When it comes to real estate transactions, people usually seek a broker or agent’s help. But, real estate is one of a lifetime deals for many of us. So, if the deal gets too risky or complicated, then it’s wise to call a real estate attorney.
You need to hire a proficient real estate attorney for a complicated and costly real estate deals. A bad consultancy could cost you big time.
You may wonder how you are going to find the right real estate lawyer since you are not a professional in this area. Most people hire lawyers based on their reputation, or they seek other people’s recommendations.
These are not bad practices, but you can do a lot more than that to hire an attorney. The best way to judge a person or his/her skills is to ask questions. In this article, we are going to share some questions to ask before hiring a real estate attorney. We believe these questions will be helpful to hire the right lawyer.
1. How long have the attorney been practicing real estate law?
Experience in the specific field is everything in law practice. Even an attorney with year-long law practice is not enough. You need to make sure that how long he/she has practiced real estate law. A skilled and experienced attorney may not always be the right choice.
Most people who seek an attorney for real estate deal make this mistake. They are like, ” Hey John, do you know any attorney?” John guy may suggest you an expert attorney but not the type you are looking for.
Now that you understand that you need a real estate attorney specifically, the next question is how many years experience should make an attorney the experienced attorney?
Well, there is no exact number, but 8 to 15 years experience considers ideal. You may also want to know if the attorney graduated from a certified law school.
2. How many similar cases the real estate attorney handled?
What could be better news for you if you know that your attorney has handled a couple of cases similar to you and also has an excellent success rate? At least you can sleep at night with peace, knowing that you are going to get help from the attorney who successfully deals with the same subject.
The real problem is the attorney doesn’t share the client’s information due to the attorney-client privilege. So how are you going to know that your potential attorney deals similar cases successfully?
You may contact attorneys in other fields to get a rough idea of your attorney’s case handling background. Of course, you need to know other attorneys, or you have to have such neighbors or friends who know some attorneys.
3. What are real estate attorney fees?
Knowing how much an attorney would charge clear the air. The attorney may charge on an hourly basis or a flat fee. The expected bill by the hour should be anywhere from $150 to $450 per hour.
It’s not possible to predict the exact billing figure. It all depends on the difficulties of the case. But, it’s imperative to have some idea about billing beforehand. It would help you to avoid overpaying. The billing figure would also give you some idea about how complicated your case is.
Many people think everything the attorneys say is sacred and unbreakable. At least in charging fees, its not always the case. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with your attorney about his/her fees. You should make sure that you pay the right amount for the right cases.
4. How would the attorney handle your case?
Your attorney indeed knows the best. But, it’s also positive to be interactive with your attorney. You should know your attorney’s course of action.
It is essential for several reasons. Your attorney’s answer would give you some confidence. If the lawyer gives some vague answers, then it’s better not to hire him. The answers reflect your attorney’s confidence and knowledge about the case.
Feel free to ask anything to your attorney regarding the deal. It also helps your attorney to remain attentive about the real estate transaction.
5. Who else will be working?
If you hire a larger firm to deal with real estate, its essential that you know who else will be working on your case besides your attorney. Some law firms usually let the junior attorney do the initial work.
This is not a bad practice. But in many cases, the assistant is knowledgeable about the law. He/she may not be necessarily a licensed lawyer. So, you have to watch over these assistants. They will get access to many of your confidential files. You have to make sure that whether you could trust these assistants or not.
Remember that an attorney is only necessary for real estate deal if its too complicated, costly or risky. You have to know why you need a real estate lawyer at first.
Don’t waste your time and money on an attorney for a simple real estate deal. Hiring an attorney is costly in general. So hire if you think it would serve you the best.
If you need an expert attorney for your real estate deal in Alberta, contact us immediately.