What to look for in a Real Estate Attorney
I am not an attorney! I am a Real Estate broker that invests heavily for himself and a few selected clients. I work the Orlando Florida local market Homes in the area are plentiful and investment opportunities abound.
As an investing realtor one needs the services of an attorney for some of the creative deals that one has to put together leave alone some asset protection and just dealing with the business period.
Most attorneys are not by nature real estate investors. If you ask them must just own their own home (some even rent!!). I don´t think they have a mandatory class on creativity when they get their degree. Their goal is protect you from potential lawsuits. When it comes to making the most money out of the deal you better look somewhere else.
In my opinion a lawyer will tell you all the risks that he/she sees. A great one will show you different ways to get around the situation and all of this at a fair price.
The other side of the coin are lawyers that just sit there and watch you do your thing and never say a word or worse yet just keep throwing stuff in your way just to “kill the deal”.(ever heard that expression?)
The best way to get one is just to go to your sphere of influence and ask. Who are they using? Who they would NOT recommend and why? Those are the kind of questions you should ask your people.
Then when you get in front of the lawyer ask them these kinds of questions.  Hey, how many rental properties have you owned? (how about that for fire shooting?) how many do you own now? Do you do any real estate closings? How often? Are you familiar with rental agreements and what have you? Have you done any evictions of tenants? How quickly have you done them? Ever represented a client that wanted something done at the local government? (Zoning, use changes, variances, etc.) Can you write up documents for a condo conversion project?
Heck while you are at it ask him to tell you what he knows about land contracts, rent to own, all inclusive deeds and subject to mortgages3;.in other words put him to the test.
You will be paying him so you should get to know what he/she knows. And don´t get caught by the trick of “what would you like to know?”, that is a way to get off the hook and not really answer the question.
Attorneys are a special kind of people. We all need good ones in our business. Get yourself one now before you need it and you should be good as gold.