Best questions to ask Attorney/CPA

6 Replies

Hey BP Members,

I just wanted to get all of your valuable insight on what do you think are some of the best questions to ask an Attorney and CPA as an new investor starting out.  Are there any questions you wish you would have asked in hindsight? Does anyone have a specific checklist they go down when they first speak to a new Attorney/CPA? Any insight is always greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

These a few things that come to mind:

- Hire an attorney and CPA that are investors themselves. Being able to "talk shop" with them could prove to be very helpful.

- Have your attorney review your lease template.

- Ask your CPA any questions you have regarding writing off expenses.

- If purchasing and/or improving a property, consult with your CPA on how to mitigate taxable events (for example, if you have to sell stock you own to fund the investment).

There are many other questions that could be asked, but given that I do not know much about your situation, I am not sure if they would be relevant.

Thanks Rick, this is helpful.  To give you some context, I'm currently building my team and would just like to know of any "major" questions that should be at the forefront of my mind during our initial consultations.  I completely agree with you that professionals who also invest themselves will be incredible helpful and I believe I have found a few resources who fit that criteria.  That said, I am going into our consultations with some basic questions in mind and just want to make sure that I'm not missing anything important which I know experienced investors here on BP can chime in on.  If you have any other advice I'd love to hear it!

Can you please suggest few good CPA contacts preferably from Dallas forthworth area who you think are very good and give me an idea of the approximate fees they will charge.

@Account Closed

FYI

I never talked to a CPA, an Attorney, or anyone else, before I had a boatload of cheap rentals. It is not rocket science. Your regular tax/CPA guy should be able all you can throw at him until you get an empire. As for attorneys, the realtors will handle all you need to know.

If you worry too much about having a team behind you, and all ducks in a row, and all your fears completely gone, you will probably never get in the game. Which may be the best for you.

The best thing to know is "What a deal looks like" and how to find one. Worry more about learning about REI and then do it.

With regards to attorneys, it depends on what you want their advice on. As most attorneys specialize in a particular area of law, the attorney advising you on your lease will not likely be the best person to advise you on your corporate/asset protection matters (and vice versa) - be wary of those who claim to do both, as "generalists" will know the basics, but the basics are only enough when things are going well...(remember, you are hiring the attorney to help you proactively protect yourself for the times when things aren't going well). As such, look for law firms that have attorneys who specialize in both areas of law (or others areas that you need advice on). From there, when interviewing prospective attorneys, consider asking questions that give you a sense of whether the attorney (i) works with other real estate investors; (ii) fits your budget; (iii) makes you feel comfortable - asking those seemingly "dumb" (but actually smart questions) is important, so being comfortable asking those questions is huge; takes the time to thoroughly explain things (you don't want someone who glosses over topics and leaves you confused. Remember, the law is a service industry, so shop around and take the mindset that you are interviewing them.