From the very beginning of our journey as adults, we are taught to utter the phrase – ”Let me talk to my lawyer” – any time we are confronted with serious legal obstacles. Unfortunately, in an expensive city like Singapore, only the uber-affluent can afford to play that card at the drop of a hat because not everyone can bear with the sky high legal fees involved. Some people even hesitate to use lawyers even when they are seriously threatened or wronged.
For the many of us, the term ‘lawyers’ itself holds a negative connotation. If there is a lawyer involved in some situation, then we assume that person is probably in trouble. The other assumption that we usually make is that lawyers are money suckers. If one ever needs to deal with a lawyer, they need to bid farewell to a fortune.
This assumption holds true most of the time. They charge heavy fees for the smallest of issues. However, you will be happy to know there is a way to make their fees worth every bit of your time. That way is through enlisting their services to facilitate a property purchase. Property transactions are usually charged on a flat fee basis. This means you pay the same amount no matter how much information you try to squeeze out of your lawyer.
Therefore, here are a few ways by which you can make the best out of money sucking lawyers:
- Question, Question, Question
Since there is a fixed fee involved in property transactions, ask as many questions as possible without the fear of being charged for each one of them. When you go to meet a lawyer, never go unprepared. Start making a list of the questions that you want to ask as they pop up in your head because if you don’t make a list, chances are that you might forget some of them at the time you meet the lawyer.
Also, do not be afraid to ask stupid questions. You may feel a bit shy to ask something in particular as you may think that it is dumb, but there is absolutely no harm in asking any doubt no matter how big or small it is. It is your right to get every little detail about the property.
- Ask for a Simplified Explanation of the Document
There is a certain sense of security that fills us when we sign legal documents in front of our lawyers, even if we don’t know what exactly that legal document contains. And if you don’t ask, the lawyers usually don’t take the initiative of explaining the document to you voluntarily.
But since it is you and not the lawyer who has to move into the property, you are the one who needs to understand the contract carefully. If you read it yourself, you might not be able to understand the legal jargon properly and might miss out something. Thus, ask your lawyer to explain the legal contract to you in detail.
- Do Not Wait for the Last Minute
There are certain things that the lawyer might ask you to do, like getting approval for a bank loan or dropping off cashier’s orders at his office.
It is not wise to wait for the last minute to do these things because if a situation arises where something goes wrong on the day of your deadline, chances are that you might end up paying interest or holding up the entire transaction.
- Look Up Information On Legal Services
You must have an idea about the price you will be charged according to the kind of property that you are dealing with. A typical property purchase ranges from $1500 to $5000 where firms that cater mainly to HDB purchasers tend to charge less, while larger firms tend to deal with higher value property purchases.
The idea is to just get an idea about the fees because usually there is no way to know in advance exactly how much your transaction will cost other than by contacting a lawyer directly and having him assess your situation.
Thus, here are a few things that you must keep in mind, not just to get your money’s full worth out of a lawyer, but also to help yourself in the best possible way while buying property, by making sure that you get each and every detail about the property that you are going to buy or already have bought.
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