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How To Hire A Real Estate Attorney

Aug 17, 2007
Many people do not feel the need to hire a real estate attorney in order to settle a deal. They think that an agent can do the job expected of an attorney. However brokers are not attorneys and cannot give sound legal advice. You should not overlook the fact that real estate transactions are governed by federal as well as state statutory and common laws. Laws cover a wide variety of legal issues, such as acquiring, financing, developing, leasing and selling all kinds of commercial and residential properties.

There are various valid reasons for hiring a real estate attorney to handle your deals. These reasons include protecting you from mistakes, errors in the documents and in the figures, and other problems that could lead to expensive legal action.

You cannot expect to pick up the right attorney from a phone book or through an advertisement. You can go about hiring an attorney in the following ways.

Personal and Business Referrals - Check with friends, who have invested, and ask for their recommendations. Your business contacts can do the same. The experience your friends and acquaintances have gone through can help you make up your mind.

Attorney Referral Services - If you are not satisfied with your personal and business referrals, you can go the route of attorney referral services. Many referral services, which specialize in real estate attorneys, carefully screen the attorneys on their list with appropriate qualifications and experience. You can certainly ask the attorney referral services, what their qualifications are, including a particular attorney.

Other Sources - You can check with your state's Bar Association for referrals. Your local realtor's association could also refer an appropriate attorney for you.

Interviewing Prospective Attorneys
Make a list of attorneys from all your sources, and prepare to interview them personally. Make a list of questions you wish to ask. Most attorneys will answer simple questions over the phone, with no charges involved.

Your telephone questions can include queries about charges. Whether the attorney charges per hour, or whether the attorney is willing to handle the complete deal for a fixed price. You can request an estimate of the time the attorney might take to complete the whole deal, which involves looking over contracts, handling disclosures, and helping with the closing.

Before you select any particular attorney, make sure that the attorney specializes in real estate. An attorney, who is also a licensed real estate broker, would be an ideal choice.
About the Author
David Gass is President of Business Credit Services, Inc. His company publishes a free weekly e-newsletter on Small Business Consulting at their web site http://www.smallbusinessconsulting.com
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