Legal: Hiring a Real Estate Attorney for Retainer

by Tracye Thompson 02/09/2020

Photo by Succo via Pixabay

When you need a real estate attorney, be sure to do your research. Don’t just hire an attorney because your friend or a relative sings the attorney’s praises. The referred attorney may be great in the practice area they helped your friend or relative in, but they may not have the experience needed for your case. In addition to researching the attorney’s knowledge, you should also make sure you get along with the lawyer and make sure they don't have bar complaints lodged against them.

Practice Areas

Real estate is an encompassing practice area. It has many sub-practice areas, such as boundary disputes, buying and selling real estate, probate issues, easements, title issues and more. If you need legal advice for a boundary dispute, you need an attorney who has experience with boundary disputes. Another example: If you were left property by a loved one who died, the property needs to go through probate. You should retain a real estate attorney who has experience in probate law. If not, you might have to retain a real estate lawyer and a probate lawyer, which will cost you more money.

Reputation

Once you determine the real estate lawyer has experience in cases like yours; you will need to check the attorney’s reputation. Always check the state’s bar website to make sure the attorney is in good standing. You may also check other sites for reviews, including peer reviews. Once you determine that the attorney is in good standing and handles your type of case, you are ready to schedule a consultation.

The Consultation

Once you schedule the consultation, gather any documents you have that are related to your case. You will also need to jot down several questions for the attorney. Some questions are to help you determine the attorney’s experience and how they interact with their clients. Questions might include:

  • How many cases like mine have you handled?

  • Of those, how many cases had a positive outcome?

  • What are the ways I can contact you? (The answer should be phone and email. Some attorneys even give out their cell phone numbers.)

  • What is your fee schedule? If the attorney charges a flat rate, be sure you understand what is included in that rate, whether it’s to negotiate your case or go to trial, if needed.

  • If the attorney charges by the hour, ask what the retainer is and how much they charge on behalf of their staff. For example, the attorney may charge $125 for work that a legal assistant does and $175 per hour for work that a paralegal does.

  • Review the attorney’s contract before you sign it.

Personality

Finally, if everything else is to your satisfaction, only retain the attorney if your personalities do not clash. When you retain someone you do not get along with, your case could suffer because of the differences between you, the lawyer and the staff. If you do not have a personality clash, then you are ready to retain the attorney.

About the Author
Author

Tracye Thompson

Originally from central Florida, Tracye came to Northern Virginia after a 20-year military career. The Marine Corps took her too many places around the globe as she worked through the ranks. Tracye has taken those experiences and applied them to good business practices. Buyers and sellers appreciate her systematic approach to their real estate. She ensures that her clients are well informed, which enables them to make all of the decisions required in the real estate transaction. Tracye delivers a level of service that consistently exceeds her clients’ expectations, which accounts for the majority of her business comes from word-of-mouth referrals. She is a resident of Stafford and assists clients throughout Prince William County and Fredericksburg. Tracye knows the area and understands how economic cycles affect the market on a daily basis. She helps her clients to navigate the often complex steps of a purchase or sale, from the first meeting to the closing table. If you are ready to make the commitment to move forward on your next home, call or email Tracye for the information and assistance you can trust.