When dealing with property, it’s always a good idea to seek the counsel of an experienced real estate attorney. But where does one begin? How can you determine the good from the bad? In this article, we will outline the steps necessary to choosing a quality lawyer.
To begin, you should make up a list of prospective options. Ask around to family and friends to see if they have any recommendations. Do an internet search and check out reviews from previous clients.
Once you have a good size list, take a few minutes to make sure that you are looking at the correct type of lawyer. Even in the real estate field, there are a number of specialties that set individual lawyers apart from one another.
Types of real estate law include:
1. Landlord / Tenant
Other types include construction and environmental law. It’s important to note that an expertise in one of these areas does not necessarily guarantee the same in another.
The next step is to effectively find out every detail you can pertaining to your list of candidates:
Check out the website. What is their expertise? Do they have any reviews?
1. What kind of experience do they have?
2. Do they represent consumers?
3. Take a look at the list of representative clients (if available). Does this lawyer work with businesses or individuals similar to you?
4. Ask around to see if they have a good reputation.
5. Ask about conflicts of interest. Does the lawyer represent any of your opposing parties?
Consider any special needs worth discussing. For example, could you benefit from an attorney who is fluent in a language other than English?
When you break it down, there are really only two types of real estate attorneys: those who handle contract matters (transactional), and those who handle lawsuits (litigators). There are some who do both, but more often than not, you’ve find those who specialize in one or the other. If you are involved in a lawsuit, you should find yourself a litigator, otherwise a transactions specialist my be your best option.
If your issue does not involve a lump sum of money, consider whether there may be other individuals with the same issues. If so, you may just be able to pool your funds together and hire the same lawyer.
By this point, you should have a fairly good idea of which option best suits your needs. Schedule a consultation so that you might discuss your situation and determine a game plan.
Hopefully, you now have yourself a better idea of what goes into hiring a real estate attorney.