Anytime you buy or sell real estate; you need a good lawyer to handle the transaction. The paperwork and research of a property that a lawyer and their office complete is staggering. Not having the proper representation could lead to issues with this work down the road. Buying or selling a property is a considerable investment, sometimes the biggest in a person’s life. Making sure you are signing proper
paperwork at closing is essential to any real estate transaction.
Knowing how to select the right lawyer does not have to be as severe as many think. There are many options in lawyers, but knowing how to find a lawyer specific to the real estate transaction you need competed is essential to have your transaction go smoothly and quickly. Here are some things to take into consideration when making that crucial decision.
Get feedback on a lawyer you are interested in. Speak to friends, family or colleagues who have used this particular lawyer in the past. Look up reviews online of others who have utilized the services of the lawyer you are researching. Once you have narrowed lawyer choices down, set up a consultation with the lawyer and get to know them. Always be comfortable with who you choose to represent you. Always make sure that you are contacting and researching lawyers who specialize in real estate.
If you are gaining a mortgage with your real estate transaction, speak to the lawyer who is preparing the mortgage documents for whoever the lender is. Different lenders have different rules. Some lenders are okay with any lawyer taking care of this task, while others will only use specific representation. The same lawyer can also prepare for both sides, so if you obtain the same lawyer as the lender, you may be able to negotiate a discounted rate.
Your lawyer should be explaining in detail all of the terms and conditions that accompany your mortgage. Once these documents are signed and initialed, there is no turning back. Always know the specifics of what you agree to. If you find any concerns with your mortgage paperwork, immediately find counsel to review all documents. Find any errors or issues before coming to closing when it will be too late.
Always know what questions you want to be answered by a potential lawyer before meeting with them. If you plan on purchasing real estate, bring all documents and information you have with you for the lawyer to review. Find out from the lawyer what they anticipate the costs of your case to be based on the information you provide.
Sometimes offers on real estate are entered on a weekend where a lawyer may not be available to consult. The offer you put in or accept can contain verbiage stating that the offer is contingent on the review and approval of legal counsel. Always attempt to contact your lawyer before submitting or approving any offer, but if it is just not possible to speak with them, always contain information in your offer that you require it’s review by your legal representation.
Always know what expertise a potential real estate lawyer, like the guys at Laughlin Law have. Ask to see their qualifications, experience, competence and previous work history when meeting with them. You should always seek out a minimum of three lawyers before making a final decision. Comparing the three lawyers you have narrowed your search down to will help you to make the most informed decision.
Think about what the relationship you plan on having with your lawyer looks like. Some real estate transactions are one time purchases or sales, and the work with the lawyer will end there. Other transactions end up being long-term relationships between lawyer and client based on the number of real estate transactions that will be completed. Some real estate sales are for multi-unit establishments or commercial properties. Either of these cases could come with the potential for being sued down the road. You need a strong legal team with experience in these types of transactions to save you down the road from possible litigation.
There are different types of fees that lawyers charge, and it is important to know which type your lawyer will charge you with.
Flat Fees are a straight charge that does not change. There is no question as to how much you will pay to have your real estate transaction completed.
Hourly Fees are based on a lawyer’s expertise and could range on average from $150 to $250 per hour depending on the lawyer. Many lawyers will give you an estimate of what the total charges will be based on past transactions, but know that this type of fee is always subject to change and you could potentially pay much more than you originally intended.
There will also be a goods and services tax on the legal fees you are charged. This is usually seven percent. You will inevitably also encounter out-of-pocket expenses at some point during your case. These costs will be your responsibility. These out-of-pocket costs are typically negotiable for what their costs will be, but you will encounter them during your lawyer’s work.
If you are beginning to wonder if all of this stress and cost is worth it, remember that it is in the end. Only a lawyer with experience in real estate law can give you the legal advice and provide the work you need to ensure your real estate transaction is done correctly. Not only do they leave you with peace of mind when the transaction is complete, but they also ensure that the transaction is done correctly from the start which will make the process move quicker and smoother. Lawyers have expertise in specific areas for a reason, and that is to take care of the clients that they represent. Without representation, or the representation by the right lawyer, a real estate transaction is destined to fail and cost much more in the end than if legal counsel was obtained as being the process with.