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Why To Work With a Lawyer From the Start: An Interview with Kenneth Silver of Hertz Schram PC

By Kristen Bosse

Please describe the various real estate services you offer.

We represent buyers, sellers and owners of real estate in their real estate transactions, development, financing, management, construction and taxes. Most of the work we perform involves commercial properties but we also assist clients with residential properties. As a full service firm we also assist clients with the creation of companies formed for the purpose of holding their real estate and developing strategies for maximizing a return and minimizing potential problems.

As an experienced lawyer, what type of cases do you specialize in?

As indicated above, my work runs across the broad spectrum of real estate matters. I have particular expertise with respect to real estate financing as well. From time to time, I also become involved in litigation concerning real estate title matters and ownership rights.

Although you strictly deal with commercial real estate, will you offer free consultation to those inquiring about residential real estate as well?

I frequently consult with owners or buyers of residential properties. As a general rule, I am happy to provide a free initial consultation.

What advice would you give to homeowners to make sure they are represented fairly throughout the home purchasing process?

The biggest mistake people make is to wait until closing to seek representation. This is true for buyers or sellers. It is always wise to seek the advice of counsel from the very beginning.

What are some specific qualities that a homeowner should look for in a qualified lawyer?

A good lawyer will assist a homeowner in the transaction without unnecessarily creating new issues. It is imperative that the lawyer approach the matter practically and to be mindful of the size of the transaction and a client's ability to pay.

What sort of legalities should inexperienced homeowners be aware of when selling their home?

This is a question that can't be easily answered. I suppose I would say that most homeowners don't understand the role or need for title insurance. One of the most common mistakes that I see homeowners make is to ignore title insurance altogether and then years later when they try to sell their home there are old encumbrances on title that need to be addressed because the encumbrances weren't addressed early or timely. These sorts of issues can dramatically increase the cost (legal fees) of a transaction and the time involved in completing it.

What are some of the strategies or tactics you would personally use in a foreclosure case?

Again, the biggest mistake that is made in challenging a foreclosure is waiting too long. Once the redemption period expires, a homeowner loses the right to challenge the foreclosure altogether. Most homeowners (and many lawyers) don't understand this but the case law is very very clear.

What are the most common mistakes consumers make without a real estate lawyer during the process of buying a new home?

As I said earlier, not seeking the advice of counsel early on, trying to do to much themselves and ignoring the need for title insurance.

Do you really think it is truly necessary to hire a real estate lawyer?

Yes. A good lawyer will tell you if he/she doesn't really need to be involved. This is something I have said many times to many clients. But at the same time, I have become heavily involved in matters the client originally thought was easy and for which an attorney was perceived to not be necessary.

What's the best way for people to get in contact with you?

I can be reached at 248-335-5000 or ksilver@hertzschram.com.

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