Hiring a real estate attorney is much like hiring any other professional—you ask around, you look at reviews, you do your research, and you make a decision. Of course, the difference with an attorney is that the stakes are much higher than with a painter or lawn service, which is why the “do your research” portion of the process should involve a little more work. You can always repaint your bedroom ceiling, but you can’t un-sign a contract! If you’re not sure where to start, we can help. Here’s what to look for in a real estate attorney.
Find Someone With the Experience You Need
First, we’ll assume you’ve already covered the basics of vetting a real estate lawyer—making sure they’re licensed and in good standing, looking at reviews online, and finding someone in a location that is convenient to you. Once you’ve gotten these squared away, it’s time to dig in and do the additional research needed to find the right real estate attorney for you.
Real estate is a broad practice area that encompasses many different subspecialties. There are real estate lawyers who specialize in litigation; others only work with builders. Construction law, zoning law, and contract law may all fall under the umbrella of real estate. If you need an attorney to help you renegotiate your mortgage to avoid a foreclosure, an attorney who specializes in eminent domain cases isn’t the best choice.
Look for someone who has extensive experience performing the service you need. After all, you’re hiring a real estate attorney for their expertise—it’s not worth paying someone for a service they’ve never performed before.
Communication Should Be a Priority
Everyone says they value communication, so don’t be vague about this—be specific about the level of communication you expect. Do you hate talking on the phone and prefer email? Do you want to know that you’ll get a same-day response when you ask a question? These are things you should discuss with any potential attorney to ensure that they’re a good fit.
When reading through reviews online, pay attention to what people say about communication. If you see a trend that indicates an attorney is unresponsive, they might not be the best choice for you. Do remember, though, that attorneys have many clients and your case cannot be their top priority at all times; it’s important to have realistic expectations.
Your real estate attorney should be upfront about what you’ll need to pay for their services, whether it’s a flat fee or an hourly rate. If they charge by the hour, you’ll want to get an estimate of how many hours the work you need will take. Will they let you know when they’re close to exceeding that number of hours? Will additional hours be charged at the same rate?
Learn More About Hiring a Real Estate Attorney
Our team of real estate attorneys has the experience you need to get the job done right. If you’d like to learn more about our services, request an appointment online or give us a call at 512-505-0053.