Tools for a strong foundation: Resources every real estate lawyer should know about
A successful real estate practice needs a variety of tools and resources.
Here are four great resources that are a good starting place to find the right tool for whatever issues come to your practice.
Real estate file management checklist: Real estate continues to be LAWPRO’s second largest claims area by count and cost, and communication breakdowns between lawyers and their clients are the most common cause of those real estate claims. At the same time, even routine real estate transactions involve a number of steps and details that can easily be missed and slip through the cracks.
The File Management Checklist is a great resource that can help you stay organized during intake while enabling effective communication with clients and managing their expectations with a roadmap of the transaction at the outset of the retainer.Download the real estate and other file management checklists for free at practicepro.ca/checklists
Fraud fact sheets: Real estate lawyers are a major target for fraudsters, with fraud schemes and techniques that can be difficult to avoid because they continue to evolve and change. That’s why it’s important to stay up-to-date on recent fraud warnings and best practices with the practicePRO program’s fraud resources. Our Real Estate Fraud Fact Sheet provides fraud scenarios and a list of red flags you need to be aware of.
You can find the fraud fact sheet and other important resources at practicepro.ca/fraud
CBA mortgage toolkit: Over the last few years, lenders have increasingly asked lawyers to give opinions on questions of fact and assume responsibility for matters beyond the scope of their legal services or expertise. Fulfilling these requests increases your risk of liability.
In response to growing concerns over unusual lender instructions, the Canadian Bar Association’s Real Property Law Section prepared a Mortgage Instructions Toolkit with practical tips on how to respond to common lender requests.
Visit the Practice Tools section of the CBA website to see the list of issues and practical guidance.
Real estate precedents, guidance, and mentorship: Every lawyer needs simple and consistent precedents for their standard documents. The Working Group on Lawyers and Real Estate created a set of standard closing documents that have been endorsed by the Federation of Ontario Law Associations. These documents have standardized wording, eliminate repetition, and remove statements and declarations that the vendor is not obligated to give under the terms of the Ontario Real Estate Association’s standard Agreement of Purchase and Sale.
The Working Group also manages an initiative that circulates surveys on various aspects of the work done in real estate transactions to provide real estate practitioners with data on the routine steps and issues that commonly arise during real estate transactions.
Visit lawyersworkinggroup.com to see the Working Group’s precedents and participate in the Mentoring Initiative.