Getting involved in a real estate transaction is an exciting but sometimes confusing time. The process can take a lot of time and money to complete. With something so complicated, there is certainly some merit to involving a lawyer in the real estate proceedings. Use the below information to help you decide if you need to use a real estate attorney for your transaction.

How an attorney can help me?

A real estate attorney can offer many different services and some may specialize in certain areas but some general services that are typically offered are:

• Reviewing and outlining the real estate transaction process
• Reviewing any listing or agency agreements
• Drafting and reviewing real estate condition reports
• Drafting and reviewing residential offers to purchase and counter offers
• Assisting buyers and sellers through the property inspection and financing contingencies
• Working with title insurance companies and reviewing title insurance commitments
• Checking the settlement statement figures with you prior to closing
• Advising you at closing

In addition, because you will likely have questions throughout the purchase process, having an attorney available to answer all of your questions that arise during the course of your sale will be an added benefit.

What are the costs involved?

The actual cost for an attorney varies by state and by amount of work required. Fee structures also vary (some lawyers charge by the hour, others by flat fee, some by both depending on the task.) but the typical range is $350-$1500.  While it is important to do your research and shop around for the attorney that best fits your budget, don’t let the price factor determine your decision. You may find the worst attorney that is the most expensive or you may find an excellent attorney that offer decent services at a fair price.

Where can I find a reputable attorney?

A good place to start in locating a real estate attorney is to ask for referrals from your local bar association, your real estate agent or your mortgage broker.  Word of mouth has great value as well; ask friends, colleagues and family whom they've had a good experience working with. The internet is a valuable tool you can use to research also, locate an attorney in your area.


For most people buying or selling a house is the most complicated and largest legal transaction that a person will make in their lives. Having your real estate lawyer sitting next to you to make sure that your interests are being looked out for will relieve a lot of the stress associated with that sale.