What Is a Real Estate Law Firm?
A real estate law firm employs lawyers who are experts in real estate law. These legal professionals handle different aspects of residential and commercial real estate transactions like drafting documents and reviewing contracts. They also represent clients in real estate lawsuits.
A real estate boutique law firm is smaller and specializes in certain practice areas such as construction law or landlord and tenant law.
In contrast, full-service firms provide a variety of legal services in many real estate practice areas. They may also offer services in related areas like business law and personal injury.
Real Estate Law Firm Duties
Real estate law firms generally perform a wide range of services related to residential and commercial property and handle a broad range of case types.
In general, real estate attorneys oversee transactions involving ownership, use, and sale of physical property.
One of their main duties is to draft and review contracts and other paperwork related to deeds, easements, leases, zoning, land use, and rental agreements.
Real estate law firms may also help with:
- Economic development and incentives
- Environmental issues
- Estate planning and probate
- Financing and development of multi-family housing, condominiums, and mixed-use developments
- Large real estate transactions involving joint ventures and partnership agreements between multiple developers
- Lease terminations and evictions
- Premises liability
- Real estate litigation
- Restructuring and workouts
- Title searches and title insurance policies
A real estate litigation law firm can handle all aspects of your real estate lawsuit.
Who Needs to Hire a Real Estate Law Firm?
Any person or business involved in a commercial or residential real estate transaction may need a real estate law firm.
People who may consider hiring a real estate law firm include:
In the event of a real estate dispute or lawsuit, parties on both sides of a transaction or dispute may be represented by their own real estate lawyer.
Cost to Hire Real Estate Law Firms
The cost of a real estate lawyer varies depending on the law firm where they work, but most real estate lawyers charge between $150 to $350 per hour.
Tip: Before you hire a real estate lawyer, make sure that you understand how the law firm intends to charge you for legal services. It’s also important to ask how long they think it will take to resolve your case.
These costs can add up quickly. For that reason, it’s crucial to work with a real estate law firm that is experienced and efficient in handling real estate matters.
Working With a Real Estate Law Firm vs Representing Yourself
It may be in your best interest to work with a real estate law firm if your case is complex or one that is not likely to settle quickly or easily.
Working with a real estate law firm is not only beneficial, but it is sometimes required by law in many states.
5 reasons for hiring a real estate law firm include:
- You live in a state that requires you to work with a licensed real estate attorney during real estate transactions, such as Florida, New York, or South Carolina.
- You are working with a lender that requires a real estate lawyer to be present during closing.
- Your case requires a third party to review your real estate contract.
- A real estate lawyer could save you money in the long term or avoid potential legal liabilities.
- Your case is very complex and you lack the legal knowledge or expertise to confidently navigate it on your own.
However, in some instances, it is appropriate for people to represent themselves in a real estate transaction. If your transaction is simple and you do not need any legal advice or guidance, you may be able to proceed on your own.
What to Look for in a Real Estate Law Firm
When looking for a real estate law firm, it is important to choose one with certain characteristics.
The top real estate law firms have the following traits.
Many real estate law firms have been helping clients for many decades. This extensive experience often gives these firms the edge when they are representing clients in court or protecting their legal rights in other ways. By working with a real estate law firm with many years of experience, you are guaranteed access to a wealth of knowledge that can prove beneficial to your situation.
Be sure to work with a real estate law firm that has a solid track record of helping clients with cases similar to yours. You want a law firm that can confidently represent you in and out of court.
National real estate law firms can help people who live in all areas of the country. They have law offices in different states and an array of resources that can help clients win cases.
Positive reviews and testimonials from past clients is one indicator that a real estate law firm prides itself on building strong attorney-client relationships. You can usually view a law firm’s reviews on their website and on social media sites
A real estate lawyer can help you through some of the most important experiences of your life, and it is important to choose a law firm that you can trust.
Law Firm Real Estate FAQs
Can I resolve real estate claims without hiring a law firm?
You may be able to resolve a real estate claim without hiring a law firm, depending on the state in which you live. Many states require an attorney to be involved in real estate transactions, especially at closing.
However, hiring a real estate law firm can help ensure that your claim is processed correctly. Additionally, the real estate law firm will look out for your interests and help you dodge any legal pitfalls.
Will hiring a real estate law firm help me win my case?
Hiring a real estate law firm will not guarantee that you will win your case, but it can greatly improve your chances. This is especially true if your case is complex and your only alternative is representing yourself with no legal experience.
A real estate law firm can assign a lawyer to represent you with confidence in all legal proceedings.
Can I switch law firms during my real estate case?
Yes, you can switch law firms in the middle of a real estate case, as long as the case has not progressed too far along.
The process of switching law firms can vary in each state, but it usually only requires that you file a motion with the court.
How much will a real estate law firm charge me?
Every real estate law firm is different and decides its own rates. However, most real estate law firms charge either a single flat fee or an hourly fee for their services.
According to the Clio 2022 Legal Trends Report, the average hourly fee for a lawyer in the U.S. is $313 per hour. However, it is important to remember that this number can be much lower or higher.
How do I find top real estate law firms near me?
To find top real estate law firms near you, ask family and friends for recommendations or ask your real estate agent about firms they have used in the past.
You can search the internet for real estate law firms near you and read the firm’s reviews and client testimonials. The best real estate law firms have stellar reviews and will take the time to answer your questions before you hire them.