How long would you wait for contracts?? - Posted by Doone

Posted by Ed Copp (OH) on April 18, 2000 at 18:52:56:


How long would you wait for contracts?? - Posted by Doone

Posted by Doone on April 18, 2000 at 10:00:31:


I brought contracts down to an attorney’s office 2 weeks ago last Thursday to have them looked over and have any necessary changes made. Brought him a P&S & Assignment of contract that are already tailored to a buyer. Also asked him to make up an addendum that I can attach to a P&S from a realtor.

I called him a week after dropping off the contracts. He said that he was almost done and I should have them the next day or by Monday (a week ago) by the latest. I called him last Thursday & Friday asking what what up and is he going to be able to do this for me or not? He never called me back. Just called him again & he’s in court.

How long does it take to do what I asked?? And if I’m not being rediculous about wanting them now, how long do I have to wait for this guy before going to another attorney? It’s been nearly 3 weeks! I can’t afford to have this done twice, but meanwhile, here I am twiddling my thumbs.


Re: How long would you wait for contracts?? - Posted by TRandle

Posted by TRandle on April 19, 2000 at 08:01:53:

You’ve received several good responses, so I’ll limit my response to my experience. We faxed a copy of a land trust agreement, assignment of beneficial interest, bill of sale, purchase agreeement, POA, etc. to an attorney we had never met. He’s one of the few in town that other REI use. I had modified each of these documents (one of my innate flaws, believing I can improve everything, but that’s another story). We received a phone call within 3 hours that the documents all were fine for Texas. 3 weeks versus 3 hours? You tell me…

Re: How long would you wait for contracts?? - Posted by ray@lcorn

Posted by ray@lcorn on April 18, 2000 at 22:48:49:


I’ve worked with a lot of attorneys. Many more than I want to remember… :wink: Some were good, a couple were exceptional, and most were somewhere between adequate and average. That’s probably about the same degree of competence you’ll find in any profession from doctor to shoe salesman. Choose carefully.

I am partial to using B.L.'s approach. I like to sit down, roll up my sleeves and take a document apart word by word if necessary. But I let them know up front how I want to work. I reserve the hour (and expect to be billed for it), and expect their attention and participation. I work with most “service professionals” this way. With an attorney, I prefer to be in on the nitty-gritty of drafting documents. As B.L. mentioned, that way I can get my concerns and his on the table at the same time, and come to an understanding of how to proceed in my best interest. Going through a document and marking up a copy with everything discussed is a great way to get things done.

I’m also that way with architects and engineers. I would rather see the guy take out a black felt tip pen and start drawing freehand on tracing paper than wait two weeks after the first meeting for a finished drawing. I’m just that way. (I have an architect I have worked with for years and he always reminds me that I am one of a very few clients that see him on Saturday afternoons knee deep in CAD drafts, trying to make a new foundation design work? ) I try to give them reasons to let me see behind the curtain, because I truly like to know how things are done. I get involved in the process. A lot more brainstorming tends to take place, and the creativity quotient goes up exponentially with the number of people involved. I respect these people for their knowledge, and never lose sight of the fact that I am paying for the combination of knowledge and experience. I also bring up money in the first meeting. I like to leave the first meeting with a clear understanding of costs and payment expectations.

In my experience, I would guess-timate that ninety percent of the time, most people that don’t return phone calls are just procrastinators and don’t call back because they don’t want to have to admit it. The other ten percent are people that truly don’t get the message or just don’t want to talk to me period.

It may be too late, but you can try a different approach with this guy. Call his secretary and tell her you want to schedule an hour with the attorney to go over the draft contracts you sent previously. If she makes the appointment, then you show up and go from there. Use some of what you have learned here to craft a relationship as tightly drawn as the document you hope to leave with.

If the secretary doesn’t do his schedule, and defers making the appointment to the attorney, then you have given him a reason to call back besides getting his thoughts on the contracts, which I will bet he probably hasn’t read. You may be able to take the opportunity of the scheduling phone call to ask how he would go about what you are trying to do. If the conversation goes nowhere, it may be you need a different attorney.

