Difference Between a Notary and a Lawyer

Theresa’s Soap Box | SMP Online

Today we want to tackle a very common question that we get asked all the time. What is the difference between using a lawyer or a notary public in a real estate transaction?

Most real estate deals are fairly straightforward and both a lawyer and notary will prepare the documents for you.  If you are buying a home, they will:

  • conduct a title search
  • obtain tax information and
  • any additional info to prepare a Statement of Adjustments.

Then they will

  • prepare closing documents,
  • including a title transfer, mortgage, property transfer tax forms and forward them to the seller’s lawyer or notary for execution.

After you sign your papers, the lawyer or notary will register the transfer and mortgage documents and transfer funds to the seller’s lawyer or notary.

Sometimes, people may have more complicated transactions, so you will have to decide for yourself what your situation is.  If something goes wrong with your transaction, a notary cannot represent you in court, like a lawyer can.  Notaries also cannot represent you in any kind of disputes.

Notary also cannot advise you on legal matter, for example, if you go to a notary to convey a real estate deal, and you ask questions like “I think my neighbour’s fence is on my land, what should I do?”, the notary cannot give you advice on what your recourse is.

In terms of fees, they are not that different these days.  You won’t find a big difference in price for their services.

If you are unsure of which one to use, it’s always a good idea to phone a notary and a lawyer to describe the services you need and then decide from there.

If you have any questions about lawyers or notaries feel free to call us at 1-866-521-9557 or email at mortgage@suttonmember.com.


One Comment

  1. Good article and vid on the difference between a Lawyer or Notary. Lawyers tend to charge a bit more, but can do so much more. For the purpose of a simple transaction, It’s probably worth it to save the $ and use a Notary Public but if there is anything more than a standard conveyance I would say use a Lawyer.


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