Should I hire this lawyer? - Posted by mawi

Posted by Nate(DC) on November 11, 2002 at 12:33:49:

I don’t know if you’ll necessarily find a “good” one that way, but you will get a large list, from which you can ask around, talk to some of them, and try to find a good one…it’s a good starting point if nothing else.


Should I hire this lawyer? - Posted by mawi

Posted by mawi on November 09, 2002 at 14:52:24:

I’m buying my first residence and my first investment properties at the same time and this site has been a treasure for me.

One thing being on here has helped me see is that I should use a lawyer to draft a land contract agreement. I would have been inclined to find one online and make any changes to it myself and I’m not an attorney. I’m just a do-it-yourselfer when it comes to matters like this and am inclined to only use a lawyer if I need one to represent me in court.

Having said all that, I have a couple of questions. First, should I hire a lawyer who admits that about 10% of his practice is real estate law? He’s an acquaintance and a really nice guy, but he’s also not an investor either. Says he has no money and doesn’t have time to deal with repairs or tenants.

Unless I go with a stranger, the choice is kind of between him and another RE lawyer I know who is with a very large firm, which means bigger bucks unless I can talk him into some pro bono work. I could quiz a few other lawyers I know but I don’t think any of them specializes in RE.

The other question I have is what kinds of transactions am I better off letting a lawyer handle? I want to do as much as I can myself but I don’t want to be too foolhardy about it.

Thanks on advance.

Re: Should I hire this lawyer? - Posted by River City

Posted by River City on November 11, 2002 at 08:51:55:

Definitely do NOT get legal real estate advice from an attorney that is not a real estate attorney. You might end up with more problems than you are ready for. Even John Hyre says he is not a real estate attorney and does not like to give real estate advice.

Contact a couple of the local mortgage companies in your area and ask them for the names and phone numbers of some of their closing agents. Good luck.

Never… - Posted by Steve D

Posted by Steve D on November 11, 2002 at 01:57:44:

I forget where I read it, but “Never buy from a rich salesman, never retain a poor attorney”.

Having said that, while the big law firms do indeed create rich attorney’s, I have a fundamental problem with a company that charges me in 10 minute increments to read my emails. I avoid big law firms if I can, look for an expert in your desired area in a small firm that you can build a long term working relationship with - that will pay off time and time again.

Re: Should I hire this lawyer? - Posted by Nate(DC)

Posted by Nate(DC) on November 09, 2002 at 22:22:57:

I don’t think either lawyer sounds particularly good. Try to find someone who works for a small firm or for themself, who does primarily real estate. If need be, ask the 10% guy for a referral or call the local bar association or just ask around.

What should you hire them to do? I’d say anything that you are not 100% certain you can do correctly yourself. Since you’re not a lawyer, that would, at a minimum, rule out the first time doing ANYTHING, since you would not know how to do anything legal without having watched someone else do it first. From that point, depends on your comfort and knowledge levels. Once you have a good form contract, you don’t need to revisit it every time. However, there are some things that, in many states, MUST be done by a lawyer. Preparation of deeds is one frequently considered the “practice of law”.


Re: Should I hire this lawyer? - Posted by Nate(DC)

Posted by Nate(DC) on November 11, 2002 at 12:35:24:

I don’t necessarily agree with that advice. A lot of closing agents are high-volume, plain-vanilla operations that are not “creative” in any sense of the word and are mainly concerned with how many plain-vanilla closings they can crank out in a day. You MAY find someone good that way, but don’t count on it. I still think networking or word of mouth from someone who knows what you want and/or does what you want to do, is best.

Just my $.02


Re: Should I hire this lawyer? - Posted by Rob (AL)

Posted by Rob (AL) on November 10, 2002 at 10:25:47:

Go to to find a good RE attorney in your area!

Thanks a lot Nate- NT - Posted by mawi

Posted by mawi on November 09, 2002 at 23:13:53:


Thanks Rob(AL) - NT - Posted by mawi

Posted by mawi on November 19, 2002 at 22:12:40: