How do you pay for real estate attorneys?

4 Replies

When going through the REI process and also when managing tenants, in what way do you pay your attorneys? Is there a way to pay by the job, or is it by the hour, or is there some other form of transaction method for payment? What payment method should you go when using an attorney?

Hi Ben,

Typically they take a business (or personal) check, and some will take Credit/Debit cards, and (some will run a short time tab for some people sometimes on some deals--but don't expect this).

Expect to pay ahead of time for services (and needed outside fees) vs. being billed for them.

Some will want you to place a certain amount of money in Fiduciary with them (for some types of things they will do for you) and then they will draw off of that as payment as they work for you (called a retainer). They will then send you a statement every month showing how much has been drawn from the Fiduciary, and if it runs out, call and REQUIRE you to put more money in the Fiduciary with them to continue on with the work. (Though you will probably not need to do this for most transactions.)

Good Luck!

Originally posted by @Ben Feder :

@Scott Mac thanks! Since this is what only some of attorneys will do, what will most of them be doing?

I have no idea what (most) will do. I have never taken an industry wide survey of this, but it's safe to assume you will have to pay ahead of time for services and outside fees.

But from a business standpoint, to learn more about this, and the fees they charge, it's probably best to call (some) in your area and talk to them.

That will give you a more accurate picture of what is available to you.

Sort of testing the water before you jump in.

Good Luck!