How much does attorneys charge during a home buying process- is there a way to research this?

Asked by Lookingatseattle, Seattle, WA Thu Apr 11, 2013

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Ray Akers, Agent, Seattle, WA
Thu Apr 11, 2013
In some states, attorneys play a primary role in real estate transactions. In Washington State, the law provides for licensed real estate brokers to handle real estate sales. Attorney's often compliment the work of agents, but they are usually assisting in an advisory capacity. There are attorneys that specialize in real estate law, and you should seek out an attorney who specializes in real estate if you have an issue involving real estate. Good luck.
1 vote
Kary Krismer, Agent, Renton, WA
Thu Apr 11, 2013
That's somewhat like asking what does a mechanic charge to work on a car. It depends on what they do.

As noted by others, in Washington most residential transactions are done by real estate "brokers" and attorneys are not involved at all. Probably attorneys should be involved in more situations than they are, but it's rather uncommon, even when parties are advised to see an attorney.
0 votes
Vienna Waale, Agent, Seattle, WA
Thu Apr 11, 2013
Approximately $90.00 per half hour to review your purchase and sale agreement. You can also have an attorney write up the purchase and sale agreement if you are working with a for sale by owner after you've come to an agreement with the Seller. However, this may cost more than having a Buyers Agent represent you and complete all your documents and guide you through the buying process from beginning to end and you get free representation. This can be ideal because sometimes an attorney can make so many changes to the contract that the negotiations can go on and on and keep costing you money and you may never come to an agreement with a Seller.

I've been selling homes in all greater Seattle Metropolitan area's for the past 25 years. I specialize in Representing Buyers. I've also worked with purchasers that purchased a for sale by owner many times over the years and almost always that Seller will pay a commission to the buyers agent because we handle the entire transaction from beginning to end and make it easier on the Seller also. Even though we represent the Buyer solely. Again you receive free representation.

Your best bet is to work with a Buyers Agent exclusively and if you want your documents reviewed by an attorney, then the Buyers Agent will recommend one to you and save you money, by completely all the documents first. If the Attorney feels there is something in the contract that can't be solved, then you can back out of the sale and get your earnest money back. You might consider interviewing a few agents to see if the two of you are the right fit for each other. I typically have a 1 hour meeting with a Buyer and go over the buying process, interview for the position and then we both decide if want to work together. Then the search begins Feel free to contact me if you'd like to set up a no obligation consultation. Vienna Waale 206-226-2508 or

Best of luck to you.

0 votes
Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Thu Apr 11, 2013
In Washington a Licensed broker prepares a standardized contract as part of our regular practice. Attorneys have prepared these forms and they are updated by our MLS as warranted. Closing services are provided by Escrow companies with each side, the buyer and seller each paying half of the total fee. The fees are fairly competitive, but as a broker I have found companies I feel confident to good work and refer my buyers and sellers to.
As a new buyer in the area, the main research I suggest is in finding the best possible broker to represent you. A couple years ago we went from Agents to Brokers. We have higher expectations placed on us for continued education and experience than in the past.
Despite the name change however there are always a range of skill sets in our profession. Finding a great broker that represents your interests first is knowledgeable about the area, the current market and negotiating strategies is critical to your home buying success and satisfaction.
One way to do this is to read our answers here, our blog posts and interview some of us. You'll find many helpful options; select the one that resonates with you and has the experience and skills you are looking for.
0 votes
Craig Blackm…, Other Pro, Seattle, WA
Thu Apr 11, 2013
It depends on the attorney. Find one (using google, for example by searching "home buyer attorney," or, or one of the many other resources available for finding an attorney on the 'net) and then give a call to find out.

In the meantime I can tell you that I work either for a flat fee of $1995 or by my hourly rate of $250.

Good luck!

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