If you’re in the market for real estate, it’s essential to have the right professionals by your side.
For a successful closing, hiring a real estate attorney is part of the key to a smooth process.
So, how do you know what to look for when choosing an attorney? Read on to discover some qualities that every good real estate attorney should have and how to choose one for your needs.
Start Your Search Early
Although it might feel like the closing day is eons away, it’s a good idea to look for a real estate attorney as soon as possible. This will give you time to do some research and ask the questions that are most important to you.
If you’ve had success with a particular attorney in the past, reach out to them for help again. If not, ask family and friends who they’ve used so you have a good point of reference.
Check online and read reviews of several attorneys in your area. You can also call your local bar association or get a listing online. Just be sure that the real estate attorney you’re interested in is available for your chosen timeframe.
When you look at reviews, make sure the attorney has happy customers and that they have a solid track record. By doing your homework early, you can weed out the attorneys you’re not interested in. Make a thorough list of those you want to pursue further, then narrow your list down from there.
Questions for a Real Estate Attorney
Since buying real estate is likely the biggest investment you’ll ever make, you need to make sure all your bases are covered. In your search, make a list of essential questions that you should ask everyone you talk to.
These questions should include:
How long have you been practicing?
Find out how long the attorney has been working in your area. For residential closings, a few years should suffice. For bigger transactions like commercial real estate or investment property, you want an attorney who’s much more experienced.
How do you handle closings?
Tell the prospective attorneys about your particular situation. Then, ask them what they would do and what their typical procedures are. Knowing how they would plan to deal with things in advance will give you confidence and peace of mind.
What about fees and billing?
Some attorneys require a retainer up front and then bill you the balance later. Ask them what their rates are, and how much they think your individual situation would cost. With so many fees involved in real estate transactions, you need a firm price so you can add the attorney to your budget.
Will there be others working with us?
Some law firms rely on other attorneys and paralegals to work on their cases behind the scenes. Ask if other people will be involved in the transaction or if you can expect to simply deal with one attorney directly.
By asking these simple questions, you’ll have a much clearer picture of what to expect. When you find out about cost and experience, it will make it much easier to narrow your choices even further.
Knowledge is Power
There are several important things that every good real estate attorney should know. Read more about that so you’ll be aware of the intricacies involved in a real estate closing.
Some attorneys work only with sellers, some only with brokers or real estate agents, and some work with anyone involved in the transaction. Decide which type of attorney is most important to you so that you’re getting the expertise you require.
Working knowledge of current real estate law is key to a successful, smooth closing. Quality real estate attorneys keep up with the latest changes so there are no surprises when you get to the closing table.
In addition to a deep understanding of the real estate world, your attorney should be a good communicator. If problems or questions arise, they should contact you as soon possible so you can clear the air before closing day.
A lot of research is involved in real estate transactions, so your attorney should be able to handle the workload. Things like a clear title, issues with commissions, and various legal terms should be looked into and clarified.
The attorney should be able to draft all the paperwork needed for your closing. They should also have staff available at all times who can assist them in this process.
Your real estate attorney needs to be familiar with your area and the people who work there. In most cases, they’re likely already familiar with your title company, your lender, and maybe even your real estate agent.
The job of an attorney is to provide their clients with legal guidance. Make sure you select an attorney who will be by your side throughout the process, and who’s easily accessible whenever you need them.
Attorneys and Your Success
Once you’ve done the legwork, you should have no problems finding a reliable, quality real estate attorney who can help with the closing process. Be sure to check reviews and ask the right questions so your transaction will be a success.
Find out about the attorney or law firm’s experience and their track record in advance. This will ensure that your closing goes as smoothly as possible and that all bases are covered.
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