A real estate lawyer in Houston, Texas is typically familiar with the federal laws — and more commonly, state laws and municipal laws relevant to their region of practice — related to property and the transfer or maintenance of property.
Disputes arising between tenants and landlords, mortgage or title disputes or situations where a foreclosure or seizure of property is being contested may involve both parties seeking the services of an experienced real estate lawyer to represent their side of the case. Injuries incurred by a visitor to one's home or property may also fall under the broader umbrella of real estate law, as there are statutes laid out in most jurisdictions for these types of cases.
There are two types of property: real property and personal property. "Real property," often referred to as just property is land and the fixtures on the land.
Specifically, real property is land and ordinarily anything on the land including buildings and crops. Land usually includes not only the face of the earth but also everything of a permanent nature over or under it, including minerals, oil and gases.
Personal property, on the other hand, is anything other than land that you might own, including stocks, money, notes, intellectual property and intangible property.
If you are facing a court case involving matters pertaining to real estate, it would be highly advised that you immediately seek the services of a skilled attorney familiar with this area of law. Real estate law can be difficult to understand and often involve extensive time and work toward fact-finding and tracking down of documentation that can be difficult to accomplish on your own.
An experienced real estate lawyer can help to lessen this burden, employing their experience and expertise to make sure you have the best outcome.
When a piece of property is sold, real estate brokers or agents are often hired by the seller to obtain a buyer for a property. Real estate brokers, agents and salespeople are licensed and regulated by local state laws.
A real estate agreement between a buyer and seller of real estate is governed by general principles of contract law and individual state laws. The sale or transfer of real property is almost always required to be in writing. It is often required in real estate contracts that the title to the property sold be "marketable." An attorney or a title insurance company is frequently employed to investigate a title's legal marketability.
In order to pass the title, a deed with a proper description of the land must be executed and delivered. Some states require that the deed be officially recorded to establish ownership of the property and/or provide notice of its transfer to subsequent purchasers.
Consider the following:
- Are you comfortable telling the lawyer personal information? Does the lawyer seem interested in solving your problem?
- How long has the lawyer been in practice? Has the lawyer worked on other cases similar to yours?
- How are the lawyer's fees structured - hourly or flat fee? Can the lawyer estimate the cost of your case?
- Is the lawyer's office conveniently located near you?
How much experience do you have with cases like mine?
Do you know the judge or prosecutor in this case?
Should I take this case to mediation?
What are your legal fees and expenses?
Are you available after hours for questions?
Which lawyers or associates will I be dealing with?
Do I have to appear in person for my case?
Where is your Texas law office located?
Some people find a lawyer based on a recommendation from a friend or family member but you should do your own evaluation. A friend who suggested a divorce attorney may not be in the best position to recommend a criminal defense law attorney or tax lawyer. Dealing with legal issues can be complicated and frustrating. You should find the right lawyer that you can connect with to provide you with information, advice, and the legal aid you need.
The cost of hiring a lawyer can depend on the type of law and the complexity of the case. Some lawyers offer a free initial consultation. A free consultation is more common in contingency fee cases like personal injury or medical malpractice. Some lawyers may require a fee for the initial interview. During the initial interview, the lawyer may be able to provide some important information, including your legal options, likely outcomes, and cost of legal services. An initial interview is also an opportunity for you to see if this person is the right lawyer for you.
The State Bar of Texas keeps Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct records of violations or grievances against attorneys in the state. You can use the search tool on the state bar website to check an attorney's public disciplinary history. The state bar search results should show the lawyer's disciplinary history (if any) in Texas and other states.