There is one last point that could be at work here? Many attorneys consider the preparation and drafting of documents to be their stock in trade. I know a couple that consider contract construction an art. The guy could be reluctant to put his stamp of approval on someone else’s work, regardless if they are good or not. They are not HIS docs, and he may not want to possibly be liable for them. And if he’s really good, he may be insulted because either you didn’t trust him enough, or are too cheap, to ask him to do your docs. Kind of like taking the suit you bought at Sears to Brooks Brothers for alterations.

Hope this helps,


Re: How long would you wait for contracts?? - Posted by B.L.Renfrow

Posted by B.L.Renfrow on April 18, 2000 at 17:04:29:

Won’t help you now, but when I sat down with an attorney to review the contracts I had written, he did it right there while I was sitting across from him. That way, we could immediately discuss any concerns and modifications on the spot until we were both satisfied. I just penciled in the changes, then went home and retyped them. It avoided the endless telephone tag and more billable phone time.

I’d say you’ve been way more than patient. I’d be calling the guy’s office every day, twice a day if necessary. If your calls don’t get returned, send him a letter discharging him and take your business elsewhere. Unless he’s too busy, too lazy or both, what you need shouldn’t take more than an hour or so (max) of his time.

Brian (NY)

Re: How long would you wait for contracts?? - Posted by Ed Copp (OH)

Posted by Ed Copp (OH) on April 18, 2000 at 10:58:43:

Why do you bother with an attorney anyway, especially one who obviously does not have your best interests in mind. It has been my experience that most attorneys have an attitude something like this: If it takes longer it should cost more. Almost all attorneys are income oriented (thiers not yours). Very little else matters to most of them. If the work that they do is laced with incompetence, and has do be done over, 'OH well, they just bill twice…
You are probably better off to learn to write your own contracts, and get them accepted yourself. You ask how long to wait? It has been my observation that a good deal has a tendancy to start to sour in about 24 hours sometimes less than that. So learn to write your contracts, and get them accepted on the spot, if possible.
Most lawyers are frequently referred to as dealkillers in REI circles, and rightfully so. They have earned the right to the use of that term. And then the
real super incompetent ones go into politics…ED

Re: How long would you wait for contracts?? - Posted by Doone

Posted by Doone on April 18, 2000 at 13:01:39:


Maybe I didn’t make myself clear. I haven’t even had a chance to go out and make any deals yet. I ordered a course on wholesaling properties. With it came some contracts. I hear time & time again how newbies should have the contracts checked out by an attorney to make sure they’re in my best interest, things may need to be added regarding what state I live in, etc… This is where I’m at. Just waiting for the darn lawyer to give 'em back to me.

I was wondering how long revising contracts take, and at what point can I call this guy to go to *(&^ and to not dare bill me.


Re: How long would you wait for contracts?? - Posted by Ed Copp (OH)

Posted by Ed Copp (OH) on April 18, 2000 at 13:12:51:

You will have to make the deciseio as to how long is too long. Now keep in mind that any change in the “contract” causes it not to be a contract but a counter offer. At any rate my previous post indicated my thoughts on MOST (not all) lawyers. Shop around, if you find a good one keep him or her…ED

Ed, you REALLY need to read the post again - Posted by Jim IL

Posted by Jim IL on April 18, 2000 at 16:46:06:

If the guy gets his contract back from the attorney, it is NOT a “counter offer”.
He merely took his boiler plate contracts to an attorney for review. (THEY ARE BLANK FORMS!!)
He is making sure that they are legal and comply with the laws in his area, I am sure.
So, from what I read in his post, he is asking his attorney to review these, and wants to know from us how long a time for the attorney to complete this task is reasonable.

My answer, 2 days, tops!
Seems this attorney is either really busy, overbooked, or incompetent.
Then again, I’m not there.
I’d keep calling him and see what he has to say.

Good luck,
Jim IL