When people are buying or selling a home, their first thought is always the Real Estate Agent, and of course the agent you choose is extremely important (see our how to choose a realtor checklist). However, so is the lawyer! After the real estate agent’s job is done, it’s up to the real estate lawyer to ensure that the paperwork for the home is submitted properly and that the financing for the home is transferred smoothly – both of which need to be done within a short time frame, which can often be stressful if you don’t have a good lawyer. Luckily for us, our lawyer was excellent – but the people who bought our home didn’t have the same experience!

Marcus*, the lawyer that the sellers selected, made the legal closing process unbearable for both sides, and he definitely was not thinking about the buyer’s best interests. He made untrue accusations, nitpicked and wasted a lot of time, which were purely delay tactics. As a result, he delayed the process for the buyers, which resulted in unnecessary stress for both parties.  Marcus then accused us, the sellers, of withholding information (which we did not), demanded money back on the transaction (his clients did not want this!), ignored our replies to his requests, made threats, accused us of not providing the correct legal property descriptions (he had a copy of the survey) and truly created the most stressful week of our lives. If we felt like this, just imagine how the buyers felt!  The transaction closed late as a result of the delay tactics Marcus used.

Because they are in a position of authority, lawyers can be extremely intimidating. Neither my wife nor I have any legal experience or knowledge, so throughout this process, we actually didn’t know our rights, the technical details or how to fight back – but our real estate agent Reece did. Reece stood up to Marcus’ intimidation, put a stop to every dishonest bully tactic, and fought for us. He also kept us calm, emotionally balanced, and stayed in touch at all times. He refused to let Marcus bully us through accusations or into paying additional costs. In the end, and with Reece’s guidance, we didn’t end up paying a single additional penny out of pocket – he made it clear to Marcus that all the delays that caused the transaction to close late were his fault, and made sure that Marcus eventually backed down.

After the deal finally closed, we discovered Marcus was notorious for doing unethical things in Real Estate – several articles had been written about his unethical practices, including stories of other clients who had experienced similar problems. If the buyers had conducted a quick Google search on Marcus, they would have avoided the stress, and delays that he caused. The bottom line is, finding a Real Estate Agent like Reece is important, but so is the lawyer you choose to handle the legal side of your transaction.

The definition of a Real Estate Agent is to lead and help the buyer or seller through the transaction of buying or selling a home. The definition of an amazing Real Estate Agent, is one who stands by and fights for you even after their part of the transaction is done.

Cynthia and Orlando* Names Have been changed for confidentiality.