Real estate brokers and agents work with attorneys on a routine basis because they want to provide great service to their clients and they understand that having an experienced, competent closing team accomplishes just that. Establishing a close, working relationship with a local attorney can save both the agent and their clients time and money, is invaluable in correcting improperly-executed contracts and can help avoid headaches when unanticipated issues arise.
If you’re looking for a dedicated real estate lawyer who you can trust with your buyers and sellers, it’s important to understand what makes a great attorney.
Here’s a rundown of what we believe real estate agents should expect from firms that practice real estate law.
It’s a sad truth, but not all law firms operate with their clients’ needs in mind. Many do a less-than-ideal job of communicating with their clientele. When referring your clients to an attorney, be sure to look into how a particular law firm communicates with their clients. A client-centered practice will treat your sellers and buyers with respect and is dedicated to guiding them through the closing process by maintaining an open line of communication from start to finish.
A great real estate law firm will also communicate effectively with real estate agents. Keeping realtors in the loop when it comes to deadlines and potential issues helps real estate agents develop solutions that benefit their clients.
An Understanding of a Real Estate Agent’s Work
Real estate agents perform valuable services to their clients. They work closely within a network that includes other agents and brokers, developers and builders, lenders, appraisers, inspectors and contractors. By working with real estate professionals in their communities, they are able to stay on top of trends in their respective markets. An agent might show a buyer dozens of homes before an offer is made. The relationships that agents foster with their clients and others in the community is built upon trust and respect.
Attorneys should appreciate the work and dedication that real estate agents put into their listings and their clients. After all, many agents’ clients are family members, friends, and connections that have been nurtured for years, if not decades. Agents work tremendously hard to deliver for their clients and attorneys should operate with an understanding of the nature of an agent’s work and the agent/client relationship.
Great Real Estate Law Firms Offer Flexibility and Attention to Detail
When it comes to closing real estate transactions, flexibility is a key component. Great real estate attorneys respect and are flexible with their clients’ and agents’ very busy schedules. A firm that is flexible is more likely to provide excellent client service, a win-win for all involved. Scheduling a closing is like herding cats and takes finesse to get all the parties onboard, the figures called in, and the paperwork completed. This is where attention to detail becomes paramount. Once everyone is lined up to close, all the other pieces must fit in the puzzle for the closing to be successful. A closing attorney will have a closing checklist and a system in place so that closing is completely smoothly and any outstanding issues or concerns are addressed.
Transparency and Disclosure When it Comes to Costs and Fees
Selling or buying real estate is generally a substantial and involved transaction. A lot of money is changing hands, different parties are taking their piece of the pie and this often results in unexpected expenses, additional fees and confusing statements. There is no excuse for unpleasant surprises when it comes to amounts due or owed. Although the attorney has no control over fees, points and other costs associated with a Buyer’s loan, a qualified, professional real estate lawyer will have a firm grasp of the other costs and fees incurred in a real estate transaction and what the Seller or Buyer should expect.
That is why real estate agents should work with real estate lawyers who operate with complete transparency when it comes to closing costs and attorneys’ fees. A good attorney will stay on the numbers and will let the client know what to expect every step of the way. This will help reduce stress on both agents and their clients.
Real Estate Lawyers Should Have Great Reputations
Before you refer a client to an attorney, it’s important to do your own investigation and look into a law firm’s reputation. Reading reviews and testimonials online may ease your mind about trusting your clients to a lawyer in your area. You can also look into attorneys’ standings with professional organizations such as AVVO, as well as with state, county and local bar associations.
Adam Diamond Law works with sellers and agents in McHenry County, Illinois. Call our real estate law practice at (773) 217-9623 to speak with a helpful member of our legal team.
Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes and is not intended to be legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship. Every situation is unique and it is always best to review your individual situation with a local attorney to understand your options.