You’re involved in a real estate deal and you realize you need the assistance of a professional. It’s reasonable to first determine how much the service is going to cost. You want to know up front how much the attorney charges. This can eliminate some unpleasant surprises down the road. Fees often depend on the type of case. Billing can be based on an hourly rate or a flat fee. For billing by the hour, you can expect to pay between $150 to $450 per hour. The rate generally fluctuates according to the complexity of the case and adds up very quickly. Most attorneys require a retainer upfront as well. The cost is a big part of choosing a real estate attorney, impacting your overall budget for the deal. However, it shouldn’t be the only consideration. Sometimes it’s advantageous to invest a bit more to achieve a successful outcome. Always request an estimate and feel free to negotiate for a more reasonable price. Like any other professional service, you typically get the quality you pay for. Settling for the cheapest attorney may cost you more in the end. If you’re looking to hire a larger firm, start by asking whether assistants other than your attorney will be working on the case. It’s not unusual for a portion of the workload to be managed by paralegals or junior attorneys. Make sure you’re agreeable with the people who will be sharing your information. You also want to know who you’ll be contacting in the event of a question or concern. An open line of communication is extremely important and the opposite can prove terribly frustrating. It’s essential that you know when and how you can reach your attorney and who else is available if the attorney isn’t accessible. Sharing information is vital to the working relationship and a swift, smooth completion.