How Much To Buy Or Sell My House?


I am often asked how much to buy or sell my house?

Most clients pay about $1,000.00 for a sale and about $1,800.00 for a purchase all inclusive. I would want to know much more about your deal before giving a more accurate estimate or quote.

Can you do any better?

I’m cheap too, but at least I’m smart about it.

Firstly, we sell a service, not a commodity like a car or an appliance (even there, I would pay a large premium for after sales service!). I don’t use the cheapest dentist or accountant in town, do you? We are a one office, two lawyer, 2-3 law clerk operation. Our clerks are very experienced in real estate transactions. The lawyer/staff ratio allows us to closely supervise our staff and have a lawyer return your call if needed. We are not a “mill”.

Secondly, it amazes me that the same clients that haggle over a hundred dollars or so in fees do not even care about the value received for their money. Most lawyers charge little or nothing extra to review the agreement BEFORE it is signed, potentially saving the client from a huge mistake. The “hagglers” often call just before closing when the lawyer can do the least amount of good.

Thirdly, no two deals are the same. A single person selling a “cookie cutter” home in a subdivision comes close, but add in estate considerations (for elderly clients), tax readjustments (for recently built homes), complex documentation review (all condos and new homes), title repair (often owners who have lived at the same house forever), tier B and private mortgagees (each with unique requirements), last minute negotiations for property damage or financing issues, and it is easy to see that some deals require greater effort and attention, the very thing lawyers charge for.

Finally, I have seen many lawyer’s bills in my career. I am convinced that our clients get excellent value for their money in a business that is so competitive that rates charged do not reflect the cost and risk involved in acting on a transaction. Why do we continue to offer residential real estate services to individuals (many firms got out of the business)? Our services include many things besides real estate. We want clients, not deals.

That is he mindset of who you are haggling with.

Who should not use our services?

People who can’t communicate in English or Mandarin – our small staff means that we can only offer services in these languages.

Hagglers – see above.

Fraudsters – We cooperate with police / RCMP investigations where it is apparent that fraud has occurred.

Client’s who want us to do half the job – ie. “Don’t check adjacent properties for inconsistent descriptions, Don’t ask too many questions….”

Who should (we hope) use us?

We value referrals from realtors (they control the business, after all) but we put the clients interest ahead of protecting the agent’s commission (and repeat referrals) in the rare instance the two are at odds. Check our website for any upcoming free breakfast seminars on topics of interest to real estate professionals.

Our preferred client is a small business owner who may avail themselves of other services such as Wills, Family Law and Litigation services. It bears repeating that we want clients, not deals.