It’s important to have a good lawyer when you’re involved in a real estate transaction. This is someone who will safeguard your interests, make sure everything about the deal is solid and legal, and who will point out any potential problems. Before choosing a lawyer, do your research and don’t be afraid to ask some questions. Let’s look at the top 5 things to consider when choosing a real estate lawyer.
- Experience – When you’re selecting a real estate lawyer, experience is very important. When doing your research, ask where the lawyer attended law school. It’s also good to know how long he or she has been practicing real estate law. Beyond this, find out how experienced the lawyer is with the particular type of real estate deal you’re involved with. Someone with lots of experience will be comfortable and familiar with the kinds of issues you’re likely to encounter. Choosing a firm with at least a few years of solid experience gives you the confidence to place your situation in their hands.
- Local Knowledge – In addition to overall experience, it’s good to know that the lawyer has a thorough knowledge of the area where you’re buying or selling real estate. Local knowledge helps the lawyer navigate through the situations that are likely to arise in this region. He or she will be familiar with local real estate prices, taxes, zoning ordinances and other regulations. Someone like this is better equipped to advise you for local real estate deals than someone who’s a stranger to the area and has to look everything up from scratch.
- Customer Service – It’s reassuring to know that the real estate lawyer you hire is going to provide a high level of customer service. This means answering your questions in a timely manner, doing any necessary research and providing advice that serves your best interests. When considering a law firm, make sure you know exactly who handles all of the work. For example, do the lawyers cover all aspects of cases themselves or do they pass some of the work to paralegals? It’s good to know that you have access to an experienced attorney to advise you and answer your questions. It’s also a good idea to ask how long the entire process is going to take.
- Specialization – Many lawyers handle real estate but you’re better off finding one who specializes in real estate. If you hire a law firm that handles a wide variety of cases, there’s a good chance that they aren’t experts in real estate. This makes a big difference if you’re looking for someone who is extremely knowledgeable about all of the issues related to buying or selling a home or property. Someone who’s not a specialist may overlook something that can end up costing you extra money. They may also waste time researching items that a specialist would handle more promptly.
- Costs – Before choosing someone for any type of service, you want to know the cost. When it comes to a real estate lawyer, make sure you know exactly how much he, she, or they are going to charge you. If they quote you a price, make sure you understand what is and isn’t included. Are they charging you by the hour or a flat rate for the transaction? Real estate purchases involve a variety of fees, including title insurance, search disbursements, and deed registrations. Aways be clear about the total costs before choosing a real estate lawyer. At the same time, don’t make cost your only consideration. The cheapest lawyer isn’t necessarily the best choice. Weigh the cost relative to the lawyer’s experience and reputation.
If you’re looking for an experienced real estate law firm in the Oakville area, contact us.