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At Home with Yelp: Finding the Right Real Estate Attorney

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, a real estate attorney is a key part of your real estate team. Don’t wait until you’ve found a buyer or your perfect home to find an attorney. There are a lot of fast-moving pieces in the homebuying process and heightened emotions, and you don’t want to rush finding the right attorney. A real estate attorney will prepare and negotiate the details of the contract in a home sale so it’s important to find someone you can trust. We asked our Home Editor Lauren Makk for what to look for in a prospective attorney and what questions to ask.

Lauren, what are the things people should look out for when selecting a real estate attorney? Can you use just any attorney?

LM: It’s important that your prospective attorney specializes in your real estate market and is certified in real estate law in your state. A lawyer familiar with your city’s residential real estate will help to streamline the closing process. Try searching Yelp for real estate attorney recommendations. Reading other individuals’ experiences with an attorney can help judge whether that attorney might be the right fit for you.

What questions should we ask when we’re requesting a quote from a real estate agent?

LM: Once you have a few candidates, send a message through Yelp’s Request a Quote feature and asking these questions:

  • How long have you been practicing?
  • Will you be handling my case personally or will another lawyer in the firm? If someone else will be handling my case, can we arrange a time to meet with him or her?
  • Can you confirm your fee structure? Will you be charging a flat fee or billing hourly?
  • Are your fees refundable if the deal doesn’t go through?

Interior design and life stylist, Lauren Makk is Yelp’s new Home Editor. You may recognize Lauren from TLC’s “Trading Spaces,” ABCs “FAB Life” and OWN’s “Home Made Simple.” Now as a part of the Yelp family, she’ll be sharing how you can use Yelp to create incredible, affordable transformations in your home. You can find more tips from Lauren here.