A friend emailed me the other day, asking if I would represent her for her house purchase in Guelph. While I would have been happy to do so, the Law Society requires me to physically examine her ID in order to confirm she is who she says she is, and it would have been impractical to do that kind of travelling, so I recommended she find a lawyer near her.
It got me thinking, though, about using friends to help you, especially friends who are father away. I see a lot of real estate files where the lawyer on the other side is not local, or the realtor or mortgage broker is not local. Sometimes this doesn’t really matter, but sometimes it can matter a lot. Think about realtors, for example: does it really make sense to use a friend who lives in a different city and likely doesn’t know which neighbourhoods are good, which schools are good, and what price houses should go for? Maybe in that situation, you would be better off finding a stranger who knows the area really well and can give you better, more practical advice.
It’s great to work with people you like, but sometimes, it’s not the best idea.