Buying and selling real estate has become very specialized the last few years. So when looking for a lawyer/notary, make sure it's a real estate lawyer/notary - one who spends most of the time closing real estate deals.
And don't wait until after the deal is struck before choosing a lawyer; then you lose the valuable input he or she can provide scrutinizing the offer before your pen hits the paper. Since your lawyer's role is part advisor, part confidant and part nursemaid, a good rapport with your lawyer is a must.
How can you find a good real estate lawyer? Ask friends, family, neighbours and co-workers who they've used in the past; and get several names from your realtor or banker, too.
Never choose a real estate lawyer/notary just because their fees are the lowest. As with any other professional, quality and experience are the key, not just price.