Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need a lawyer when buying or selling a house?
What does it cost to hire a lawyer to help me buy or sell a house?
If you qualify for FREE legal services, it can actually cost nothing at all. Click here to see if you qualify.
If not, we offer several flat fee packages for home buyers and sellers, ranging from $699 to $1,999, depending upon the level of service you want.
We also offer a “partial contingent fee” option, where you pay only 40% of the package price and then, only if you close the deal, we get an additional 100% of the flat fee amount. So that if you close we get 140% of the fee; if not, you only pay 40% of the flat fee. For example, if you hired us for the $999 Package on a partial contingent fee, you would owe $399. If the deal closes, you owe another $999 for $1,398 total. If it does not close for some reason, you only owe the $399 for the package.
What is the difference between the role of my real estate agent and my lawyer when buying or selling a house?
This is one of the most common questions we get. Here are some examples to help you differentiate.
- Reviews and modifies contract language based upon the lawyer’s experience, knowledge and your specific situation. Drafts custom documents when needed, such as a “Bill of Sale” for personal property of Seller the Buyer might want to purchase.
- Monitors the deal so that if/when issues arise during the course of the deal (like a breach or failure to get a loan, etc.), they are dealt with properly to avoid you winding up in a bad situation.
- Can review title, survey, and lender’s closing documentation to explain to you what you are signing and to protect you from signing something you don’t have to, as well as from problems at closing.
- Helps you locate a house to purchase (if you are a Buyer) or helps you advertise to Buyers (if you are a Seller).
- Helps you fill out the “standard” contract paperwork, schedule inspections, show/view the property, and lets you know from their experience what their thoughts are about the house and its value. They can also help with negotiations.
Isn’t the “standard” contract drafted to protect both buyers and sellers?
Don’t the title company and lender already have lawyers protecting protecting me?
How long will this whole process of buying or selling a home take?
Should I only work with one lender or should I apply with two or more?
Should I get pre-qualified with a lender before making the offer to buy a home?
What happens if I am buying a new house, but cannot sell my current house?
If the other side (Seller or Buyer) doesn’t use a lawyer, why do I need one?
- You want to get the best deal you can in the contract terms, obligations, rights, who pays for what, etc.;
- You want to be protected from those “standard” terms that are not good for you;
- You want to be ready for any issues that arise that could derail the deal or cause you serious loss…and in our experience, they come up all too often;
- And more circumstances can arise in which you would find yourself in need of expert legal advice…
Who keeps the earnest money deposit if the deal doesn’t close?
Will I get back my money with you (the Lawyer) if we don’t get a signed contract or don’t close?
We only keep that portion of the fee we have earned. For example, if we charge you for one of our packages ($699, $999, etc.), but we only wind up doing the work to prepare/review/negotiate a “standard” contract for the purchase or sale of a residential home because the parties don’t sign the contract, we have only done that work and the parties do not sign the contract, we will have earned only that much.
For Clients choosing the “Partial Contingent Fee” option for the “Basic” or “Standard” packages, only the non-contingent portion (the 40% of the package amount) will be earned if we have only prepared/reviewed/negotiated the “standard” contract. After that, our other flat fees or regular hourly rates are used to determine if the Client should receive any refund or discounted bill.