Before you hire a real estate lawyer, you need to make sure they’re a good match for your needs. Here are a few things you should do before hiring a real estate lawyer.
1. Get Personal Referrals for a Real Estate Lawyer
Personal referrals are a great way to find a good lawyer. If a lawyer successfully helped your friend, neighbor, or family member with a real estate matter, there’s a good chance they can help you too.
Do you know anyone else who has faced a legal challenge like yours? It’s a good idea to ask them who their lawyer was and whether they would recommend them. Depending on the issue, you may also be able to get recommendations from an advocacy or survivor’s group in your local community.
If you don’t know anyone who has faced a similar legal problem, the next best thing to do is often to check reviews. Online reviews can sometimes tell you what kinds of cases a lawyer has worked on in the past and how they communicate. Keep in mind that online reviews often skew negative, as people are most motivated to write reviews when they’ve had a bad experience.
2. Check the Lawyer’s Real Estate Expertise
One of the first things you should check about any lawyer you are considering is their specialty and experience. Most real estate lawyers today have websites, so you can check to see whether they list real estate law as an area of expertise. Some real estate lawyers specialize further in areas like property disputes, new construction, or selling a home.
Later on, when you interview the lawyer, ask them whether they’ve worked on cases like yours. Not all real estate cases are alike. If you choose a lawyer who is already familiar with the laws and precedents that relate to your particular case, you may be able to save some time.
3. Contact the Bar Association
Most U.S. states and counties have their own bar associations. The bar association regulates the legal profession in their jurisdiction, and membership is mandatory in some areas.
You can usually find information about any registered attorney on the association’s website or by calling their phone number. As a prospective client, you will want to check that the lawyer you are considering is admitted to the bar in your state and has a valid license to practice law.
Some bar associations also give the public access to any complaints against local attorneys and information about disciplinary actions taken against them. If you have access to this information, it’s a good way to check a real estate lawyer’s reputation.
4. Conduct an Interview With the Real Estate Lawyer
No matter how you found the real estate lawyer you are considering, you should always ask them a few questions before hiring them. You need to make sure they are accessible, available, and able to provide the kind of legal counsel you need.
Here are a few questions to ask a prospective lawyer before you make a decision:
- How much experience do you have cases like mine?
- Do you have a history of success with cases like mine?
- How long do you think my case will last?
- What do you think is the most likely outcome for my case?
- How can I stay in touch with you, and how long does it usually take you to reply?
- Do you work alone or with a team? Can I meet the other team members who will work on my case?
If a real estate lawyer promises success, be wary. No case is 100% assured of access. If the attorney is open and transparent from the beginning, they will likely be open and transparent going forward.
5. Ask About Fees
Different real estate lawyers and law firms have different rates and fee structures. As a prospective client, you need to know what to expect. While cost should not be your main consideration in choosing a lawyer, you ideally want someone whose rates you feel you can afford.
Before hiring a real estate attorney, ask what their fee structure is and how much they estimate the total cost will be. You should also ask what you can do to help keep costs down.
Real Estate Lawyers in Snohomish County
The Anderson Hunter Law Firm has been helping people with their legal needs in the Snohomish County area for over 100 years. We treat every client’s case as important, and we have cultivated a reputation for responsive, personal service.
Contact us today to get in touch with an experienced real estate lawyer in Everett, WA.