When it’s time to buy or sell your house in Chicagoland and choose a real estate lawyer, there’s not a lot of information available about best practices.
Everyone who gives you advice is probably trying to sell you something.
Here is a handy guide for choosing a real estate attorney in Chicago who will help you make many of the decisions in the process.
Why Do I Need a Real Estate Lawyer?
In most states, you don’t need a lawyer if you’re buying or selling your house.
While you can represent yourself, you will likely find the contracts, fees and requirements overwhelming.
A real estate lawyer helps you navigate the legalese and keeps an eye out for anything out of the ordinary that could lead to trouble down the road.
What Is His Role In A Real Estate Transaction?
Your real estate lawyer should be the Sherpa that guides you through a real estate transaction.
They need to review and prepare documents, keep everyone informed on the progress of the deal, and ensure that all parties fulfill their obligations to close the transaction.
In situations where there are legal hurdles to overcome, your attorney will be your advisor and advocate.
What Is Title Insurance?
One of the most important parts of a real estate transaction is ensuring that there is a clear chain of title – that the person selling the house has the right to do so.
The seller’s real estate attorney works with a title agency to obtain a search on the property and identify any concerns associated with it.
Title insurance provides protection for any issues that might come to light in the future.
Through an exclusive affiliation with the title agency United Settlement Services, Adler & Herbach is able to offer Illinois sellers 50% off their title fees.
How Do I Pick a Good Real Estate Lawyer?
When choosing a real estate attorney for your purchase or sale in Chicago land, there are several factors to consider.
Naturally, the best way to find any professional is through a referral from a trusted acquaintance. There are some basic guidelines, however, that can help you in your selection.
Keep in mind the following general principles:
- Specialist in your specific kind of real estate transaction
- Length of experience
- Authorized to practice law with the Illinois Attorney Registration Commission
- Attorney fee
- Total closing costs*
- A strong advocate for you, without being adversarial
Real estate transactions, as a rule, should not be adversarial. That tends to make things uncomfortable for everybody, or worse, kill a deal.
You want a lawyer who knows when to push for your best interests, but also when being amicable is more advisable.
*Adler & Herbach charges a flat rate of $750 for a typical purchase or sale. While some attorneys advertise a lower fee, your total closing costs include fees charged by the title company, much of which gets paid to the attorney as a commission. Because Adler & Herbach does not take those commissions, we are able to cut sellers’ title fees by 50% in Illinois. Your combined cost will be lower than any other provider. Please see our Buyer or Seller page for more info on our services.
Can I Use A General Practice Lawyer?
Many lawyers, and particularly those who handle residential real estate closings, are general practitioners. They handle lots of different types of legal matters.
It’s unlikely that a general practitioner can do everything exceptionally well. A law firm that focuses on a single practice area could save you heartache down the line.
While many transactions proceed without any serious issues, the reason you are hiring an attorney to represent you is in case something extraordinary comes up.
There are intricacies to real estate law that require intimate knowledge of the field and in that scenario, you really want a specialist.
Adler & Herbach is a firm that practices real estate law exclusively. Real estate transactions represent 100% of our practice.
“Each man is capable of doing one thing well. If he attempts several, he will fail to achieve distinction in any.” – Plato