Doug McCarthy and Matthew Akers, Estate Planning and Real Estate Attorneys, and Managing Partners at the McCarthy & Akers, PLC law firm, Winchester, Virginia, were interviewed by real estate broker Mark Francis, of Icon Real Estate, on his ICONic Talk podcast. During the podcast, McCarthy and Akers discuss what sets them apart from the rest of the real estate settlement industry and makes them uniquely positioned to assist buyers and sellers of real estate better.
When the client arrives at the offices of McCarthy & Akers, they will find themselves in the downtown Winchester Historic District in a building that once was Winchester Medical College, one of the first medical colleges in North America, founded by the McGuire family. Hunter McGuire was Stonewall Jackson’s private surgeon. The office sits on top of a cemetery (no ghosts, though!) because med students would dig up fresh graves from the nearby cemetery to perform autopsies (illegal at the time). Instead of taking the bodies back to the cemetery, they buried the bodies in the basement.
From its start in 2005 in Winchester, the firm has now grown to seven offices located across northern Virginia. McCarthy attributes the firm’s growth to its customer-focused approach in providing expert legal advice and guidance for all real estate transactions. “We noticed early on that the practice of law isn’t always conducive to good customer service. People aren’t usually excited to see attorneys. We realized attorneys do a good job with the legal side of real estate, but the title companies were doing a much better job with customer service and the human side of a real estate transaction. We came up with the idea, ‘Why can’t we combine the best of those?’ and set out to break the mold on the attorney-real estate settlement companies. For the first seven years, that was our focus,” says McCarthy.
McCarthy & Akers view their job as bringing all parties together and keeping them all on track for a successful real estate closing for the client. From the day they get the client’s contract, they immediately order a title search on the property to ensure there are no issues so that everything on the ground matches up with what’s in the courthouse records. McCarthy emphasizes the importance of “having someone who has expertise all through the process, looking out for any pitfalls ahead of time and being an advocate for the client during the process. As attorneys, we can answer questions that the title agent cannot.” Even title insurance companies prefer working with skilled attorneys. They know the attorneys will review all documents before closing, which gives the client peace of mind that any issues will be covered.
McCarthy & Akers also work with the lender to ensure they have all documents needed to process the loan for the buyer and with the agents to make sure walkthroughs, inspections, etc., go off without a hitch. Akers says they like to have everything put together a week ahead of time so everyone has a chance to review all documents before the closing and to address any issues that may arise.
Beyond real estate, McCarthy & Akers also handle Estate Planning. “It is gratifying to help people who didn’t initially realize all the advantages of having a good estate plan. People walk out of here with a big smile on their face,” says McCarthy.
To listen to Icon Real Estate’s Mark Frances’s complete interview with attorneys Doug McCarthy and Matthew Akers, click on the ICONic Talk podcast.
About McCarthy & Akers
The lawyers at McCarthy & Akers, PLC, endeavor to be the best in their areas of expertise. Each team member represents you with great care to give you the expert legal services you deserve to accomplish both your personal and professional goals. No one lawyer is an expert in all matters however, so our attorneys work closely with each other and take advantage of each other’s strengths. While other law firms may see you as just a number or another case, we take the time to get to know you and understand your legal needs. We will craft a solution that works best for you.