Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Lawyer
If you are looking to buy or sell a commercial or residential property, you’ll need a competent and trustworthy attorney on your side. Real estate is a major investment, and you want to ensure that you are fully prepared every step of the way to make the most well-informed decisions. Before you close, you need to be sure that you have taken everything relevant into account. Finding the right lawyer, however, can be challenging. Most home buyers and sellers have little experience with attorneys outside of one or two interactions. Finding the right attorney for your real estate transaction requires some research on your part and vetting your possible attorney during your initial consultation. Continue reading for advice on what to ask before hiring a real estate lawyer for your transaction. If you are looking to purchase or sell real estate in the Hudson Valley, call an experienced Poughkeepsie real estate lawyer to explore your options.
What is Your Real Estate Law Experience?
Before you hire your lawyer, make sure they have actual experience in real estate law. Ask how long they have been practicing law and, more specifically, how long they have been practicing real estate law. If you expect your transaction will involve complex issues or very large sums, you want someone who has handled a number of real estate transactions over a substantial legal career. If you have special issues you expect to arise, ask if they have familiarity with handling those types of issues. If you are anticipating a real estate dispute, make sure you are talking to a proper litigation attorney with courtroom experience and not solely a transactional lawyer.
Who Will Be Working On My Matter?
Big law firms are notorious for the classic “bait-and-switch.” You meet with the law firm’s founder, the person whose name is on the door, and you are dazzled by their qualifications and experience. Only later do you find out that 95 percent of the actual work will be done by a junior associate a year out of law school, or even by a paralegal. You are paying a premium price for much cheaper labor. Make sure you know who will actually be working on your matter. If you expected the law firm partner to handle your case personally, they need to either follow through, charge you less, or turn down your representation.
How Much Do You Charge?
Before you hire a lawyer for any purpose, you need to know how much it will cost you. Different lawyers have different fee structures. They may charge by the hour, or they may charge you a flat fee per task or for the entire transaction. Lawyers are required to be transparent with potential clients about their fee structure and anticipated fee. A simple transaction relying on a quitclaim deed will cost less than conducting a full title search and full due diligence in advance of a purchase or sale. Make sure you know what you’re getting into.
How Will We Stay in Touch?
Part of your initial consultation is ensuring that your real estate lawyer will communicate with you in a manner that suits you. Find out if they are an email-only type of person, or if they rely primarily on texts or phone calls. Ask how often they expect to keep in touch during the course of your representation. If you expect to need to talk to them daily to provide or receive updates, make sure that that is something they are willing and able to accommodate. You do not want to be stuck in a situation where your chosen lawyer is ignoring your emails and phone calls, leaving you stuck in limbo as your transaction nears closing.
If you need assistance with a commercial or residential real estate transaction in Orange, Ulster, or Dutchess Counties or anywhere in the Hudson Valley, contact the dedicated and assiduous New York real estate legal team at the Law Office of Taran M. Provost, PLLC for a free consultation on your case at 845-733-2720.