Find the right attorney to handle your case. Before you head to court ask your real estate lawyer these 4 questions.
Ask the lawyer how long they’ve been practicing law. Figure out if their experience level suits the nature of your case. Most seasoned lawyers handle a range of real estate cases. They’ll likely be more than capable of meeting your needs. Gauging their real world experience gives you confidence in their ability to handle your litigation effectively. Complex cases may require attorneys with experience in the 10 to 15 year range or longer since the depth of knowledge one must have to work on such cases must be substantial. A purchase agreement may only require a lawyer with limited experience. Check if the lawyer graduated from an accredited university. If you’re on a tight budget you can go with a less experienced but skilled attorney because senior partner’s rates may be out of your league.
Inquire into the number of cases the attorney has handled. Have a number of these cases been similar to yours? Hiring an attorney with experience working similar cases allows them to see potential problems before these issues arise. Since most attorneys won’t divulge client information without their consent connect with lawyers in different areas and ask for real estate agent referrals. Also speak to friends and family for referrals as some may have used a real estate lawyer in their dealings. Knowing that your lawyer has handled similar cases gives you a vote of confidence no matter what type of case you’re faced with.
Ask the Direct Question
Inquiring into how an attorney would handle your case is an appropriate and direct method to see if they know their stuff. Reputable real estate lawyers would offer a brief overview of how they’d attack the case. Based on their feedback you can probably find if you have a match or non match. Don’t fear asking this question because any good lawyer will be happy to provide you with a breakdown. Stay away from lawyers who offer vague, ambiguous answers to your question. Look for an outline of what needs to be done to be shared with you.
Ask the real estate lawyer how billing will occur. Be aware of your fee schedule. Unless you ask this question you may set yourself up for wallet shock down the road. Surprise fees are not unheard of to the person who didn’t do their due diligence effectively. Since most attorneys bill by the hour you can get a rough idea of what you’ll be paying over the course of your case. If your case is simple in nature just negotiate a price to save both parties time and energy. Ask for a flat fee if you want to have a draft made for some real estate matter. If however you need to spend time in court or if negotiating will be involved expect to be billed at an hourly rate.
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