Legal-Advisors –vs- Real Estate Lawyers

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From Orange County, NY Real Estate Attorney Ronald J. Salvato

There is no shortage of legal advisors out there.  So when you’re in need of legal advice or services for a real estate purchase, sale, or issue how do you choose whether or not you should use one of these legal-advisors or use an actual real estate lawyer?  After all, there are some cost savings to be considered by using a legal-advisor. 

Know what you’re saving: If you’re tempted to save a few bucks by not choosing to use a real estate lawyer keep in mind that lawyers belong to a strictly regulated profession and that there are standards that they are forced to comply with as well as well as insurance to protect against any damages that may be caused by an error or omission.  This is not necessarily the case if you choose an alternate option.  With so much potentially at stake this is a serious consideration to take into account. 

Ensure the use of proper legal forms:  While many legal forms used in a real estate transaction are similar many are not.  In the purchase or sale of one of the most expensive assets you’re likely to own in your life it’s important to be absolutely certain that you’re given the proper forms.  Legal-Advisors may not be as familiar with specific state requirements whereas a good real estate lawyer can help make sure that forms that vary by state, such as binder or purchase and sale agreement forms, are correctly provided and filled out properly. 

In some instances, a real estate lawyer is a must: Some title insurance companies as well as mortgage lenders that will require you to use a real estate lawyer to ensure that the title is good, no liens against the property exist, and that the transaction will take place and closing will occur as anticipated.  Thus, it is sometimes a requirement by other parties that will need to be involved in your real estate transaction that you use a real estate lawyer. 

Expected costs of a real estate lawyer:

A real estate lawyer’s involvement in a real estate transaction may not be as costly as many believe.  While legal fees are typically a bit higher when buying than selling, due to the real estate lawyer’s involvement being more extensive, most fees range from $500 to $1,500 for an average home regardless of if you are buying or selling.  Thus, the services of a professional real estate lawyer is a small investment to make considering the cost of a new home.

You should also know that some real estate lawyers charge a flat fee for specific services provided while others opt to bill by the hour.  If you’re paying by the hour, inquire about what the final cost is likely to be and ask for an accounting for the charges.  Typically, a good real estate lawyer can rather easily estimate the costs related to a real estate transaction and their fees will only go higher if something goes wrong during the real estate transaction.

Important: Are you currently about to engage in a real estate transaction? Do you have plans in the near future to make or accept an offer on a piece of real estate property and still have not decided on a real estate attorney yet?  If the answer is yes, make that offer contingent upon a real estate attorney’s review and approval before you go ahead and sign a binder or give our office a call today before you move forward and we will help you do so with confidence. 

Need a real estate attorney in Orange County, NY? Contact our law offices today.  We offer services throughout the Hudson Valley, NY including Orange County, Sullivan County, Dutchess County, and Ulster County.

How to Choose a Real Estate Attorney in Orange County, NY.

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Finding a good real estate lawyer can be quite the task. So when legal problems arise involving real estate, there are some basic things you should know when selecting a good real estate lawyer. Because of the nature of what you hire a real estate attorney to do you need to find one that you can place a high level of trust in and really depend on. The best way to start the process is by getting referrals. Start asking friends, family and neighbors who they have used; your real estate broker, sales or leasing agent may also be a good referral source.

Avoid choosing any random real estate lawyer out of the yellow pages phone book without doing any research on them. Fortunately, since we are moving into a digital world you can now find a lot of information on lawyers on the internet by visiting their website (such as this one). Thus, in the absence of a referral to a real estate attorney by someone you trust, use your computer skills and start digging. You can find plenty of information online about real estate lawyers and what to expect from them (feel free to read our other articles on the website). Usually you can find a generous amount of information on any particular lawyer via their website and online profile websites. You will likely be able to find biographical information, ratings and reviews, contact information, areas served, and what their specialty in real estate law is.  You might also find blogs written about real estate law attorneys in your area or even news articles about them.

After you’ve done your research and have a few lawyers you are interested in, set up a consultation meeting with them. With many real estate lawyers, there is no fee for the first consultation. This is also your opportunity to ask the lawyer for references and about their fees. Here are a few questions that you should ask when meeting with your real estate attorney for the first time:

  • What part of your practice is focused on real estate law?
  • How long have you been practicing as a real estate lawyer?
  • How many real estate cases like mine have you handled?
  • Who else will be working on my case?
  • What range of real estate property issues can your law firm handle?
  • How will you bill me?

Another thing to consider when searching for a reliable real estate lawyer is the type of issue you need help with. Since real estate law covers many issues involving real estate, some lawyers often concentrate their practices on a particular area. These areas can include things like commercial real estate, agricultural law, residential real estate, any issues with land and the list goes on.

Location is also an important factor to consider when choosing a real estate lawyer. Although you don’t have to choose a lawyer from your area, you should do so anyway. Having your lawyer in the same area as you offers convenience (for reference, we serve Orange, Ulster, Sullivan, and Dutchess County).  The advantage of having a local real estate lawyer is that they are often very familiar with the local laws or regulations. This factor can affect their ability to help solve your real estate dilemma.  

Need a real estate attorney in Orange County, NY? Contact our law offices today.  We offer services throughout the Hudson Valley, NY including Orange County, Sullivan County, Dutchess County, and Ulster County.