Limited Scope Legal Services for Real Estate Transactions


Note: This podcast is no longer available, but please see below for the transcript of the podcast

Timely Contract is called a limited-scope legal service, because it is kind of like comparing the traditional legal services as like maybe a six-course meal, where you get the salad and the entree and dessert and everything in-between really, whether you want it or not. They just keep giving it to you. 

With limited-scope legal services, it’s more of an a-la-carte thing where you choose the legal service you need at the moment you get the service. It’s a limited service, and then you’re done. 

And the question is arisen, well, wouldn’t I want a limited legal service to be offered to me at a flat rate? And I thought about this and I thought okay, well, this is a good question. And you notice that flat rate services are usually involved with the purchase of goods. Now it might be a car, and it might be a deli sandwich, or it might be a newspaper. But you know precisely what it is and what you’re getting into. A flat rate, as opposed to an hourly, appears to make sense on the face of it. But when you purchase services, and it could be you know, a gutter washing service, which appears pretty simple. But think of a medical service, or a legal service, certainly a legal service. 

When you get involved in contracts and legal services, you realize these are not something you want to pay a flat rate for. And with so many real estate contracts and services involved, we realize immediately. We know, Okay, it’s kind of silly to say it but real estate is not a deli sandwich. Real estate is unique, every single parcel. And someone might say, well, this is just a standard lot in a standard subdivision in a vanilla town in a city of Anywhere, USA. And I’m reminded, Yes, that’s what the folks in San Mateo thought when they bought their vanilla style, suburban, single-family, detached homes and no one realized there was a natural gas pipeline under those homes until the pipeline exploded. 

Gosh, there’s so much that goes on into real estate. You want to pay an hourly rate to someone to look into it. We recommend you don’t remove incentives to your attorney by some flat-rate pricing scheme. Pay the hourly rate to give the incentives for a complete and thorough job. It may be a contract review, it may be a draft of a document, it may be an ancillary document, it may be the primary document that you use to purchase, or it may be something else. There may be documents in the public record that you want analyzed through the TIER service, or maybe you want to know if there’s a capital lease involved, or is there an easement that actually gives access to the land. 

These are not services for which you want to pay a flat rate. You really want to pay the hourly rate and give the incentives to do it right when you purchase real estate or an interest in real estate. You may be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. Certainly in some cases, millions of dollars. And so why would you want to pay for a deli sandwich? The answer is that you wouldn’t and don’t. 

We’d be happy to speak to you about your real estate needs.

At Timely Contract we have local real estate attorneys who have experience throughout Idaho, including: Boise, Post Falls, Coeur d’Alene, Lewiston, Moscow, and Sandpoint.

We also have local real estate attorneys who have experience throughout Montana, including: Missoula, Billings, Bozeman, and Kalispell.

And we have local real estate attorneys who have experience throughout Washington, including: Spokane, Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Medical Lake, and Cheney.

Disclaimer: Timely Contract podcasts are meant to be informative; however, Timely Contract podcasts are not legal advice. Legal advice is the result of the application of proper law to a particular set of circumstances. Whether or how the law applies to a particular factual situation is a legal question that cannot be answered by a Timely Contract podcast. In addition, Timely Contract podcasts sometimes differ from their written transcript. Listeners and readers should not rely on a Timely Contract podcast, or a transcript of a Timely Contract podcast, as legal advice. Listeners should seek legal counsel and get a true legal opinion before taking actions regarding real property.