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Finding a Lawyer for a Real Estate Matter

At some point, nearly everyone needs the services of a lawyer. A transaction involving the sale or purchase of real estate may well be one of those instances. Clearly, such a transaction often involves a significant sum of money. And most real estate transactions are somewhat complicated. In essence, the answer comes down to an analysis of the cost of hiring an attorney versus the benefit of hiring an attorney. Many attorneys, including real estate practitioners, offer a free initial consultation. It may be beneficial to interview a few attorneys in order to determine what types of services can be provided in connection with a real estate transaction.

How Do I Find a Lawyer?

In beginning your search for a lawyer, you might consider asking your friends, family, or business associates for a referral. In many states, state and local bar associations offer referral services. You can simply call the bar association, explain your needs, and ask for the names of lawyers in your area. Lastly, you can look for advertisements in the telephone directory or on television.

Interviewing a Lawyer

When you contact the attorney to set up the initial consultation, consider asking some or all of the following questions:

 

  • Is there a charge for the initial consultation? If so, what is the charge?
  • How long has the lawyer been in practice?
  • Does the lawyer have experience handling cases in the area of law at issue in your case?
  • Will the lawyer handle the case personally or will he or she delegate the case to someone else in the office?
  • What information should you bring with you to the initial consultation?
  • Does the attorney have office hours to fit your schedule?

 

During the initial interview, consider asking the following:

 

 

  • What are some possible outcomes the lawyer might expect?
  • How is the lawyer paid? Will the lawyer will provide you with a written fee agreement? Also, will it be necessary for you to provide the attorney with a retainer, or any type of advance payment of his or her fee?
  • What type of involvement does the attorney expect from you?

General Considerations

In choosing a lawyer, it is extremely important that you explain your situation fully and honestly. Ask as many questions as you feel necessary. It is important for you to feel comfortable with the lawyer handling your case.

Copyright 2012 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.