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Just like it says, how do you feel about attorney recommendations from your real estate broker? And better/worse than, say, recommendations from this message board?
Thank you for any insights :)
Definitely listen to what people recommend on Streeteasy.
And what about recommendations from one's broker?
Oh boy, Daniel.
The broker is incentivized to close the deal. The RE attorney is incentivized to keep the broker providing referrals happy. Do the math.
Broker recommendations..especially if it is a seller/buyer broker...is a no no.
I was happy with Scott Claman - 212-573 6706
my deal was straight forward and he did a good job in keeping me informed.
We had at attorney recommended by our broker, and I didn't like him (attorney). Yet this was an attorney who has been recommended repeatedly here on Streeteasy! Go figure.
We ended up at closing with a different attorney from the same firm, and we were thrilled, as the follow up required some teeth.
Moral of story .... it's a gamble.
What didnt you like about him? Things he did/didn't do? Or just a personality/attitude thing?
Daniel, now that you have a list of things that lawyer should do, just find three or so, write them and then discuss clearly what service they offer for the fee with each. Hope you do not get stuck with a huge bill from your last lawyer and don't start emailing back and forth with her! If she only looked at the contract than she likely did not do more than an hour of work, if that. And retain all your correspondence with her. Good luck!
Yes, I have a couple of names (from my broker, but I had already found the place, so I know that she's not necessarily trying to push things on me any more than normal).
As far as what my current lawyer has done, she's only: (1) looked at the contract, and made a couple of small amendments to it, and (2) looked the financials (which I sent to her, 11 pages). That's it.
In terms of paying her, I mean, I didn't sign anything, or anything like that. It was all verbal and nothing more. I first contacted her at the beginning of March (just as an introduction), but she hasn't started doing any real work until 4/22.
Daniel - see inonada's post - I certainly second it
inonada - "Oh boy, Daniel.
The broker is incentivized to close the deal. The RE attorney is incentivized to keep the broker providing referrals happy. Do the math."
Jonathan Helfer and Steven Matz, of Katz and Matz, are great. 212-244-4630
Daniel, attorney was extremely responsive from the get-go. Then as we approaced board interview and closing, he became oddly scarce. It was really weird. When I complained to the partner, the partner backed the attorney, but at the same time offered up himself or another one at the firm.
I was a first-time co-op buyer, and I needed somebody to hold my hand. He was nowhere to be found.
The associate who showed up at the closing was an ace, and he followed up on an outstanding issue to the end. All's well that ends well.
In the future I'd probably go with SE reccos, but I've found the attorney I didn't like actually highly recommended here on SE. Oh well.
Thanks a lot, very helpful :)
Daniel, contract does not need to be in writing. If you had an oral agreement for her to do your closing for $2500 that is a contract for her to do that. I would make sure that you are clear with her that you are retaining other counsel and settle up before moving on. You don't want to get stuck paying twice for what is legally a straightforward transaction. The issue that seemed to throw you for a loop was the minutes, so maybe your solution is insisting that your original lawyer go over that. Careful.
Oh, I didn't realize an oral agreement was so legally binding.
I have tried to convince her, but she has refused (more than once) to read the minutes. She will not have it. Also, I dislike that she had me sign the contract before reading the offering plan.
I already have told her that I will no longer be using her, and she wrote back saying that she will be sending a bill. She has already mentioned how She supposedly did 10 hours of work, but I find that impossible, seeing as how all she had was the financials, which is 10 pages. I have already accepted that I will be paying her at least something and then another lawyer the full amount. I'm okay with this, but I want to be careful that she doesn't overcharge me for the minimal work she did.
That blows me away that she refused to read the minutes. It's like hiring a plumber who refuses to check for leaks.
Also, considering that a flat $2500 fee for a real estate attorney to represent you soup to nuts is roughly the industry norm, give or take, and she's already done "10 hours of work" (according to her), who are all these lawyers who charge the same fee, yet take you through the closing as well? Are they all in it for charity?
She hasn't gone to a closing, she hasn't read any minutes, what the heck did she do for 10 hours??? An attorney who takes 10 hours to go through standard financials is jacking you, plain & simple.
She's a real shark, remember? How to deal with her so our boy Daniel doesn't get bent over - again?
Yeah, I got myself into a pickle, to say the least.
heh, any recommendations are welcome.
If the industry norm is to review minutes - and it is, then she first breached contract when she refused to carry out some of the work. And BS she put in ten hours. Contract would take an hour - again, this is basic contract stuff. Boilerplate, simple. Financials take 30 minutes, max. Again, basic stuff.
But just don't do anything right now. Have no contact with her and wait to see your bill. Make sure it is itemized and then contest it. And agree to settle with her for a thousand. Which is probably generous. But just don't email with her. You'll just dig a hole for yourself.
If it is a broker you trust, or better, if it is family, then why not go with the attorney recommendation. I am sure he has his reasons for recommending a particular person. Other than that, it is safer to look around for an attorney, maybe online, if you want to have more variety and reviews to different people.
Mariov - http://www.starrausten.com