I am an attorney in the Central Valley of California with 5 years experience. I am interested in becoming a real estate broker for commercial properties. About 20-40% of my practice has been real estate related. The other portion is mainly business law and estate planning (a lot of which is ancillary to real estate). I am curious to hear if there are attorney/brokers out there and if they know of what the possible benefits but also the pitfalls, ethical issues, and downsides are of becoming a broker as an attorney. Thank you for your time.
I am not an attorney but do know plenty of brokers that have a license to practice law. I would venture to say that the benefit is protection; if all else fails, you pull that card to protect yourself. You also would have a deeper knowledge of the laws regarding real estate, particularly since a portion of your practice now is real estate related.
I may be mistaken, so please let me know if I am, but as an attorney, can't you use your law license to broker transactions? I've always understood it that attorney's do not need a separate license unless they want to hang the licenses of other brokers. Perhaps that's something I misunderstood or misheard. I never put a ton of thought into it seeing as it doesn't really pertain to me at the moment :)
Thanks for the reply Jake.
Regarding using my law license to broker a transaction... (as far as I know...) Attorneys can put a deal together (which I have done) but we cannot receive the broker fee for it. And I know that we cannot get referral fees for handing off a deal. I know that if I become a broker there are benefits. However, I know that there are some different ethical issues/questions that come up. For example, I believe an attorney/broker can't broker a deal and do the legal work on it (however, I would like to see if there is a way I can do that as I want to be more of a "one-stop shop" for my clients).
I agree that there is a level of protection. What I am worried about are the new issues that arise from wearing both "hats".
would you not be able to get this info from the BAR.... or a senior lawyer..
Attorneys can handle real estate transactions but they bill like they would for any other legal service. Selling a $400,000 home may be $200 an hour for ten hours ($2,000) instead of 2% commission ($8,000).
I don't know anyone that went from attorney to REALTOR but I don't see any downside to it.