Brettin Law Office
Seattle real estate lawyer Lee Brettin employs a practical, responsive, and cost-effective
approach to representing individuals, entrepreneurs, and businesses in
real estate, business, and franchise transactions.
ABOUT LEE BRETTIN
Real estate and business lawyer Lee Brettin maintains virtual offices now in Seattle and Moses Lake Washington, representing clients in the Puget Sound and Basin County areas. Lee began his professional career in commercial real estate, engaged in shopping center portfolio management and leasing first as a broker, and beginning in 1992, as a lawyer in regional mall and community shopping center lease negotiations, as well as retail and commercial entitlement and development in both advisory and general counsel capacities. Since reentering private practice in 2005, Lee has enjoyed the privilege of representing individuals, and families, local business owners, and national business interests in transactions in Washington State and beyond.
EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS
University of Puget Sound School of Law (now Seattle University Law School)
University of Oregon Lindquist College of Business – B.S. Finance and Real Estate
Washington State Bar Association – Member
King County Bar Association – Member
King County Bar Association Country Doctor Legal Clinic volunteer – over 10 years
Wayfind, a KCBA outreach program assisting entrepreneurs and micro-enterprises – over 10 years
Real Estate Managing Broker License – Washington State Department of Licensing
Northwest Multiple Listing Service – Member
Commercial Brokers Association – Member
Certified Property Manager – Institute of Real Estate Management (retired)
Journeyman Carpenter – United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners (retired) Local 1453 – Huntington Beach, California (closed)
Seattle real estate lawyer Lee Brettin has represented clients in every phase of the real estate development process, from land assemblage, entitlement, marketing, branding, development, leasing management and sales since 1980. Here is a sample of specific real estate matters that are part of my current practice areas:
Seattle Business Lawyer Lee Brettin represents individuals, families, start-up and mature businesses in all aspects of business transactions. Here is a sample of specific business matters that are part of my current practice areas:
• Residential and commercial purchase and sales through closing
• Commercial and shopping center and mixed-use leasing
• Easements, CC&Rs, entitlements for retail and commercial developments
• Due Diligence on land and income properties
• Clearing commercial and residential title
• Simple to complex deed conveyances
• Land and shopping center development from dirt to asset management
• Commercial Receiverships of retail and mixed-use project
• Entity Formation
• LLC agreements, amendments and resolutions
• Outside contract general counsel
• Stock and asset sales business sales
• Market evaluation, planning and product placement
• Non-competition / non-disclosure agreements
• Contract drafting, negotiation interpretation, and amendments
• Service and retail businesses branding, and trademark services
Send us an inquiry. We’d love to hear from you. Most inquires are answered same day or evening. This is the fastest and surest way of making contact. We office a free ten-minute telephone case evaluation to help you determine if our services are well suited to your needs and matched to your every expectation.
Hiring Us and Fee Schedules
How do I engage with you?
Call or send me an email through the Contact Us portal or to the email address at the top of the page and I will personally respond to you in most cases the same day. If, based on our initial email exchange we mutually decide that your needs, goals and timeframe are a good fit for our practice, then we will send you a confidential client questionnaire for you to return to us. This gives us a basic profile, contact information, names of parties, objectives and issues involved for our conflict check. Once we have the intake form back, we will schedule a time for an initial free ten-minute call to discuss how we can help you.
How do you screen clients?
Through the initial exchange of emails, review of your confidential client questionnaire and our ten-minute initial consultation to discuss your specific goals and objectives we can determine if your case is a good fit for our practice, our fees are inline with your budget and expectations, and if we have the current resources to devote to your project. During that call, you will have the opportunity to interview Lee Brettin about his background and experience as it relates to your project, scheduling availability, and the specific next steps. If we mutually decide that your needs are a good fit for our practice and that we can deliver the results you are looking for within your time frame then we will firm up our arrangement with you via an agreement outlining terms and conditions of our services.
How much do your legal services cost?
Hourly rates vary depending on the nature of the undertaking. Our current fee schedule is $350.00/hr. for general legal services; $175.00/hr. First hour is $400.00. Minimum project billing for a new client is $600.00, usually paid in advance. Once you are in our system as a client, the minimum charge is waived on future projects.
Do you ever work on a flat fee basis?
