Your real estate lawyer: what do we do?

Real Estate Lawyer, Law Law Firm

The average person knows that they have to have a lawyer to complete their real estate transactions - the real question is why? Here are some of the things your lawyer is doing for you:

  • Agreement of Purchase and Sale: Your lawyer will review the agreement of purchase and sale, and explain the process. It is a big deal and it is important for you to understand.


  • Title: simply said title is what gives you the right to buy/sell and use the land. Your lawyer will look for any possible issues with the title to the property and keep you informed.

  • Restrictive Covenants: These are rules about how you can use the property. They are very common in subdivisions. Your lawyer will review them and being them to your attention.


  • Land registration: properties in Nova Scotia were previously registered in a paper system. Now Nova Scotia is moving to an online database that it much easier to search, among other benefits. Your lawyer will check to see if the property is registered with the new system. If you are selling a property that is not land registered, you will likely have to "migrate" it to the new system prior to selling. You lawyer will also handle the migration (for many firms it is a separate fee from the fees associated with a sale).

  • Debts & Judgments: Old mortgages, liens and judgments. Your lawyer will do a search to determine if there are interests (often debts) registered on the land, which should be dealt with prior to closing.

  • Zoning and by-laws: while this is important for commercial properties, if you have a particular use in mind for your property you should let your lawyer know so they can check to make sure the property is zoned properly for that use and will be in compliance with by-laws.


  • Deed - your lawyer will deal with the deed for the property. Only the Seller's lawyer in a transaction actually drafts a deed. The Buyer provides information to the Seller's lawyer to do this. Once received the Buyer's lawyer must register that deed and the change the ownership on the online database. Only lawyers certified with the province and a select few other people are allowed to make changes to this database. Real estate agents cannot.

  • Mortgage - your lawyer drafts your mortgage. We receive instructions from your lender and we draft the documents, and sit down to sign them with you. Any mortgage related to the property must also be registered on the online property database. Usually a final report to your lender, certifying that everything was done correctly, is required once the transaction is finished.


  • Your lawyer handles all the money related to the transaction. They receive funds into their trust account to handle the purchase price, realtor commissions, mortgage payouts, outstanding taxes, oil adjustments etc.

  • Closing Day Adjustments: When the buyer does the final walk-through, if there are any issues, your lawyer will go to bat for you to get them sorted out before you close.

Come talk to us:

If you have any questions about real estate lawyers you can call us at (902) 826-3070 or email us at to set up a meeting with one of our lawyers at our Tantallon law firm. You can also schedule a no commitment Issue Review Consult for $100+HST where you have the opportunity to explain your situation to a lawyer and get basic advice before deciding whether or not you'd like to retain us.  

By: Briana C. O'Grady, J.D. – Associate Lawyer

The information and materials on this blog are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. Nothing contained on this blog is legal advice or constitutes a legal opinion. While it is our goal to provide information which is current, legislative changes and court decisions, among other matters, may result in some information no longer being current or accurate. You should consult a lawyer before relying on any information. The views expressed herein by individual contributing lawyers posting entries to the blog are solely those of the authors and should not necessarily be attributed to or considered representative of the firm of Highlander Law Group Lawyers