What Is The Difference Between A Lawyer And Notary Public?

In this article, we are going to discuss the main differences between a Lawyer and Notary Public when it comes to real estate transactions.

We are also going to provide some tips on how to choose the right company as not all Lawyers and Notaries are experienced in mortgage and real estate transactions.

The biggest differentiating factor is that a lawyer can represent you in court and help you through litigation if required.

Generally, a Notary can help when all parties have already reached an agreement.

Here are examples of common matters handled by notaries.

  • Real estate refinance, purchase, or sale.
  • Business 
  • Wills and Estates 
  • Contracts
  • Power of Attorney
  • Notarizing Documents

A lawyer can also help you with all of the above situations but again, they can also represent you in court and walk you through litigation procedures depending on your circumstances.

Education Requirements For A Lawyer in British Columbia

At minimum, Lawyers in BC must hold an undergraduate degree as well as a law degree.  They usually have additional prerequisites before they can practice law. Continuing education is also an important aspect of their field.

Education Requirement For A Notary Public in British Columbia

Notaries in BC hold a Master’s degree in Applied Legal Studies from SFU.  They are also required to perform a mentorship program and pass exams assigned by the Supreme Court Of British Columbia.

As we can see, both Lawyers and Notaries are highly educated and dedicated to their work.  So how do you know which one to choose when buying or selling a home or refinancing a mortgage?

Choosing A Lawyer or Notary Public For A Real Estate Transaction  

Firstly, Lawyers specialize in many different areas.  You will want to seek a local lawyer who practices in Real Estate Law.  An example of a large local firm would be Spagnuolo & Company Real Estate Lawyers.  You’ll notice that they are experts in real estate transactions and nothing else.

You will also want to speak with a couple of local Notaries.  Ask them if they work on a many home purchases and refinances or if they mainly focus on other areas such as Wills & Estates or Powers of Attorney.

Either way, it’s important to ensure that you hire a company based on their experience and not their price.

Are Lawyers More Expensive Than Notaries?

Based on our experience, we find that lawyers and notaries generally charge similar prices for their basic services.  The prices can vary up to a couple of hundred dollars, depending on the company.

Please take our word for it and DO NOT engage with a Lawyer or Notary purely based on their fees.  You WILL get exactly what you pay for.

If a Lawyer or Notary is offering to help you at a rate much lower than the average, there is probably a reason for it.  We have seen this over and over again. The discount offices end up causing more problems and stress for you at the end of the day.  

The more experienced offices will charge you a fair rate but they are usually equipped with highly experienced staff who have worked on every type of real estate transaction imaginable.  If there is an issue, they will handle it and probably without you ever knowing. 

This will help to create a positive and stress-free home purchase, sale, or refinance for you and your family. 

If you still need help seeking the services of a Real Estate Lawyer or Notary Public, let us know and we will point you in the right direction.  Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to a few Lawyers and Notaries and ask them about their services, experience, and expertise. Check-out their Google reviews and see what past clients are saying.  For any article or home-related financing questions, please call us at 604-334-8993 or toll-free at 1-877-464-1106 or send us an email at info@goatmortgages.ca and we will be happy to help!