All too often, clients intent upon selling commercial real estate, wait too long to consult a commercial real estate lawyer, like myself. Frequently, I am consulted after they sign a Letter of Intent rather than before. This often results in the Seller negotiating an offer that is less advantageous than would be the case if they had consulted counsel at the outset.
Here are my 8 Most Important Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Lawyer Before Selling Commercial Real Estate.
- Obtain input from your attorney before executing a Letter of Intent so you will be able to include more favorable terms. This, normally results in receiving a higher and better offer for the purchase of your property.
- Select a competent real estate broker, with the input of your counsel, in order to facilitate a seamless transaction and identify additional critical issues. An inexperienced broker can ruin a transaction.
- Review your grant deed, existing leases and other relevant documents in order to reveal potential problems which are better addressed prior to acceptance of a purchase offer or the opening of escrow.
- Analyze any existing loan documents to identify potential hazards such as pre-payment penalties or lock out provisions, including monetary penalties or the total restriction of the early payoff of your loan. Such analysis is necessary to avoid a reduction in your net proceeds or worse, a lawsuit by the Buyer for breach of your ability to close the transaction.
- Review all existing easements and encumbrances to reveal title problems, better solved prior to the opening of escrow.
- Conduct property, environmental, zoning and other inspections prior to the execution of the Letter of Intent in an effort to reveal deferred maintenance, code violations, and/or environmental issues. These need to be addressed prior to the opening of escrow in order to avoid a Buyer repair credit request.
- Select an experienced escrow officer and title officer in order to provide an efficient escrow process and seamless closing.
- Consider potential tax-free exchange strategies to provide better tax planning and deferral of capital gains taxes.
By consulting a competent real estate specialist like myself, with over 35 years of experience, you will have time to properly analyze the property and the real estate market and more likely, achieve your long-term goals when selling commercial real estate.