Planning to buy a real estate property? For simple transactions like buying or selling of property, an agent or broker can help facilitate the sale or purchase of the property. However, for more complicated or risky transactions, it is best to consult a real estate attorney. Examples of transactions requiring the advice of a Houston real estate attorney include foreclosure or buying homes in a short sale. However, just because an attorney says he practices real estate law does not mean he has the qualification to handle your case. Here are some questions that need to be answered when looking for a real estate lawyer.
How long have they been practicing?
Before hiring an attorney, you need to determine their experience in handling legal matters regarding real estate. For simple transactions like a purchase agreement, 1 to 3 years experience is enough. However, if you are dealing with something more complicated, you need a lawyer with 8 to 15 years experience. Likewise, you should ask if the attorney graduated from an accredited law school.
How many cases have they handled?
Not all real estate cases are created equal. See if the Houston real estate attorney has an experience handling a similar case as yours. If so, he has the potential to foresee potential problems. If you want a personal referral, you can contract attorneys you trust in other fields and ask for the appropriate professional to handle your case.
How would you handle my case?
It is just normal to ask the attorney for a brief overview of what they plan to do with your case. Doing so will help you determine if they are qualified to handle your case and knowledgeable with real estate law. If the lawyer is not knowledgeable about the topic, you will get an ambiguous answer such as ‘Oh, I’ll take care of it, don’t worry about it,’”
How will you be billed?
At the onset, it is important to know how much they will charge you to avoid unpleasant surprises in the future. Most Houston real estate attorneys will work on an hourly basis so they will most likely charge you a certain amount for every hour they will spend on your case.
Who else will be working on your case?
Initially, some law firms will hand the case to a junior attorney, paralegal, or someone who has knowledge of the law but not necessarily a licensed attorney. On your initial consultation, ask who will do most of the work on your case and make sure that you will be comfortable working with that person.