Who Pays The Lawyer When Buying A House?

Particia MaldonadoJanuary 27, 2024

House and condominium purchase is a rewarding but complex process that requires the assistance of an experienced lawyer. In the final stages of a home purchase, hiring a lawyer is a necessity after the deal has been closed. Nevertheless, hiring a lawyer early on will make the process easier for you and prepare you for any unexpected circumstances that may arise. 

A lawyer's responsibility is to assure you have completed all the necessary paperwork, paid all the necessary payments, and have everything in order before you move forward with your new purchase. 

The fact remains, however, that buying a house is one of the most significant purchases you will ever make. To avoid being surprised by additional costs that you were not expecting, it is a good idea to know how much you will need to pay as well as what fees you will have to pay, in addition to the down payment and mortgage.

Lawyer Fees

Any time you hire a lawyer (unless they accept your case on a “pro bono” basis ”), you have to pay legal fees in addition to the amount you're spending on your house. Payments for lawyer fees cover the time spent on your case either by the lawyer or by others at the law firm. These charges are based on the hours spent on your case. 

There are several aspects to this process: the amount of time a lawyer spends reviewing and evaluating an offer; drafting and submitting documents; coordinating with the lawyer of the other party concerned; – as well as any time spent with you as their client – handling inquiries, gathering information, and keeping you informed throughout the entire process. An attorney's fees will differ based on a variety of factors, including the lawyer's experience or place of practice.

The seller and the buyer should address certain concerns during a property transfer in order to make the transaction successful. In addition, both parties should ensure they are prepared financially before selling or buying a property, as additional legal and non-legal costs will be involved.


As part of the bill from your lawyer, there will probably be a line for “unpaid professional disbursements.” What does that mean, exactly? An attorney's disbursements are payments made on your behalf to third parties. The disbursements are the out-of-pocket costs your lawyer pays to complete your file on your behalf, which must be repaid to your lawyer upon completion.

A few examples of what might be considered “professional disbursements” in the purchase of a home can be specific government taxes (e.g., Land Transfer Tax); Title searches and registrations (for both existing and new owners); mortgage registration; certificates of execution; titling insurance; bank fees; and travel and office expenses for your case.

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