You would have to be specific about the type of transaction that you need help with. It is hard to give a basic answer without knowing more. For example, is the deal a purchase/sale of real estate, do you need a lease drafted or reviewed, is it a zoning/land use issue (are you looking for zoning approvals from the town/city), and is it a commercial or residential property. Obviously all transactions are different and the nature of what help you need would drive the price.
If you want to discuss further, I'd be happy to speak with you as I have an extensive real estate practice, oth commercial and residential. (908)233-6800.
Please be advised that my response is for informational purposes only based on the limited information you have provided. You should not construe such it as legal advice, and should consult with an attorney for advice on your specific legal issues. My response does not create an attorney client relationship. You should not act upon my response without seeking advice from a lawyer.
The cost of legal services for real estate transactions depends on the type of transaction you are looking for the attorney to handle. Generally, purchases and sales of residential real estate are charged a flat fee, which can be paid at the closing. You will have to ask each individual lawyer that you speak to about their fees. All fee agreements between yourself and a lawyer should be in writing and set forth specifically what services the lawyer will be providing to you for your fee.
Representing the buyer in a conventional purchase attorneys bill a flat fee for part or all of the full transaction or an hourly fee. The fee agreement should be executed in writing. The attorney may ask for an initial retainer or to be paid outside of the closing on the property or if the attorney is representing you at closing they may accept payment as part of the closing with a check written by the title agent (customary in southern New Jersey transactions) or possibly the seller's attorney (as is often the case in northern New Jersey transactions).
An attorney representing the buyer generally handles all or part of the following parts of the transaction:
1. Review of the contract
2. Writing what is called a kill letter if the home inspection turns up issues which are greater to fix than what is the contractual margin.
3. Negotiating repairs
4. Attending closing to explain the papers the buyer signs. There are several dozen pages to review and sign. In a stressful and exciting moment it is a good idea to have an attorney assisting you to make sure all of the documents are in place and the documents you sign are in alignment with the contract and your overall understanding of the deal.
In situations where a buyer is purchasing a short sale property there are additional challenges including dealing with processors, creditors and other issues. Short sale and foreclosure work is an ever changing field with government rules adjusting to meet the needs of the changing market.
To represent a person from contract to closing the range I have seen is $600-$1500 for a conventional sale and up to $2,000 for a short sale. The short sale is potentially much more work but the bright side is that most short sales provide the buyer with more equity in their purchase than a conventional sale.