The right attorney is the attorney who is best for you. You think an attorney is lousy because it’s simply not the right match for you and your needs. There are, of course, lousy attorneys. Just like lousy real estate agents, lousy painters, lousy teachers etc etc etc. When you are buying a home or selling a home, choosing the wrong attorney can be catastrophic. Let me explain why. I’ll start with how you find one.
Why You Find Lousy Attorneys
Begin with trust. Who do you trust to give you an attorney recommendation?
Some folks don’t trust their agent. Be honest. You know who you are. I have a question for you: Why are you working with anyone you don’t trust? It doesn’t matter if it’s a Realtor or a doctor. Why would you do that? Find another agent.
You trust your family. Uncle Joe is an attorney – he’ll do it for free. Dad has a friend who’ll do it cheap because you’re his son or daughter. This is so often a mistake. Why? Because Uncle Joe or Dad’s friend doesn’t do residential real estate. It’s like asking a neurosurgeon to operate on a shattered leg. They’re both surgeons but in totally different fields.
You trust your friends. They bought a house recently so you ask them who they used. They give you their attorney’s name and number. You pick up the phone, dial the number and hire that attorney. Because you didn’t check thoroughly, you find out later that it’s a bad match.
We shop for everything online. It’s fun, efficient and allows us to do things in the middle of the night. As a result, shopping for an attorney online makes sense.
You do a Google search, you check out Yelp, Martindale etc. I have news for you; this does not work. You can never verify the truthfulness of people who post reviews. Gushing reviews might be from friends or relatives. Bad reviews can come from people who no one can satisfy.
Right now I have a simple condo apartment sale. It should have closed 2 weeks ago. My buyer is anxious to close as is the seller for valid reasons. December is my buyer’s busiest month. The seller is carrying the expense of a vacant condo.
The problem is the seller’s attorney. He is a bankruptcy attorney who litigates in court. It makes no sense at all to hire a bankruptcy attorney for a condo sale. Why would anyone pick a bankruptcy attorney to sell a condo? Because he’s a friend doing a favor. Oh did I forget to tell you that this guy has a high rating on the web for real estate transactions?
New York is not New Jersey
While Bergen County is next to New York City, it does not mean we are the same place. New York and New Jersey are 2 separate States with 2 different sets of laws and regulations. Residential real estate is practiced very differently in each State. Since we are next to each other, some attorneys are licensed in both. This does not mean that they know what they’re doing in both areas.
To add to this, the practice of residential sales can be widely different from one part of the same State to another. Consider this as well – environmental issues in one area may not be the same in another. This is also true of housing styles, construction methods and a myriad of other things. Stick to a local attorney who knows what’s going on locally as well as the local housing inventory.
Lousy Attorneys Don’t Really Exist
Lousy attorneys don’t really exist. If you choose the wrong person for any job, the result will be poor at best. It’s really a matter of how you choose an attorney. Choose wisely and you’ll get the right attorney. Make a bad choice, however, and results will be disastrous.
The most important part of a transaction is the contract. The attorney you choose to represent you is so very important. I wrote about this in the Buyers section of my website. You’ll also find great information in another blog article I wrote on this last year.
I hope this was helpful for you. If you’d like the names of some great real estate attorneys or have questions, text or call me at 201-741-8490