Real estate attorneys know in detail and the laws concerning real estate transactions particularly in the states they practice. People buying commercial or residential real estate may require the services of a real estate attorney when the transaction is high profile, involves a large sum of money or need additional counseling. Only a few states require the participation of attorneys in any real estate transaction, so hiring one is usually a matter of decision. Some real estate attorneys work mainly with residential home buyers, other with commercial real estate ones, and others with landlords whose goal is to rent buildings.
Despite not being legally mandatory –in some cases- to hire an attorney, purchasing a property is one of the biggest investments someone can make. The process is long, involves loans, paperwork, negotiations, and contracts, so hiring a real estate attorney is always the best you can do.
But, how to choose the right lawyer? Here are a few tips that will help you make the best decision.
-Find an attorney specialized in real estate. During a real estate transaction, many issues may arise, that only an experienced attorney will handle with promptness, based on his knowledge and previous experience.
-Interview at least two attorneys before deciding. All professionals have different experience and qualifications. You should better choose one who- within real estate transactions – has more expertise on the precise type of real estate transaction you are doing.
-How do you feel with the chosen professional? It is essential for your peace of mind to entirely trust the skills of your lawyer, and also to feel comfortable interacting with him/her. After all, you are entrusting this person an enormous responsibility that involves your money and your expectations.
-Do not delay the decision. Do not wait for any problem to arise to consult with a lawyer. Hire a professional right from the beginning to prevent any problem from happening. And if a complication comes across during the process, you will already have an attorney who knows the whole situation and what you want, so he will be able to solve the problem rapidly.
-Discuss the professional fees before hiring the lawyer. All real estate attorneys charge their professional fees differently. Some may charge a flat fee, others charge by the hour.
-Ask your potential real estate attorney if he will issue the title insurance policy on the transaction, something recommended for buyers and demanded by lenders. If so, your lawyer could agree to lower his fees as he will earn fees by issuing the policy. Given such case, your costs could diminish significantly.
-Go online, ask for references. Yes, do some online reading, and you will most likely find a lot of information about the lawyer you are about to hire. Even articles or legal publications he might have contributed to. And if you can ask references, do it. Try to get an idea of his/her professional profile and business style. When it comes to asking your friends to recommend you a good lawyer, remember that their suggestions will only be useful to you if they have used that professional for a similar transaction. A lawyer that solved their divorce rapidly and seamlessly may not be able to handle a real estate transaction with the same efficacy.
To sum up, if you are about to initiate a real estate transaction of any kind, make sure to have all areas covered from the beginning by getting the help of an expert real estate attorney.