How Do I Choose a Real Estate Lawyer?

Choose Your Real Estate Lawyer Carefully

Hiring an attorney is an important decision and it should not be taken lightly. Before you make a choice you should ask for information on the attorney’s experience, qualifications and education.
The process of selecting an attorney is similar to that of choosing a doctor. Talk with your friends, family, and coworkers. Ask about to the experience they had in dealing with their attorney and find out who they like to work with.

Here are some things to look for when choosing an attorney:

After you have a few names, check the Bar Association’s website to make certain the attorney has no history of improper activity.

Look for an attorney who has represented similar people in similar situations.

Choose to work with someone who is involved in real estate law on a full time basis. It is extremely difficult for an attorney to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape of real estate law. An attorney who handles cases outside of real estate limits his/her opportunity to keep up with this fast paced world.

Ask for references. The attorney should be able to have some of his/her past clients call you and tell you about their experience working with him/her. This is the most important part of the attorney selection process. If the attorney refuses, you will probably want to look elsewhere for representation.

For more information on selecting an attorney, call Russ Jacobs – 305.405.4444.

When Should I Call a Lawyer?

When Should I get an Attorney Involved?

Engage your attorney as early in the process as possible, preferably before the contract is signed. This gives you time to develop a relationship with the person who will be “watching your back” and the contract is where much of the heavy lifting in terms of who is responsible for what takes place.

What is a Standard Real Estate Contract?

The Contract is Standard – What is There to Really Change?

Accepting and/or rejecting offers for a home without involving an attorney is risky business. Each offer presented by the prospective buyer should be in writing and your counter-offer should also be in writing. Attorneys have experience in this process. Whenever athletes or celebrities negotiate big contracts they have their attorneys handle this part of the process. Why should your largest transaction be any different?

Your attorney will be able to answer any questions you have during the negotiation. Things like pre-qualification of prospective buyers, issues with open permits and code violations, how to deal with buyer’s need for financing and all of the conditions the buyer will use to get their money back before closing are just some of the things attorneys help sellers address.

Possibly the most important part of the real estate transaction is the purchase agreement. This contract often includes language only a lawyer can understand. The contract may be several hundred pages or it may be a brief document. It may have different versions which offer different protections, but once signed it will be legally binding.

Having your attorney review the contract will help prevent you from making a big mistake. You don’t want to discover that you have signed away important rights, failed to include important protections, or failed to get what you deserve.

When it comes to legal advice, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. An attorney’s perspective is more helpful and likely less expensive than a law suit if things go wrong.

Help! I’m Going To Lose This Buyer…

I’m going to lose this buyer because there is a date to accept the offer and the real estate agent keeps hounding me for the contract – what do I do?

Selling home is one of the most important transactions you will face in your lifetime. You need someone on your side protecting your interests. An attorney with expertise in Real Estate Law will be able to guide you through the maze of paperwork while remaining emotionally neutral.

As the seller, you will face pressure to make a deal. The real estate agent will want you to sign a contract as quickly as possible. The buyer’s attorney will want you to sign a contract quickly. The bank or mortgage company will want the deal to close – so they will be putting the heat on you. And certainly the buyer will want you to take his offer and sign the contract. They put an offer acceptance date on the contract which has a deadline. It means that if and only if you agreed to each and every term of the contract that has been proposed, that it has to be signed to be binding on the buyer. There are two problems with this: 1. the buyer can still get out anyway in an inspection period if it is written correctly and 2. you would never accept everything the buyer offered the first time around and so you will have to counter anyway. Providing the buyer a revised contract even if it is only one change is still a change and represents a new offer with a new time limit. So there is time to have the contract reviewed.

Shouldn’t you have someone on your side double checking everything and giving you the time and peace of mind necessary to make the best decision?