Hiring a Lawyer for Real Estate Transactions

Real estate transactions are complicated and you should hire a lawyer to help you. Real estate law involves many areas of law such as agricultural, residential, commercial, construction law.

Two Types of Real Estate Lawyers

Litigation and Transactional. Litigation real estate lawyers handle lawsuits and transactional lawyers handle contracts. Sometimes, they do both. So depending upon your particular need, you will want to find a lawyer that specializes in your type of transaction.

Where to Find a Real Estate Lawyer

Referrals are the best source. However, if you do not have a referral, then check some of the following sites:

  • Martindale – Hubbell Directory. The lawyers are rated by their peers.
  • Local Bar Association
  • Internet
  • Newspaper or Trade Journal

Fees and Retainers

Find out if the real estate lawyer you are hiring charges a flat fee, by the hour or is willing to work on a contingency basis. Most real estate attorneys will require some kind of retainer when you hire them before they start working on your case. They will also require you to sign a retainer agreement. You will also want to know what the billing arrangement is, monthly or quarterly.

Initial Consultation

At the initial consultation, your lawyer will ask you to fill out a questionnaire with your contact information, the nature of your case, whether it's litigation, the result you are looking for and any other pertinent information that will help your transaction. Most lawyers will also do a conflict check to make sure they do not represent any parties on the opposing side of your transaction, which would be a conflict.

Don't Assume that Large Firms are Necessarily Better

Sometimes the best attorney to hire is a sole practioner. Once you interview the attorney and ask some preliminary questions, you will be able to determine if you like the person enough to work with him or her and if you feel they have the right background and expertise for your case. Just because an attorney is part of a large firm, does not mean that they are the most experienced and the best choice for you. The larger national firms tend to charge a higher fee most of the time as well. Unless you have a very high profile real estate litigation matter, a smaller or mid size firm probably can handle your work just as well for a smaller fee.

Don't Hire A Lawyer That Does Not Practice Real Estate

It's a big mistake to hire a lawyer that does not practice real estate for a real estate matter. The laws are always changing and unless someone practices on a day to day basis, they may not know the proper procedures and practices. It could cost you more because they will have to educate themselves on the law at your expense. Even a knowledgeable attorney can miss something, but your chances of success are greater with an experienced real estate lawyer.

If you may need legal assistance for an upcoming Real Estate transaction, consult with a specialized Real Estate Lawyer in your area today.

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