Breaking Down your Invoice
The total legal fee for handling a real estate transaction consists of the lawyer fee plus the disbursements. The lawyer fee is charged for the lawyer’s work in preparing the required paperwork, providing legal advice, and dealing with any issues that arise during the course of the transaction. The disbursements include registrations with the Land Titles Office (title transfer, new mortgage, mortgage discharge, etc. – these are the biggest disbursements you will incur and are often calculated on the value of the home or mortgage amount), courier charges, office expenses, and any other standard disbursements.
Non-standard disbursements, which only arise on some transactions, but are paid for by the home buyer or seller when they do arise, may include updates to a Real Property Report, an Estoppel Certificate when selling a condominium, encroachment agreements, relaxation permits, title insurance, rush fees for quick closing transactions, or multiple payouts on a refinance.
Is that the Total Fee?
Some real estate lawyers separate their fees into the two categories identified above (fee plus disbursements). This is entirely acceptable, provided when quoting the transaction fee, they advise prospective clients of what the total fee will be. Too often clients tell us that they were given a quote by a law office, but were surprised to learn that what they were quoted was actually just the legal fee. They were understandably disappointed to learn that in addition to the fee they were quoted, they could anticipate three or four hundred dollars, or more, in disbursements. If calling multiple law offices for quotes, make sure the price quoted includes all the costs, not just the legal fee.
Flat-Rate Fees Give You Peace of Mind
At West Legal we are proud to offer flat-rate fees for all Real Estate transactions. Our quoted price includes all standard disbursements, including land titles registration fees, courier fees, etc. Any non-standard disbursements will be identified before the transaction closes so you know in advance of any increase in cost.
We strive to be completely transparent in our pricing, so you always have the peace of mind and predictability of knowing up front what you’ll pay. No surprises.