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Should I Hire a Real Estate Broker or a Real Estate Lawyer?


This depends on your specific situation. In most cases, the correct answer is both. A broker and an attorney have two very different jobs and work in two very different ways. When making the decision about whom to hire, it is a good idea to gain some background knowledge into the differences between the two.

The first thing to understand about a broker is that they are not authorized to practice law. Secondly, they work on a commission, while attorneys charge a fee. By understanding these two things, you can begin to understand the differences between a real estate broker and a real estate lawyer.

A broker comes in at the beginning of the process. They work with the economics of the deal. Their responsibility is to put opportunities together for the two interested parties and find the best opportunity for the client. This could be anything from buying, selling or leasing. They aid in the negotiation of basic terms. Once the third parties have come to an initial agreement, the broker hands the deal over to the attorneys.

As attorneys, our job is to give you advice. We are always looking out for your best interest. We will identify your concerns, but ultimately you are going to decide what to do. We hear your problems and try our best to come up with proper solutions.

A big difference in the way that brokers work versus the way that attorneys work lies in the way that they each get paid. Brokers work on commission. While there are brokers who are looking out for their clients’ best interests, ultimately they are going to push the deal because they only get paid if it closes. This doesn’t work against the client, however. Sometimes this aids the process because the broker is more driven to close the deal. This can help solve some specific client problems. For example, if one party is not responding, the broker will help to seek them out in order to close the deal. There is a sense of urgency that can be very beneficial in closing deals.

Brokers and attorneys have two very different jobs, so in most cases it is a good idea to hire both. When all parties, including the broker and lawyer, do not understand the differences between the two roles, problems can arise. For this reason, it is very important to seek out an experienced broker who also values these differences. A good broker will finish their job and tell you, “It is time to get a lawyer involved.”

For more information about the differences between a real estate broker and real estate lawyer, contact Griffin Fletcher & Herndon LLP to talk with an experienced real estate lawyer today.


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