What You Need To Know From Ask A Real Estate Attorney
If you are asking so many questions about your real estate transaction and things get risky and complicated, it is better to consult with a real estate attorney than your broker or agent.
According to Paul Quinn, a real estate attorney with Gray Robinson in Orlando, Florida, it is unnecessary to talk to lawyers if you just have a typical transaction like that of an uneventful sale of a single-family home. However, people that are facing a foreclosure, buying homes in a short sale and residential investors are most likely to get benefit from the advice of a real estate attorney.
Paul Quinn says that “Most real estate agents are not licensed to practice law, and they don’t have the training to review surveys or alert buyers to issues that could be costly to fix down the road.”
Not all lawyers saying that they practice real estate law are qualified in handling your case.
If you want to make sure that you will get the perfect legal match in choosing your attorney, ask these questions.
●How many similar cases have you handled? – According to Tim McFarlin, a real estate attorney with McFarlin&Geurts LLP in Irvine, Calif, it is better to ask the attorney if he has dealt with the same cases like yours because if he already had, he will be able to foresee potential problems and head them off because not all real estate matters are equal.
Carolyn Carter, deputy director of advocacy for the National Consumer Law Center in Boston, says most attorneys are not allowed to reveal their clients’ name without having their consent. Carter also suggests that when you want to get a good referral for an attorney, find someone who already had a successful legal works done on a real estate or ask lawyers that you already trust in other fields on who they know would be the best for real estate transactions.
●How long have you been practicing?– According to Aaron Hall, a Minneapolis-based attorney with Twin Cities Law Firm LLC, determining the work experience in taking real-life legal action is important in finding your perfect attorney.
Hall said that maybe they wouldn’t mind having someone with one to three years of experience if they are asking for help with something like purchase agreement. But, if they are dealing with something complex or with a real estate development, they probably want someone who already had eight to fifteen years.
Paul Quinn stated that it is also important to know the school they graduated from. It is better if they graduated from an accredited school. But if the school is out of state, the lawyer’s experience is something that you would want to find out about. You can find a list of American Bar Association-approved law schools at the ABA’s website.
Quinn says that it is not necessary to find a seasoned pro that has decades of experience. In fact, if you want to save money, going with a less experienced attorney would likely charge less than a senior partner.
●How would you handle my case? – Hall says that asking an attorney about what he plans to do on your behalf is not out of line. If you do so, you will determine which attorneys are knowledgable about real estate law.
Hall also says that “If an attorney responds on an ambiguous answer like, ‘Oh, I’ll take care of it, don’t worry about it, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” He is talking ambiguously because he doesn’t know what he will do and have to research it.
Hall says, if he or she is a seasoned real estate lawyer, he will give you a rough outline of the action theories needed to be taken like filing of certain documents.
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●How are you going to bill me? – Hall says if you want to avoid unpleasant surprise about the lawyer’s fee, you have to know the fee schedule of your lawyer. Most attorneys work on an hourly basis, they will charge you every hour they spend working on your case. Fees are ranging from $150 to $200 per hour.
You can be able to negotiate with the price. However, the case is generally billed hourly if the case requires negotiations with another party.
●Who else will be working on my case? – Quinn says that some law firms are handing off the initial work to a paralegal or someone knowledgeable about the law or a junior attorney that is necessary to a licensed attorney. It is better to ask who will do the most work on your legal matter during your initial interview before proceeding.
McFarlin says, after asking for their background, be sure to choose a lawyer that is suited for you and will make you feel at ease.
Cover Photo Credits:Lake Martin Real Estate