Real estate litigators can faithfully and competently represent you in any real estate dispute, but that doesn’t mean they should.
The services of real estate litigators are sometimes necessary, but other times they are not. This is because litigation (in general) is one of the most inefficient ways to resolve a legal disagreement. Generally speaking, when a lawsuit begins, everyone loses something, even the side that eventually wins the case. Even so, there are many instances when there is simply no choice but to file a lawsuit and litigate. We’ll give an overview of when you should (or shouldn’t) hire a legal professional.
There Is a Large Amount of Money at Stake
Though this seems like common sense, clients often don’t realize that the amount of time and money they will have to spend on litigating a case isn’t always worth the payout – and that’s assuming they win. We can look at an example to demonstrate.
Let’s say you have a dispute with a neighbor over a small strip of land that you each believe belongs to you. If that land is attached to either property, it will add $10,000 to you or your neighbor’s property value. If you go to court to decide who owns that strip of land and you eventually win, you probably lost at least a few thousand dollars in attorney’s fees and court costs. Then there’s the time you had to spend in court, prepping for trial, showing up for a deposition, finding and producing documents, talking on the phone with your attorney, and more. Even a win might not be worth all that time, money, and hassle.
Now take the same hypothetical, but instead of a small strip of land, we’re looking at a 100-acre tract of prime farmland worth several hundred thousand dollars. You can see how the potential payout makes it much more worth your while to go to court and hire a real estate litigator to represent you.
The Real Estate Litigator’s Fee
How your litigator is getting paid can make a big difference in whether to use one. If only a few thousand dollars is at stake, but the only attorneys that will take your case charge by the hour, it probably doesn’t make sense to hire a litigator (unless you’re fighting based on principle; see below). The typical real estate lawyer will charge anywhere from $100 to $400 per hour.
It’s about Principle
Even if the economics of litigating don’t make sense, you still might want to file a lawsuit. Perhaps you’re fighting for a piece of land that has belonged to your family for generations and the state is trying to take it away to build a new road. It might be cheaper and easier to let the state take your land, but it’s not about the money for you; it’s about keeping your family’s heritage for future generations. No one can put a price on that.
Summing It Up
Not all real estate disputes are worth going to court over. In these cases, hiring a real estate litigator doesn’t make financial sense. But real life can’t always be reduced to numbers, so there are times where even if you lose money, you still need to have your day in court. When this happens, hire a litigator who will adamantly represent your interests and stand up for what’s right. Have any questions? Get in touch with our legal team at Wilbanks Law Firm, P.C. online.