Real estate law
Preliminary / Final Title Opinions
Landlord / Tenant
the quick buck vs. the right thing
Real estate is an investment, and it is important that your investment is protected from every angle. With so many entities involved in a real estate transaction, and varying rules guiding the various institutions involved, there is a lot of room for human error and misunderstanding. What I provide to my clients is the assurance that I am paying attention to their best interests, and to the details that matter when helping them make better-informed decisions regarding their real estate.
In general, people like to find the best deals on all services, and prefer to handle their affairs on their own in lieu of paying someone to handle it for them. The problem here is that we, myself included, often forget that most of us are not experts in all things, and sometimes we create new, bigger, and more expensive problems for ourselves when we try to save a few dollars at the front end of our endeavors.
I cannot tell you how many times a client has presented me with a "really simple" request, for example the drafting of a Quit Claim Deed only. After about five minutes of listening to why this client is requesting said deed, the heart of the matter is revealed.
At this point is where my services truly differ from the average lawyer. It may be that providing the client with the Quit Claim Deed is perfectly within the law, and to the detriment of no one within the near future. I could then instruct my paralegal to draft the deed for my review and approval to give to the client, and make the easy money. However, my personal compass demands that I be straightforward with the client and explain to them the title, tax and inheritance implications that come along with their "simple" Quit Claim Deed.
Some clients love it, some clients are skeptical and ask questions that squeeze a free hour of legal consultation out of me, and some clients get upset and think that I am trying to up-sell them on services they do not need. Sometimes I read the local paper to see that their Quit Claim Deed has been recorded, because they walked out of my office and into the office of another attorney who did exactly what the client wanted.
My wife's favorite example of this is the meeting that took place a few years ago where a gentleman insisted that I get "one of them girls in the front to type it up on the typewriter, get paid and be done with it." I had already spent about thirty minutes explaining to this gentleman that what he wanted was not only illegal, but also impossible. I didn't bother to touch on the fact that most offices have done away with the typewriter. He began to raise his voice, and I resorted to the following, now infamous statement:
"Sir, I don't know how else to tell you this, but, I'm the lawyer, you're not, and I'm not going to do this for you."
I can sleep at night with any of the forgoing outcomes, because I know that I did what I promised I would do when I was sworn into the Iowa State Bar in 2013. I have no interest in being all things to all people by fulfilling the requests of every potential client who walks in my door. When you come to me, it is in both of our best interests that we get to what's really going on, and ensure that you are getting the services that you need in an honest and fair way that will not come back to bite you or your heirs at a later time.