Whether you’re buying a house, selling one, or dealing with real estate-related issues, it’s crucial to have a reliable real estate attorney by your side. It doesn't matter if you're a seasoned investor or first-time homebuyer; the services of a reputable real estate lawyer will make things a lot easier and safer on your end.
Real estate law is very complicated, and the real estate industry can be very harsh to those who do not know their way around it. When dealing with real estate transactions, professional legal advice is worth its weight in gold. Lawyers are indispensable in the face of complex issues, but they also offer valuable counsel to general real estate concerns.
Many people take their search for the right real estate attorney to the internet. But just because a specific firm or name appears on top of the results page doesn’t mean they’re the best pick.
That said, asking the right questions is the key to finding the right person– or in this case, lawyer – for the job.
Tell me about your experience in the field.
Real estate law spans a variety of fields. Just because it says "Real Estate Lawyer" in the title doesn't mean the person you're talking to can adequately address your concerns. Look for an attorney who specializes on the issue at hand.
How long have you been practicing?
A lawyer’s years in the business cannot dictate how well he or she can handle the job.
But as they say, experience is the best teacher. Someone who has been practicing for a long time is more likely to find a more efficient take or solution to your case.
How will you handle my case?
This is a vital question to ask because it helps you gauge the knowledge and expertise of the lawyer you are going to hire. Remember that you’re looking for a highly skilled attorney who also has the ability to communicate and make you understand the complexities of real estate law. If an attorney’s answer to this query sounds like gibberish to you, it might be best to continue your search and move on to the next candidate.
Is somebody else working on it?
If the lawyer you’re talking to is a part of a law firm, there’s a good chance that one or more of the junior attorneys will assist him as he works on your case. In case he decides to delegate some of the tasks to his assistants, it's crucial that you know who else gets involved and has access to your personal data.
How much do you charge for your services?
The fees are always an essential part of the discussion. During the interview or consultation, inquire how much their legal services cost and what their billing process is like. Some attorneys charge a flat rate while others have hourly fees. Being aware of these things at the onset will save you from any financial issues and billing disputes going forward.
Can you provide me with a list of references?
While it might seem a little awkward to ask a lawyer for references, don't be shy to do so. Speaking to previous and current clients will help ease your mind and make you feel more confident with your decision. There is no better proof of a people’s competence than those they have served and worked with in the past.
As they say, research is the key. It's not a walk in the park, but if you take the time, you're bound to find the right one. Most importantly, go with your guts. Real estate transactions can be stressful and frustrating, find a real estate lawyer you can trust!