J. Terry Laws, Attorney, LLC
8 Whitsett Street
Greenville, SC 29601
Phone: 864-370-9040
Fax: 864-370-1281
Email: terrylaws@jtlawsfirm.net

Hours of Operation:
Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm

Attorney Real Estate Fees

If you are thinking of a real estate purchase or refinance you will be referred to a number of professionals: lenders, lawyers, property inspectors, pest inspection companies, surveyors, among others.  You may be told to go to a certain attorney because their fees are less; or because they guarantee a flat fee; or the seller requires you to go to their attorney. 

Before selecting an attorney there are several things you need to know.

“You must use the Seller’s attorney.”

WRONG, South Carolina is a Buyer’s Choice state. You can select your own attorney.

“The Shell Game.”

If someone tells you attorney A charges less of an attorney’s fee than other attorneys, ask what attorney A charges for the attendant costs as well: title insurance binder (commitment fee), overnight fees, costs for production of loan package; title insurance, title search, copy costs and attorney’s fees.  You will want to compare the total of all the fees collected by attorney A with the total of all fees collected by any other attorney you may be considering.  Many times the attorney’s fee will be discounted, but the other fees will be increased, so that the total is very similar to, or sometimes greater than other attorneys.  This is a form of the shell game. Some attorneys will discount their attorney’s fee and add the difference to other fees, so that you think you are getting a deal, when actually, you are not.

“The Bait and Switch Game.”

If someone tells you attorney A guarantees a low flat fee, ask for their fee sheet and study it.  This may be a form of bait and switch.  Attorney A guarantees that low flat fee where: you are buying or refinancing in a certain county; it is a conventional loan, and; if buying your seller is an individual and not a corporation that has foreclosed and repossessed the property.  Anything outside the parameters and your bill just jumped up by a few hundred dollars. With the bait and switch game there are limitations on when that flat fee is applicable, but some attorneys don’t disclose those limitations up front. If your transaction doesn’t fall into the few circumstances that will get you the flat fee, then you are not getting any deal, much less a deal.

“The Insurance Deal.”

If someone tells you attorney A can get you half off the title insurance on your refinance, ask if other lawyers can too.  The implication is that attorney A will or can do something that other attorneys cannot do, which is not true.  If you are refinancing and have a prior title insurance policy, all attorneys can get you the discount.  That discount is called the re-issue rate.  Call your prospective attorney and ask them if they can give you the re-issue rate; most can, and will.

If you are being told not to go to attorney B because they are more expensive than attorney A, get the facts. Compare all of the costs and fees involved in your transaction.  Look at how both firms package and market their services. Has one attempted to pull the “shell game,” “the bait and switch,” or “the insurance deal” on you? If so, which attorney do you trust to handle your business and legal affairs?

At J. Terry Laws Attorney, LLC we pride ourselves on our honesty.  We will provide you with all the fees and costs up front and will not give you a misleading quote. In the event that you find an attorney who legitimately has lower fees and costs than us, bring us their fee sheet, we will meet those fees. You’ll get the same deal and the same great service from someone you can trust, without the games.

Contact us today to get an up front, honest disclosure of the costs of your transaction.