Finding the Right Real Estate Attorney
During a typical real estate transaction, a real estate attorney guides their clients from negotiating the contract to securing a mortgage, arranging inspections and then going through closing, perhaps even supporting them through any post-closing issues. This process generally takes several months. For this reason, it’s important to have a good rapport with your attorney.
Before hiring a lawyer, there are a few important factors to consider. Many of these points can be asked during a pre-hire interview, which most lawyers will offer for free. Consider such things as:
- Ask for referrals from friends, family, and neighbors. Avoid relying solely on internet searches.
- After receiving referrals, conduct some background research on the lawyer’s website or trusted review sites, such as Martindale-Hubbell or Avvo.
- Is the lawyer licensed in the state where your transaction will take place?
- How much experience does the lawyer have with real estate transactions?
- What kind of reputation does that lawyer have? If you don’t receive any referrals from other sources, consider a real estate broker involved in the transaction, as most will have a few recommended attorneys.
Residential real estate transactions are usually handled on a flat fee basis with additional charges for extra services. Commercial real estate transactions are often handled on a retainer versus an hourly fee basis. You should also ensure the attorney you hire is qualified, and that your rights and obligations are covered, regardless of price. If you’re buying, you might have a down payment at risk. If you’re selling, you could potentially lose a transaction if the attorney isn’t representing you effectively.
Buying a house or commercial property is a large investment. It takes a lot of time, money, and effort, and you will want to have an advocate on your side who represents you zealously, and in the most effective manner. Some people will always prefer a lawyer who charges the lowest fee. Buyer beware though; the old adage, “You get what you pay for,” is often true. Don’t base your decision on cost alone. Contact me for a free telephone consultation and quote regarding any upcoming real estate transactions you may have.
James F. Leonick
Leonick Law, P.L.L.C.
TEL: (631) 486-9500