How do I choose the right real estate attorney?
Besides price, most people haven’t considered the critical factors about hiring an attorney to successfully close their real estate transaction. Here’s a Top 5 List of questions you should know the answer to before bringing your attorney on board.
1. Does he play well with others? There are attorneys that give their egos priority over their fiduciary responsibility to their clients. Your Realtor may have worked patiently and tirelessly to successfully negotiate optimal terms for you thus far only to then work triple-time to keep your purchase or sale together because the attorneys are butting heads.
2. Does she know the TRID lending regulations? There are lending regulations that require a three-day period before closing to review the final numbers compiled by the attorneys. This requires attorneys to be well organized and proactive in compiling the credits, debits, and allocations of taxes, insurance, oil deliveries, etc. If your lawyer is not up to speed, your closing can be delayed.
3. Is he overly chatty or verbose, adding to your bill? I have worked with attorneys that have kept me on the phone for almost half an hour every time they called and then complained about the extra time they are spending on the case, stating that they will have to bill for it.
4. Does he communicate effectively with you, your agent, the lender and the other attorney? Communication is a critical component because the lender, Realtors, and attorneys have a huge amount of detail to coordinate to keep your sale on track. If any of the players are “missing in action” it prevents the process from progressing efficiently, and critical information can fall through the cracks.
5. Does she specialize in real estate? If your attorney focuses more on criminal law, divorce, or other areas besides real estate, you can end up with an attorney that is in court or unavailable when you need them at a critical time.
Linda Raymond, William Raveis Real Estate, Linda.Raymond@raveis.com, (203) 912-4440, Blog: Linda.Raymond@raveis.com