Each legal project is unique. In that regard, we try to creatively undertake as many routine tasks on a flat fee basis as possible. Many basic real estate and business transactions quite easily fit the flat fee billing model. Depending on complexity and the number of ‘moving parts,’ some projects necessitate an hourly billing format. In other cases, we are able to complete part of a project on a flat fee and other components on an hourly basis.
What are your flat fees for Off-Market / FSBO sales or to represent a real estate buyer?
Basic real estate sale transactions are normally done on a flat fee basis. Flat fee pricing is variable depending on when in the process we engage. Every transaction is unique. In some instances we engage with our clients when they are first considering a purchase or sale. In other cases we engage after an offer has been tendered, parties identified or on a document review basis. The following are general guidelines. Fees start as low as $1,500.00 for representing a home or single tenant commercial building buyer or seller on a no contingency, no due diligence sale under $500,000. For no due diligence, no contingency sales between $500,001 and $800,000, the fee is $2,000.00; for no contingency, no due diligence sales between $800,001 to $1,100,000 the fee is $2,500.00. For sales over $1,100,000, please call to discuss. Typically, residential transactions with basic financing, title and inspection contingencies will increase the flat fee by $500.00. Payment is generally split with half due in advance of writing or reviewing an offer, and the balance due upon opening escrow. On sales of listed properties, we are often able to apply the equivalent amount of the selling broker’s commission – often 2.5% to 3% of the listing price – to the buyer’s closing costs and loan points, up to the full sale commission thereby potentially saving clients thousands of dollars over hiring a traditional broker to perform the same basic service.
Please note that the forgoing pricing model is intended for basic real estate sales. Transactions where a party may need our counsel to obtain entitlements or satisfy feasibility studies, or those that present issues of compromised or clouded title, the need to negotiate complicated ownership or partnership issues, prepare financing documents, and sales involving so-called “pre-built” homes, or the review of condominium disclosure documents for new sales or resale certificates for pre-owned condos entail additional work that may take the project out of the above price structure. These are typical add-ons to off-market sales that in some cases may make sense to include in a flat fee bid or in other cases may be more fitting of a hybrid flat/hourly fee proposal. During our free consultation we will be able to give you a solid quote on either a flat fee or hybrid pricing basis, depending on the needs of your project.
IF YOU HAVE BEEN CONTACTED “OFF MARKET” BY A BUILDER, INVESTOR OR FLIPPER FOR YOUR IN-CITY UP-ZONED HOME, CALL ME BEFORE RESPONDING TO AN UNSOLICITED OFFER OR AGREEING TO ANYTHING.
Do you accept credit cards?
Most major cards are accepted.
Will I need to pay a retainer?
In some cases, we ask for a retainer or advance payment to reserve immediate time for your project if it is to be completed on an expedited basis. In other cases, we may ask for a deposit to be placed in our lawyer IOLTA trust account. IOLTA trust funds are client monies until they are earned and are usually applied to your final invoice. In most all cases, a new client will need to pay a retainer or deposit prior to our commencing work on a project. Existing or return client are not asked for a new IOTLA deposits.
How fast can you go to work for me?
Once we have a signed engagement letter back with your deposit or retainer, we can schedule your project. On expedited matters with a rush deadline, we are often able to complete our initial consultation, circulate and sign the engagement letter and start work on your case the same day. In all cases, timing on commencement of work and estimated initial turn-around will be agreed-to in advance.
American Bar Association
Washington State Bar Association
King County Bar Association
Pierce County Bar Association
Snohomish County Bar Association
National Association of Realtors
North Puget Sound Association of Realtors
Washington State Commercial Association of Realtors
Washington State Courts
King County Bar Association
King County Department of Assessment
King County Recorders Office
King County Superior Court
Washington Residential Landlord-Tenant Act:
Seattle Landlord-Tenant Laws: Please review this page before entering into or terminating a residential lease:
Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections:
King County Bar Association Neighborhood Legal Clinics:
King County Bar Association Housing Justice Project:
Rental Housing Association of Washington:
Washington Attorney General Residential Landlord-Tenant Resources
Washington Landlord Association
Institute of Real Estate Management
International Counsel of Shopping Centers
SIOR Real Estate Glossary