Do your research.
Your real estate attorney can make or break your lawsuit. For this reason, it is critical to find a real estate lawyer who caters to your specific property needs. Our professionals at Equity Legal have compiled this list of recommendations to help you pick out a real estate attorney who is right for you.
With access to countless websites and search engines, researching legal options has never been easier. The Internet is an invaluable resource in your search for a good real estate lawyer. Open up your laptop and start your search by finding general names or firms – you can do this through legal resource search engines such as www.nolo.com, http://www.findlaw.com, and others. Remember to specifically narrow your search to real estate attorneys.
Review their service statement and personal descriptions.
Once you have some options, research each of them individually. Many firms have service statements, articles, and customer reviews online that you can read through to determine whether or not they are viable candidates for your legal needs. Ensure that potential attorney options do not have any direct conflicts of interest that may interfere with your case.
Most law firms’ websites will feature an ‘About’ page (or something similarly titled) that outlines their principles and practices. Although it is not a binding statement, it offers good insight into a firm’s focuses and priorities that can help you decide whether or not it is a good fit to meet your real estate needs.
To read about our priorities and commitment to assisting our clients in their real estate needs, click here.
Experience is key.
When selecting a real estate attorney, it is important to consider how much experience they have (not only in real estate law, but in cases that are specifically similar to your own). Remember: just because an attorney has years of experience in real estate law does not mean that he or she is well-equipped to cater to your specific case. Make sure that your lawyer is qualified to meet your specific legal needs by verifying his or her amount of experience in related areas.
Look at their track record.
Experience is critical, but perhaps even more important is reputation. Check to see that the real estate attorney you are interested in has a positive history of performance in cases like yours. Researching specific lawyers online can help you find references that indicate their levels of experience – such as awards, nominations, or critical legal wins. To read about our Equity Legal team and their qualifications, click here.
Get a consultation.
A great way to find out more about real estate attorneys you are interested in is to speak to them on the phone. Many firms offer free consultations to discuss cases with prospective clients. Take advantage of this to ask prospective lawyers questions that can help you determine whether or not you feel comfortable working with them on your case. This is also a good time to verify that there are no conflicts of interest that could interfere with your case.
Here is a general guideline of questions that you may want to ask:
- How long have you been a real estate attorney?
- How many cases similar to mine have you handled?
- How would you approach my case?
- How will I be charged?
- Who else will be involved in my case?
- How will we communicate about the case?
Read their retainer agreement.
A retainer agreement (sometimes called an ‘engagement letter’) specifies the services your attorney will provide and the fee associated with them. Make sure that you ask the attorney you are interested in working with for his or her retainer agreement and thoroughly read through before finalizing your decision. Research any terms or points that you may not be familiar with. It is critical that you fully understand what both you and your lawyer are committing to.
Get references from other real estate professionals or former clients.
Real estate lawyers interact with a number of business, organizations, and individuals – it’s part of the job. As a result, there are plenty of people who can vouch for (or discourage) a real estate attorney whom you are interested in.
Online reviews and mentions are a good way to start hearing about clients’ experiences, but you should also ask your prospective lawyer for references. Not only will this allow you to hear feedback from people the attorney verifiably worked with (rather than a faceless name on the Internet), but it also lets you see groups he or she has worked with and whether or not they reflect your personal real estate needs.
At Equity Legal, we put the needs of our clients first. We are committed to helping individuals in their every real estate endeavor, and having a qualified, experienced real estate attorney is the first step. For more information on how Equity Legal can advise you on your real estate questions and problems today, contact us here.