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Selecting a Lawyer for Real Estate Transactions

Real Estate TransactionsImagine that you’re just moving in to a new town and looking for a new home to purchase. You probably have hired a real estate agent to help you look for your new home or you may meet a real estate agent at an open house. But how do you find a lawyer, one that you can trust to do a good job for you?

There are so many legal firms in every city specializing in various kinds of legal activities. Sometimes it is hard to choose a lawyer for a simple real estate transaction. If you are new in the city who do you talk to? Your friends are all at home where you are moving from. The only real contacts that you might have will be business colleagues and possibly your real estate agent. In this post we will examine some of the ways to find a good lawyer who will do your real estate transaction for a reasonable price.

Real Estate Transactions – Recommendations from Colleagues, Friends and Neighbors

One of the best methods to find a good lawyer is from friends, neighbors, or even colleagues at work who have lived in your area for some time. When you hire a lawyer to handle your legal real estate transaction requirements, you also may want to consider whether that same lawyer can handle your will, and other similar legal issues that may arise. Colleagues at work particularly if you are in a new city are sometimes best people to talk to about recommending the real estate firm that specializes in legal real estate transactions. Most people will have purchased a home and have a lawyer that the deal with and will also be able to give you an indication of what they will charge or have charged in the past.

If you’re changing homes within an existing city and do not have a lawyer, talk to your friends and neighbors and even your in-laws about a lawyer that you could use. Find out what price they have charged in the past for handling a real estate transaction and how responsive and how good the service was. You may even try several lawyers by phoning their office to find out what kind of fees they charge and whether they will be able to handle your transaction or not. A recommendation from a friend or neighbor or colleague is sometimes the best way to find a good lawyer that will meet your needs.

Look in the Yellow Pages

Another way to find a real estate lawyer is to look in the advertising sections of the newspaper as well as the Yellow Pages. In some countries and some states or provinces lawyers are not allowed to advertise. In those locations you’ll be left with asking for a recommendation from your real estate agent, from a colleague at work, or from friends and neighbors. Hiring a lawyer listed in the Yellow Pages is a bit like throwing a dart at a dart board. You’re never sure what kind of lawyer you will hire and how good their service is and at what price.

Real Estate Transactions – Recommendation from Your Real Estate Agent

Many real estate agents, especially those who have worked in real estate for some time, we’ll have a list of lawyers that they deal with,  who will handle their transactions efficiently and at a reasonable price. When you’re dealing with a real estate agent particularly in the city, they are often the best person to ask about recommending a legal firm to handle your real estate transaction. Again you may ask for several recommendations so that you can compare both services as well as price for your legal real estate transaction.

Questions you should ask Your Lawyer

Regardless of which lawyer you hire and who provided the recommendation for the legal team that you will use there are a number of questions that you should always ask your lawyer or his clerk prior to giving the go-ahead to handle your legal real estate transaction. These questions are not all-inclusive however in our experience they are some of the questions that should always be asked prior to making a commitment.

  • What price will he charge for the legal work for the real estate transaction?
  • What additional fees will there be to close the transaction?
  • Will the communication be by phone, fax, or by e-mail?
  • Do these fees include a title search?
  • Well they handle all of the bank transactions?
  • Will they provide a final report after the transaction is complete?
  • In the statement of adjustments will they include adjustments for — taxes, utilities, condo fees, and any other incidentals?
  • Will they hold your down payment and proceeds from the sale in trust for you?
  • How will the funds be transferred to you if you are selling and how they are transferred to he seller if you are buying?

Summary

One of the best ways to find a lawyer to handle all of your legal real estate transactions as well as prepare a will for you and your family is to talk to people who you know and trust. Friends, neighbors and colleagues from work are often great sources. In-laws as well as family are also good contacts. Follow up with several legal firms to find out what they charge and what the additional fees will be.

Your real estate agent can also provide a recommendation for a lawyer to use. Generally they have worked with many law firms in the past and can recommend a lawyer they are comfortable working with . This could well be one of the best sources to use. You might even ask for several names and then complete your own analysis before making a final decision.

Review the list of questions we have provided with each firm before making a decision. If for some reason you do not feel comfortable, follow your intuition and try another lawyer before committing. Most lawyers are excellent and will provide great service, however like every profession, some are better than others, so choose wisely.

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2 Responses to “Selecting a Lawyer for Real Estate Transactions”

  1. I found this article very helpful. Will continue to watch this blog for more

  2. Good real estate lawyers are hard to find. How do you go about finding one?

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