORS®
help clients create, execute and register subdivisions, easements, rights of way, covenants and other real estate development issues
A quick note about fees: while most BC Notaries charge set fees for simple conveyances, rather than charging hourly rates, these additional legal services are usually charged out on an hourly rate. Contact us for an estimate.
What we don’t do: BC Notaries (and good lawyers specializing in conveyancing) do not represent their clients in court; litigation is rarely required for conveyancing, but when it is required, the work should be handled by an appropriately trained litigation specialist.
The skills and knowledge base needed to successfully represent a client in court are not the same as those required of a great conveyancing legal services professional.
Imagine if your doctor said “no, you don’t have to go to a gastroenterologist, I can do that colonoscopy myself”! It’s the same for conveyancing. If one of our clients decides to litigate an issue that simply cannot be resolved any other way, we will refer them to an appropriate litigation specialist, just like a great lawyer would.
Education & Experience
BC Notaries are specifically trained in conveyancing (rather than receiving a general legal education), and must take required continuing education every year. A significant portion of our annual continuing education deals with conveyancing issues. Lawyers are not required to take any training in conveyancing before practising in this area of the law, or on an ongoing basis.
Many BC Notaries focus their practices substantially around conveyancing matters, and therefore have a significant amount of knowledge and experience to benefit their clients. BC Notaries are also trained in mediation, which allows us to help our clients solve any issues which arise in the middle of a transaction.
Insurance & Governance
All BC Notaries must carry professional liability insurance in order to maintain their ability to practice. The Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia governs BC Notaries, and has great information on their website about BC Notaries.
Culture and Approach
BC Notaries are trained problem-solvers. When an issue arrives on a file, we approach it from a mediative approach, rather than an adversarial approach. While we might not be able to resolve every issue, our goal is to protect our clients while we help work out a solution to the issue at hand.
Is the client’s mortgage funding late? We can help work out options. Need early possession? We can help negotiate changes to the contract, or early possession agreements. Is the client in a back-to-back deal with a delayed sale? We can manage that too. Need additional debts paid out on closing? We can help. Have a client who is incapable, or who has passed away? We can help. Clients in a divorce? We can help ensure the payouts meet with the terms of a separation agreement or court order.
We respect the professional input and roles of our mortgage broker and REALTOR® colleagues, and work hard to work with them when problem-solving. Since conveyancing makes up a significant portion of our practices, we are also efficient, and good at explaining complex legal issues to clients in appropriate ways.
A recent survey showed that more British Columbians rate their impression of notaries higher than they do of lawyers. Clients were also very happy with the service their BC Notary provided them. In many cases, with conveyancing, your BC Notary will take a very hands-on and personal approach to client service.
The Notary Group
The Notary Group is the Okanagan’s largest professional notary corporation. With 7 notaries in 7 offices from Osoyoos to Kelowna (including one second and one third generation notary), and almost a century of combined experience, we can efficiently and effectively serve a wide range of clients throughout the Okanagan. We also have a large support staff experienced in all areas of real estate.
Check out our website for a location or notary near you, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.