An over view on how a real estate lawyer can help you with real estate law and how to find a real estate lawyer that you can trust.
Short sales and foreclosed home sales are becoming the majority of real estate sales in the failing market today but they are still not the norm for most real estate agents who likely only handled one or two in their entire career before the housing bust. And you want to make sure your rights are protected against any future unforeseen fallout such as unpaid tax bills you weren’t aware of or liens on the property from the former owner’s debts. Make sure you are getting into a house with a clean bill of financial health by having a real estate attorney check tax rolls and court paperwork before you sign on the dotted line. Your real estate agent knows houses and the may even be quite thorough on their knowledge of real estate law, however they are not legally recognized to practice real estate law and if they misguide you the fallout will be on your head.
When you begin your search for a real estate lawyer there are a few basic questions you should ask them to make sure they are the right person for the job including how long they have been practicing in your state. For more complex matters you probably want someone with 8-15 years of experience but for less complex matter it likely won’t make much of an impact how much experience they carry.
Ask the real estate lawyer how they plan to handle your case and expect a rough outline of the steps they plan to take. If you get a vague answer like ‘don’t worry, I’ll handle it.” They more likely than not don’t have a clue what to do and you will be billed for those confused hours of figuring it out.
Speaking of billing, always ask how you will be billed. Is it hourly or a flat rate or both? If you have a simple matter you may want negotiates a flat rate. If you are going to need your attorney to negotiate on your behalf they will probably charge you by the hour that they actually spend on your case. Be sure to understand up front what to expect so you’re not surprised when you’re billed.
Finally ask who will be working on your case. Will a paralegal or a Jr. partner be handling most of your case or the attorney you are talking to? Are you comfortable with your case being handed off to someone else with less experience?