10 Factors to Consider When
Choosing a Real Estate Attorney
BY CORY A. LEVINE, ESQ.
There are many different types of Attorneys, so choosing the right Real Estate Attorney makes a big difference.
It is not uncommon for issues or questions to arise during the closing process. The right Real Estate Attorney will protect you and provide guidance.
You should look for Real Estate Attorney who:
1. Performs work promptly.
A good Real Estate Attorney will help prevent delays. You may lose a deal if contracts are not prepared or reviewed promptly.
- Minimum: Contracts are prepared or reviewed within 3 business days
- Better: Contracts are prepared or reviewed within 1 business day
2. Is experienced in real estate.
A good experienced Real Estate Attorney will protect you and create solutions.
- Minimum: Experienced in 1,000+ real estate closings in the local area
- Better: Experienced in 5,000+ real estate closings in the local area
3. Is a "Transaction" Attorney.
A good "Transaction Attorney" will be more focused on amicable solutions. Avoid an Attorney who seems litigious or focuses on litigation.
- Minimum: Practice is partially real estate and other transactions
- Better: Practice is mostly real estate and other transactions
4. Is familiar with the local area.
A good local Real Estate Attorney will have a better understanding of local practices and nuances.
5. Communicates well with your Real Estate Agent & Lender.
A good Real Estate Attorney work effectively with your other professionals and encourage a "team" effort. This will save you time and extra work.
6. Promptly orders a title search from a local Title Company.
A good Real Estate Attorney will order a title search promptly and use a local Title Company (who will be more comfortable with local nuances or issues). Many non-local Attorneys order title searches from non-local Title Companies.
- Minimum: Title is ordered from a Title Company within a week of Contracts being fully executed
- Better: Title is ordered from a local Title Company immediately upon Contracts being fully executed
7. Is comfortable with Mortgage Lenders.
A good Real Estate Attorney is familiar with Mortgage Lenders. An Attorney who often represents Lenders can help avoid unnecessary "red flags" in your Contracts and help you create productive solutions.
- Minimum: Attorney works with Lenders
- Better: Attorney represents Lenders
8. Is properly staffed.
A good Real Estate Attorney will have an office staff experienced with real estate. Avoid Attorney offices who seem understaffed or whose staff will be unable to help or answer your questions.
- Minimum: At least one staff member who is familiar with real estate
- Better: At least one staff member who is dedicated to real estate
9. Has active primary Attorney involvement.
The specific Real Estate Attorney you hire should be actively involved in your transaction, be communicating directly with you, and be the Attorney at your closing.
10. Encourages questions and returns e-mails/calls promptly.
A good Real Estate Attorney will not expect you to be an expert in Real Estate. The right professionals will recognize that your questions are productive and will lead to a smoother transaction.