Buying and selling property can involve complex legal matters which can be difficult to navigate. For this reason, it is recommended that anybody engaging in commercial or residential real estate works with a real estate attorney. This ensures that you will correctly fill out all paperwork and follow all relevant laws such that everything goes smoothly.
If you plan to work with a real estate lawyer, there are several questions you should ask them in order to receive valuable advice and information. We take a look at these questions below.
It’s important that your real estate lawyer has the proper licenses to practice in your state. You can double-check this on your state bar’s website. Additionally, you can ask if the lawyer has completed any specialized training in real estate law, such as a master’s degree, certificate, or continuing education coursework.
It’s likely you will want to prioritize hiring a lawyer with significant experience practicing real estate law. Ask your lawyer what type of cases they have worked on in the past and which aspects of real estate law they are most comfortable with. Generally speaking, the more years of experience a lawyer has, the better.
Some attorneys practice in other areas of law in addition to real estate. For example, the same lawyer may work on real estate and family law, or real estate and trust law. This may be desirable if your case relates to multiple areas of law. But if you’re seeking help with something exclusively related to real estate, you may prefer to hire a lawyer who practices exclusively real estate law.
Not all real estate lawyers are willing to take on all types of cases. Ask your real estate attorney which types of cases they specialize in and are open to working on. This may include any of the following:
If the lawyer you’re speaking to isn’t willing to work on the type of case you’re dealing with, they may be able to recommend another attorney who can help you out instead.
Learning how many clients your lawyer works with will help you discover two things. The more clients a lawyer works with, the more expertise and experience they are likely to have. However, if they have too many clients, that may indicate that they will not have the time and resources to support you sufficiently.
If you’re working with a larger real estate firm, it may be the case that more than one lawyer will work on your case. There may be an entire team assigned to you, including lawyers, paralegals, and junior attorneys. It’s important for you to know in advance how many people will work on your case. This will give you the opportunity to meet your entire team and confirm that you are comfortable with each of them. And if you prefer more personal, one-on-one treatment, this question may be an indicator that you should keep searching for a different lawyer.
Naturally, it’s important that you understand how much your lawyer charges, what their fee structure is, and how billing works. Be sure to ask this question early on in the process so that you understand whether or not you can afford their services before you commit to working together.
Any legal case comes with its challenges and potential issues that you may come up against. An experienced lawyer should be able to review the details of your case and anticipate potential problems in order to prepare for and resolve them. Asking your real estate lawyer about the challenges that they foresee may arise with your case will give you an important heads-up about what’s to come.