Finding the Perfect Real Estate Attorney

No matter what kind of property you're looking for, whether it's a new home or a commercial space for a new business venture, having a real estate attorney to turn to is going to be a major asset.  When looking for a property, you obviously want to hire a realtor that really knows what they're doing - one that can understand and anticipate your specific needs. 

It's the same when looking for a lawyer to help you through the real estate process.  You want someone with specific experience in the field who can guide you past any pitfalls you may otherwise stumble into.  The question is, how do you go about finding such a lawyer - and then, once you do, what questions do you need to bring to the table?

Narrowing the Field

Trying to find a good attorney can feel somewhat overwhelming, especially considering all of the legal firms out there.  Rather than make an attempt at sifting through every single lawyer imaginable in your area, try to cut out a few options so that you can focus on a just a few prime candidates. 

For one thing, steer clear of using a relative or friend as your attorney for your real estate venture.  These scenarios often spell trouble, either ending badly or just not living up to expectations.  People who hire relatives or friends as their lawyer often have a hard time bringing issues with them to the foreground - not something you want to do when buying a property. 

If you feel like a particular route isn't the best or feel that something is being overlooked or should be done differently, then you need to feel free to speak your mind and discuss the issue.  This can be difficult when you're having to take into account personal feelings, making it essential to find a lawyer that can really be an outside, professional link.

Another easy way to narrow down the field is to simply rule out those law firms that don't specialize in real estate law.  A good lawyer that deals primarily in other specialty areas may still be a competent lawyer, but it really pays to have someone who has specific training and experience regarding the legal issues you're likely to face in your purchasing process. 

Another lawyer may be able to handle issues as they arise, but someone with a background in real estate law is going to be able to anticipate situations before they even come up and become an issue.  Even for things that can't be avoided, and most definitely when handling the buying process, a lawyer with some experience is going to have you well-prepared beforehand.  This is going to take a lot of stress off of your mind, as well as save you a good deal of time and money.

Questions for Your Lawyer

It's always good to be prepared in these sort of situations, and the more questions you have for your lawyer, the better.  Bringing plenty of questions and concerns to the table means that your lawyer is going to get a clearer idea for the particulars of your situation - and much faster.  They'll be able to understand the exact legal issues at stake and have the opportunity to get a head start on certain matters that you're concerned about.  Your attorney is obviously going to go over everything with you that's relevant to your situation, but it's good to get really important things out of the way first, or at least those things that are really weighing on you and stressing you out.

Something else to be prepared to ask your lawyer about is costs.  Buying a property is already going to come with its own set of costs that you're going to have to factor in to the whole budget, from down payments and closing costs, to specific costs for filing or obtaining documents and other records.  Knowing upfront what you're going to have to pay for legal services is going to be instrumental in keeping yourself firmly within your real estate budget. 

This is also a good time to strategize with your attorney about ways in which you might save money during this process, which is something you can talk to your realtor about as well.

Also be sure to find out if there will be other people involved with your case besides the main attorney that you meet with.  You're going to want to meet with everyone involved and discuss your specific situation with them.  This will give you a better idea about how well you think these people understand your situation and your particular needs.  It's best to know in the beginning whether or not someone is the right fit for your case rather than when you're right in the middle of the purchasing process.

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Law Office of
Jason S. Stevens, LLC

215 East Bay Street Suite 500-H
Charleston, SC 29401

Phone: 843-410-3953
Fax: 843-414-7240
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