The Five Questions To Ask Your Real Estate Attorney First

  1. 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.

  1. 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!

  1. 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!

  1. 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.

  1. 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 patrick@loftus-law.com 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.

How To Hire A Real Estate Lawyer

My friends at avvo.com wrote a nice little guide for those of you who are in the market for a real estate lawyer.  Check out the guide here.  It’s definitely worth checking out if you want an anxiety free way to get some questions answered.

Another anxiety free way to get your real estate law questions answered is to email me at patrick@loftus-law.com or call me at 773-632-8330.  Telephone consultations are done free of charge!

See what my clients have to say about me!

Tips On Voting For Judges

Although the upcoming presidential election is dominating the headlines (thanks, Donald), next Tuesday’s primary is about so much more than who will be the next resident of the White House.  Statewide, we are voting on our representatives in Congress and in the legislature.  Here in Cook County, among other things, we are voting in the hotly contested race for state’s attorney.

Most of you are going to arrive at the section for judges having no idea who any of these people are.  Is one of these judges the lady who went off her meds and walked from Markham to the Daley Center to assault a sheriff’s deputy?  Is this the judge who was removed from the bench due to allegations of mortgage fraud?  Is this the guy who hit me with that big fine on that speeding ticket 2 years ago?

Well, I am here to help!  While I don’t know every judge in the State of Illinois or even Cook County, I know who does.  The Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), Chicago Bar Association and Cook County Bar Association all have committees that evaluate judges, and they all publish the ratings.  Here are links to some of the judge ratings.  Print them, take them with you to the polling station, and brag to your friends how informed you are about this election.

Illinois State Bar Association – This is the one for you if you happen to live outside of Cook County.  They rate judicial candidates all over Illinois.

Chicago Bar Association – This is the one I use.  They even have a pocket guide, so that you can better conceal your voting crib notes.

Cook County Bar Association – In case you don’t fully trust the opinions of the other 2 bar associations.

If you live outside Cook County, your local county bar association almost certainly reviews and rates the judges and judicial candidates.  Just type “[my county bar association] judicial evaluations,” and the evaluations will probably be the top result.

So there you have it!  And if you don’t vote, don’t complain about how much President Trump is spending on the wall to keep Muslims out!

Emanuel gets the go-ahead to seize Old Main Post Office

Things are getting interesting over at the Old Post Office again.  As I wrote back on February 29, the City is moving to take control of the property to sell it to someone who will develop it.  Mayor Emanuel’s plan received approval from the Community Development Commission.  The City will now seek bids from developers, which are due by June 8, 2016.

Meanwhile, the current owner, Bill Davies, claims that he is on the verge of sealing a deal with “a New York investor with ‘impeccable status and stature‘” to redevelop the property, and that the Mayor’s actions will jeopardize that plan.  Evidently, Emanuel is not interested in promises made by Davies.

For more, see the article linked below from the SunTimes.

Mayor Emanuel got the go-ahead Tuesday to seize control over the vacant Old Main Post Office and solicit bids to redevelop it.

Source: Emanuel gets the go-ahead to seize Old Main Post Office

The Cool Bike Path That Will Soar Over the River Has a Name and Start Date

For those of you who are fans of the “606,” it looks like the north side is getting its own version of the popular path/park.  Check out the DNAinfo article linked below for more!

The planned Riverview Bridge was once known as the Addison Underbridge Connector.

Source: The Cool Bike Path That Will Soar Over the River Has a Name and Start Date

Construction Work Begins on Western-Belmont Viaduct

More change is coming to Roscoe Village!  If you frequently use Western Ave., DNAinfo has you covered with this Survival Guide.  Best of luck to you Northsiders, while I continue to deal with construction on the new Kennedy to Eisenhower flyover.

A half-century old, much traveled viaduct in Chicago is about to be torn down. But will the plan to replace it really improve traffic conditions?

Source: Construction Work Begins on Western-Belmont Viaduct

Hat tip to WTTW’s Chicago Tonight for the photo!