According to some research, first-time buyers make up 34% of all home buyers. This is a 3% increase from the last year.
If you’re going to be buying or selling a home for the first time, there are some legal issues you’ll want to address, and it helps to have someone knowledgeable on your team. That’s where a real estate lawyer comes in.
But how much does a real estate attorney cost? Keep reading to find out all you need to know.
What States Require a Real Estate Attorney?
Depending on what state you live in, a physical lawyer will need to present at a real estate transaction. Those states include:
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
- Washington D.C.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
However, as new legislation is always passing, your state could be added or taken off of this list. You’ll need to check with a real estate agent or attorney to see what your local ordinance is.
Average Cost of Real Estate Attorney
A real estate investment attorney can vary depending on what area you’re in and what their fees are. Sometimes the fees are also dependent on how much experience the attorney has.
A more experienced lawyer can charge a premium for their services, whereas a newer lawyer will need to charge lower rates to attract new clients.
You’ll also need to consider the location that you’re in. For example, if you’re in a big city like New York City, you’ll be paying more for a house there than you would in Kansas.
Normally, most real estate lawyers will charge a flat fee. This can range anywhere from $750 to $1,250 depending on where you live and what lawyer you choose. There shouldn’t be any hidden fees, but there might be some exceptions that you’ll want to consider.
Before you hire an attorney, talk with them to figure out exactly what you’re getting and what you’re paying for. You may find that some attorneys also charge by the hour.
If they charge by the hour, this could cost anywhere between $150 to $350 an hour. This might seem lower, but if you’re going to have an attorney work multiple hours on your buying or selling investment, then you may save more money with a lawyer who charges a flat rate.
How to Find the Right Attorney
So how do you find the right attorney? You can start by asking your real estate agent who they would recommend. If they don’t have any recommendations, you can start by doing research online.
For example, if you’re going to be selling or buying a residential home, you’ll want a real estate attorney who is specialized in single-family homes.
Some attorneys are also licensed as real estate brokers, and they can serve as an advisor for multiple things in the transaction as well. However, these do tend to be more expensive as well.
Benefits of Hiring a Real Estate Attorney
There are many real estate attorney benefits, so even if it’s not legally required in your state, it still makes sense to hire one.
For example, if you’re an investment buyer that doesn’t live in the area, the attorney can check out the property on your behalf. The attorneys can also advise you if you’re buying a real estate area in a flood or tornado zone.
They’ll also let you know if there is structural damage on the property or any bank-owned property that it’s in a short sale.
If you’re selling a property, it also helps to have an attorney on your side. If you’re going to be selling as a representative or heir of the property, an attorney can help you navigate all the legal issues.
They’ll also be able to help you sell your property if you have any liens or judgments, if there are problems with the property, or if you don’t think you’ll be able to make any repairs before selling the property.
How to Save Money
The client should be able to set limits on how many hours your attorney can spend on a transaction. This number should be written into the retainer agreement. This way, you’ll avoid being billed for many hours that weren’t necessary.
You can also ask different attorneys if they offer a discounted or free consultation before you sign any contract. This way, you’ll be able to shop around for the best price.
Shopping around and contacting different lawyers is important because you may find one that is a bit cheaper than the first one that you contacted. You can also read reviews on different lawyers to ensure that you choose the best one for you.
Also, keep in mind that you’ll pay most attorneys at closing. If you look at the closing cost in the closing table of the contract, you’ll see a real estate attorney fee. Some lawyers will actually negotiate a lower fee if you pay them in advance first.
Discover More About a Real Estate Attorney Cost
These are only a few things to know about the average real estate attorney cost, but the best way to get a custom number is to call and ask for a quote.
We know that buying or selling a home can be stressful and overwhelming, but we’re here to help you out.
If you enjoyed this article, explore our website! You’ll be able to find more real estate-related content there.
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