Real estate lawyers are an interesting breed. By law, they are required in several states to represent clients in a real estate closing, and in eight states, they are required to represent both the buyer and seller.
Sometimes, they put on a different coat and help negotiate deals as a real estate agent does. For one relatively under-the-radar real estate attorney in Santa Monica, California, a simple tweet about seller strategy in a commercial real estate investment transaction has given him, at last count, more than 100,000 views in less than a day. Here’s the tweet from The Real Estate Lawyer at Sinai Law Firm:
“A large client of mine got an unsolicited offer to buy one of his 25 properties. Offer came in at $5.5 million, slightly above the market value. ‘I’m only selling for $7 million, tell them that’s what I want.’ I told him it will probably drive them away. ‘I don’t care. I don’t need to sell. If they want it, it will take $7 million.’ Buyer asked me how did my client justify that price. ‘That’s a 2.5 cap!’ I told him he is not wrong. There was no justification for $7 million. But that’s what it will take. Buyer accepted, and we went to escrow shortly after.” (Tweet edited for clarity.)
Sometimes it’s not the messenger but the message. In this crazy real estate economy with low inventory and mortgage rates rising again, an unknown attorney has drawn a larger-than-life share of attention on social media. And while 100,000 views would make most social influencers laugh, getting that kind of response when you only have 626 followers is relatively rare. On top of that, the tweet’s popularity resulted from a stated strategy and an all-cash offer that occurred in 2021.
“This is actually something that happened well over a year ago. My client was wealthy and knew how wealthy he was. He was old school and not super sophisticated and found an opportunity at the right time. The buyer needed the property,” attorney Avi Sinai, proprietor at Sinai Law Firm, told Benzinga.
Depending on the type of representation, real estate attorneys serve various functions for their clients as part of a property transfer. But for some, tagging along to help choose or bid on a property also comes in handy and, in Sinai’s case, can save some money, as they can do everything except market the property.
“If someone wants me to be involved in a transaction, I will,” Sinai said. “Sometimes I do it and there’s just me and no agent. I’ve handled about 16 transactions in the last year. I had a neighbor reach out to me who had inherited a property that wasn’t worth much years ago and is now worth $4 million in a nice neighborhood in L.A. The real estate broker quoted him a 5% commission rate, and I agreed to do it at my hourly rate.”
As for the market, times in L.A. are tough. Sinai says the commercial side is in a “70% slowdown in activity.” For his residential clients, he said, “Those who have money and don’t need loan contingencies are the only strong buyers out there.”
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This article He’s Not An Agent, But A Los Angeles Area Attorney’s Tweet Has Given Him A Name In Real Estate originally appeared on Benzinga.com
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