The world of real estate can be especially harsh to those who are not familiar with its ways and means. But whether you are a seasoned investor or a first-time homebuyer, having a real estate attorney to guide you through the process presents a huge benefit on your part.
When it comes to real estate transactions, sound legal advice from a qualified professional is priceless. While lawyers may be an unnecessary expense in some ordinary transactions like selling a home, they are invaluable assets when buying a house, purchasing or facing a foreclosure, or building your real estate portfolio.
However, just because a lawyer is practicing real estate law or appears on top of your internet search results does not mean that they are the person for the job. The right attorney can save you from plenty of headaches and make complex situations easier to bear. That said, you should start the hiring process by asking the following questions:
How long have you been practicing in real estate?
This is, perhaps, the most critical question that you can ask. A lawyer’s years of experience will most likely equate to what they can bring to the table. More complex transactions call for more experienced attorneys. Working with a lawyer who is adept in the works and dealings of the real estate industry can better protect you and your interests.
If you’re looking into hiring someone with more than a decade of practice in real estate law, however, you should also be prepared to pay for the higher price of their services.
How will you handle my case?
As real estate laws can differ from one state to another, you should also look into how proficient an attorney is with the laws of your state. You may also want to know the fields they specialize in and how many cases similar to yours they have handled in the past.
Asking lawyers how they’re going to approach your case will give you an insight into their knowledge and expertise. They must be able to thoroughly explain the probable course of action and come up with coherent ideas that make sense to you despite your lack of familiarity with real estate processes. Vague and ambiguous responses should be considered a red flag.
What’s your billing process like?
Price is a vital and inevitable discussion. Some lawyers have a flat fee; others charge by the hour. While the cost should not be the primary deal-maker when looking to hire a real estate lawyer, knowing how much they charge for their services early on will save you from any financial headaches and unwelcome surprises as the case progresses.
Who else will work on my case?
Many lawyers work as a part of a law firm with plenty of junior attorneys that assist them. It should be a good idea to ask if they will be working on your case alone or delegating some of it to a paralegal. This will let you know who else is going to be involved in your transaction and have access to your private information.
Is it all right if I ask for references?
Don’t be shy about asking a lawyer for a couple of current and previous clients that you can speak to for reference. There is no better show of a lawyer’s confidence in the quality of service that he or she offers than the willingness to provide you with a list of people who can vouch for his reputation.
Indeed, doing methodical research and asking the right questions can potentially lead you to the best candidates. But when you finally have to choose, be sure to go for the one that makes you feel most at ease.
Original Article – 5 Questions To Ask A Real Estate Attorney