Do you know what is the cost to hire a real estate attorney and what questions to ask when hiring a real estate lawyer? Learn the answers here.
As you will expect, lawyer fees can vary for several reasons (different U.S. states, experience level, field of expertise etc.) but our purpose here to give you a general idea of how much it is going to cost you for common attorney services:
Property Purchase and Sale (document preparation and review only): $250 to $600 flat fee
Property Purchase and Sale (full package: title search, document preparation and review, attendance of closing): $1,200 to $2,500 flat fee
Tenant Eviction: $300 to $1,200 flat fee excluding filing and sheriff fees (beware of lawyers who charge for evictions by the hour - in some cases their total fees can exceed $3,000)
Real Estate Legal Advice: $150 to $400 hourly fee (minimum charge of 1 to 2 hours)
As previously mentioned in our How to Find a Good Real Estate Lawyer article: If your legal issue is more minor or you just have doubts to clear, you can save a lot of money by asking a qualified attorney for their professional advice (instead of hiring them outright).
In that case, we recommend JustAnswer - It is a website where you can post your legal questions and issues and have them answered by a property lawyer. It will typically cost $15 to $20 to ask your questions and you will often received a helpful and detailed answer within a few hours.
1. How long have you been practicing law in this state?
Relevant experience matters when it you're hiring a real estate lawyer. Real estate laws vary from state to state so you want someone who is familiar with your state laws and any recent changes. In general, we will only consider lawyers at least 2 years of relevant experience.
2. How much of your practice is in real estate law?
While any licensed lawyer can take on real estate cases, it's highly preferred that you hire someone who focuses heavily or solely specializes in real estate law. As a general rule of thumb, at least 50% of the lawyer's practice should be in real estate.
3. Can you give me references to your previous clients?
When asking for references, make sure you get at least 2 referrals from past clients who had cases similar to yours. Contact the clients and ask them whether their case was resolved successfully and whether there were any hidden costs.
4. How are you going to handle my case?
This question will give you an idea of the lawyer's ability and experience. A competent lawyer should have specific plans to resolve your issue and will be able to explain the legal proceedings in detail. If the attorney gives a very general or vague reply, then that's a red flag and you should look for another lawyer.
5. How much will you be charging me for this case?
Depending on the type of case, a real estate lawyer will typically bill you by the hour or a flat fee (see average cost to hire a real estate attorney above). To compare prices, we suggest that you approach at least 3 lawyers for their rates and ask them to put down their total fees for your case in writing.