Real estate transactions can be complicated. When buying or selling real estate, it is prudent to invest in the services of a qualified real estate attorney. Upon an initial consult with a real estate attorney, plan on asking the legal expert a few important questions.
When considering working with a real estate attorney, it helps to know what legal services he will offer to best facilitate the transaction. The primary goal of the attorney is to negotiate the contract and ensure the outcome is fair to all involved parties.
The Role of a Real Estate Attorney
Once real estate agents settle the selling price and terms and contracts are signed, the real estate attorney takes over. The attorney reviews the contracts, negotiates repairs, makes adjustments in accordance with the terms of the deal, and may attend the closing.
Some states require that an attorney be present at closing, but Illinois is not one of them. Although the state of Illinois does not require an attorney at real estate closings, hiring this type of specialized legal professional is useful in a number of scenarios.
When to Hire a Real Estate Attorney
Individuals may hire a real estate attorney if they are an out-of-town buyer. A transaction involving a short-sale or bank-owned property should include an attorney. Buying commercial properties, those with structural issues and buildings located in hazardous areas warrant the services of an attorney.
Sellers may hire an attorney if the property they are selling is in a state of distress. Another reason to involve an attorney is when an individual is trying to sell a property with an uncooperative partner. Or sellers may have judgments or liens on the property, necessitating legal support.
Hiring a real estate attorney for a business deal offers an added level of protection for both buyers and sellers. Before settling on an attorney, it is important to consult with the legal professionals and ask questions to determine the best fit for the needs at hand.
Here are the questions to ask a real estate attorney.
1. What are your qualifications?
When a real estate transaction is expected to be complex, buyers and sellers should seek an experienced real estate attorney. Legal fees will be higher for a professional with 10 to 20 years in the field in comparison to someone just two to three years out of law school.
Some real estate lawyers specialize in certain areas, so ask what aspects of real estate law they focus on. Real estate law itself is a specialization. Law school students normally begin with taking elective courses and continue with real estate certification after law school.
Ideally, the real estate lawyer will have earned a law degree from an accredited school. The professional might have attended law school in another state. Since real estate laws differ among states, ask how long the attorney has been practicing in your state.
2. What is your relevant experience?
A lawyer who has had experience handling cases similar to yours will be a valuable asset. Every real estate deal varies, so find a professional who can expect potential hurdles. Although the lawyer will not reveal specific details about past cases, ask about practical strategies for your circumstance.
Asking about the tactics a lawyer might use to handle your situation offers a great deal of insight into how knowledgeable the professional is about real estate law. It is important to come away with a detailed plan of action rather than a vague guarantee of success.
3. What are your legal fees?
Complex cases will demand higher legal fees. Obtain information upfront about what the fees will be. Most real estate lawyers charge by the hour, while some professionals charge a flat fee. Hourly fees range from $150 to $350; flat fees are often between $500 to $1,500.
Legal fees can be negotiated. Although price is one consideration, it should not be the only deciding factor. Remember that involving a qualified real estate attorney early on can prevent larger disputes down the road, plus added attorney fees, costs, and time.
4. Who will be involved in my case?
Large firms may hand over partial work to paralegals or junior attorneys. Learn who, besides the attorney, will be involved in working on your individual case. Ask for the contact information of other members of the legal team in the event you are unable to reach your attorney.
5. Can you provide references?
While initially meeting with a potential real estate lawyer can reveal a great deal about compatibility, the extent of legal knowledge and professionalism, references from past clients and other real estate professionals play a big part in confidently settling on the right attorney.
Real estate deals can be among the biggest of life decisions. A host of unanticipated issues can arise during a real estate transaction. Individuals set on closing a real estate deal are advised to ask the above questions to ensure the best real estate lawyer is working on their behalf.
Working with Allen Gabe Law, P.C.
Whether you are planning on buying or selling residential or commercial real estate, consider Allen Gabe Law, P.C. We provide qualified legal representation to individuals buying or selling all types of real estate. Our lawyers assist homeowners as well as landlords, tenants, owners, and lenders.
Examples of types of cases our legal firm handles include buying and selling residential homes. We provide legal representation for those interested in buying or selling a business or commercial property, facilitating the transfer of ownership, assisting with negotiations, and attending the closing.
Title searches are another area of expertise. Our real estate lawyers will protect you from liens, back taxes and other issues. We also assist landlords with the drafting of leases and review lease agreements for tenants. Various housing court matters are expertly handled by our team.
When you schedule an initial consultation with Allen Gabe Law, P.C., you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. Our real estate lawyers are knowledgeable about Illinois real estate law and will diligently work on the behalf of clients in the surrounding areas of Schaumburg, Illinois.
Give us a call at 847-241-5000, ext. 121 to schedule your initial consultation today.