Reason Why Real Estate Attorneys Kill Deals

Performance Property Real Estate Question

Q: Gerald, I’m working on my first real estate deal with a joint venture partner. My JV partner wants us to cancel the deal because of a minor title issue our attorney is obsessing over. I asked my friend who owns a title company and he says the title defect is no big deal and can be cured easily. But, our attorney really scared my JV partner and told him he should cancel the deal. What should I do? Christina, Mt. Vernon, NY.

A: Attorneys,unfortunately, are trained more to find problems than they are to find solutions and that’s what many of them do.  But, I think the bigger issue or concern should be that you and your JV partner are not effectively managing your real estate attorney who is just an advisor.

A good real estate attorney is a vital part of your real estate power team. You need a good real estate attorney.  I use real estate attorneys all the time to review contracts and to give advice, but NEVER to make business decisions. That’s my job. I also never take financial advice from attorneys. That’s simply not their area of expertise

Attorneys often thrive on fear and power and they maximize that power by creating fear in their clients. The more fear they can create in their clients, the more their clients will value the services that the attorney provides. That serves two purposes for the attorney.  First, it strokes their ego, but it also allows them to charge more money (surprise, surprise). The key to effectively managing a real estate attorney is to make sure they stay within their narrow lane.  Their job is to interpret the law.  Make sure that that is ALL that you allow them to do for you.  Nothing more.

Thanks for your question,Christina. Good luck! For more real estate information and tips, please visit my blog at