- How much do you charge?
This seems like a no-brainer, but I am surprised at how often people do not ask me during the introduction phone call. There is no reason to be shy! No one expects the attorney to work for free, but you need to know that the cost is within your budget. Is it a flat fee or hourly? Hint: it should be a flat fee for a standard real estate buy or sell. Does the attorney front costs to be reimbursed at the closing, or do you have to pay as you go? Do not leave the cost as a mystery to be solved at the closing table, or you may end up feeling burned.
- Will I be dealing with you or your assistant?
Most attorneys who handle a high volume real estate practice will have a trusted assistant who will handle many important aspects of the transaction. This person is most likely very competent, but importantly, they will not be a licensed attorney. You want to know that you will have access to you attorney’s ear and advise, not the assistant’s, when you need it. You do not want to be speaking directly to your attorney for the first time on the closing date!
- Do you have any client reviews/testimonials?
In this day and age of yelp and avvo, any modern business has customer reviews available for potential customers to see. This is a great way to crowd source your due diligence before pulling the trigger on your attorney hire. Like any other service you shop for, you want to know that other customers like the product!
- Do you have a website?
It is 2016, and every reputable business has a website. Not only do you want to see that the attorney has a website, you want to see that it doesn’t look like the attorney’s teenage daughter programmed it! Is it a placeholder website gathering dust in some corner of the Internet? Is there useful content? Has it been updated? The law changes constantly, and a vibrant website with good content is an indication that the attorney is up to date and keeps current with the trends.
- What can I expect the process to look like?
No one like surprises, and a good real estate attorney will give you a clear and concise description of the whole process from contract to closing. For example, my real estate guides provide the steps in the process for both buyers and sellers. Although no one can predict the future, the attorney should be able to provide an overview of the process and identify some common issues the come up during the typical transaction. By providing you with this important information, the attorney arms you with information you can use to prepare yourself for issues that may arise along the way.
What questions do you have for your real estate attorney. Feel free to leave them in the comments, and I will provide answers.
As always, I also welcome you to contact me at 773-632-8330 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. I am honored by your referrals! See what my clients have to say about my responsive service and fantastic results right here.