The bottom line – that’s what we all want to know, isn’t it?
It’s true that hiring legal help can be expensive, so of course the price will be a major concern, especially for those of us who have a tight budget. However, thinking about hiring a real estate lawyer in terms of “cost” can lead us away from the heart of the issue. It’s better to evaluate prospective lawyers in terms of “worth” rather than “cost.”
For most people, buying real estate will be the biggest and most important investment of their entire life. This investment can be quantified down to the penny. The average price of a house in Nashville, Tn is approximately $230,000.00, so we will use this as our example. When you are hiring a real estate attorney, you are hiring them to protect your investment. How much is it worth to you to protect your $230,000.00 investment?
This is the question, but it can difficult to answer because value is often subjective. To begin to tackle this question, let’s consider exactly what you are paying for.
WHAT ARE YOU GETTING FROM YOUR REAL ESTATE LAWYER?You are actually getting quite a bit, but today we will break this down into 3 simple parts.
#1: You Get Peace Of Mind
First, before we talk about anything quantifiable, it is worth noting that your real estate lawyer will give you peace of mind. Investing in real estate is a significant life event, and will probably require more money then you have ever paid for anything in your life. And it’s not just the purchase price you need to think about. There are other costs that can add up, too. So it should come as no surprise that these kinds of transactions can be stressful. If you are attempting to carry out a real estate transaction without a lawyer, then you definitely should be stressed! This is not recommended! Real estate law is an extremely technical field and, unless you are a real estate lawyer yourself, you will need help. Simply hiring a lawyer will allow you to rest easy at night.
#2: You Get Exactly The House You Think You Are
If you are going to spend $230,000.00 on a house, you want to be sure that you are getting everything that you think you are. For example, maybe there is a conflict between your deed and a neighboring property owner. Or maybe there are liens on the property that need to be addressed before you can even get title to the property. These things can lead to legal trouble down the road, which is going to be costly. Or perhaps your prospective house is in a historic district and there are certain restrictions on the property that you are not aware of. These types of restrictions are often very inhibiting. There will be a sea of technical documents to comb through in order for every base to be covered when you are evaluating a house. You need to be aware of every potential deal-breaking detail about the property before you buy it.
If you buy the property, and later discover that it is not everything you thought it was going to be, you may decide to sell. But even in a hot housing market, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to fully recoup your investment any time soon. On top of this, moving into a new house has a plethora of other fees that accompany it, all of which will be sunk costs by this point. These are all costs that you can avoid by getting it right the first time around. Your real estate attorney can help you do this.
#3: You Get Protection From Potential Problems With Your Deed
If there is an issue with your title/deed, you could potentially lose your $230,000.00 house all together. However, this cannot happen without you first being dragged into an extensive legal battle, which is going to cost even more money. These sorts of legal battles can often last years, which is time that you could have spent making money instead of spending it.
You real estate lawyer will not only make sure that the title/deed to your house is perfect, they will also arrange title insurance for you, just to be safe. This will protect you from any and all problems in this arena.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Fees charged by lawyers reflect the quality of the service you are buying. If the price seems steep to you, take a moment to consider the risks we have just discussed. These problems can be financially catastrophic, and could put you in the poor house instead of your dream house. Compare the fee charged by a good lawyer with the amount of money you stand to lose if your real estate transaction is botched. This should give you a better idea of what that lawyer is worth to you.
If you are buying or selling commercial real estate or residential real estate in the Nashville area, Rochford Law & Real Estate Title is there for you. To have an honest conversation about pricing, call them today at (615) 269-7676.