When it comes to finding a real estate attorney for your closing, prices and quality of service range from puppy mill to purebred. The blogger/lawyer behind coopandcondo.com lays out the basics for finding an attorney you can depend on to both get your back and move things along: Don't be a cheapskate, avoid anyone who makes you feel like one of too many, "make sure your lawyer understands the customs, practices and rules of engagement where the property is located," and do your homework.
The forums on StreetEasy.com are also home to useful advice on the subject, including this: "I know I am opening myself to flames because I come from an even more reviled profession, but in my experience, the majority of real estate attorneys are lousy -- they push through too much volume to do a careful and thorough job," says Ali Rogers, a real estate broker, author, journalist and recent apartment buyer herself.
"You want them to prepare/review contracts, review offering plan and documents (if you're buyer), make sure your paperwork is in order (if you're seller), watch timetables, point out any large potholes in the road and try to avoid them, take a couple of calls from you/your real estate agent, explain to you what's happening as it's happening, watch out for any obstacles, and guide you through closing," explains Rogers elsewhere on StreetEasy. "Very few lawyers do all of that, so find someone who's recommended by a friend." Good advice. (Coopandcondo.com; StreetEasy)