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Need To Hire A Commercial Real Estate Attorney?

As a new investor or perhaps you are a experienced real estate investor working on a complex deal, you may consider it necessary to use an attorney during your commercial real estate transaction. There are a few things you need to consider before you engage the services of a commercial real estate attorney.

How Do Attorneys Help Commercial Real Estate Investors?

First and most important, they help identify, negotiate and manage the risk. This is why it is ideal to find not only a commercial real estate attorney but also one whom invests in commercial real estate.

The attorney will help you draft and negotiate the contract. You would not think about performing heart surgery without the proper education and experience, yet many students try to document their own commercial transactions without the proper experience and without using an attorney.

Usually it ends up costing them because they lose their earnest money deposit or they spend more on due diligence expenses because they did not write the contract correctly. Next, attorneys will look at the facts and the laws objectively. Since they are not emotionally involved, they are able to ask the right questions.

Last, utilizing a commercial real estate attorney takes the worry out of the transaction. You know that you have the proper documentation in place and that you are protected by the law.

When Do You Hire A Commercial Real Estate Attorney?

First, look at the complexity of the transaction. If you are issuing a standard Letter of Intent (LOI) it is unnecessary to incur the costs to engage an attorney. However, when you are getting ready to go to a purchase contract you should definitely engage a commercial real estate attorney, because it is critical that your contract covers all the stipulations of your due diligence and closing requirements.

Next, look at how much risk is associated with the transaction. On an apartment lease, it is unnecessary to have an attorney draw up each lease for each new tenant that you get. In this case, you can use a standard lease that is drawn up one time by the attorney. When you are negotiating a ten year lease with a national tenant, it is important to dot your “I’s” and cross your “T’s”, so an attorney needs to be involved.

Legal Documents
If you are initiating a standardized procedure which will be utilized over multiple projects, it makes sense to invest the money one time. This way you know legally you have it properly documented. I have done this to standardize my leases, my Letters of Intent and my construction contracts.

If you feel that your negotiations are becoming emotional, a commercial real estate attorney needs to be involved. An attorney can make it more mutual between the parties involved because they are looking at each point with no emotions. This is not only helpful when trying to resolve a dispute but it is also helpful when negotiating a lease or purchase contract.

Last, when timing is critical and dead lines need to be met, an attorney can make sure a seller is staying on course. We have experienced this when a seller drags their feet and we need something from them in order to present to a zoning committee. The attorney can legally force them to get it done. They can also make sure that you do not lose a deal or your earnest money. If you miss a closing date but are working toward the closing, the attorney can buy you some time so that you get the deal closed.

How Do You Find the Right Attorney?

In order to find a good commercial real estate attorney, look into their reputation, by checking not only with their clients but also with their peers. Find out what their business relationships have been like. Ask other investors for a referral or ask your banker, accountant and network groups.

Also, verify what their cost is so you are paying for the level of service that you need. Donald Trump’s attorney may be the best in the country but is doesn’t make sense to pay his fee for a $250,000 transaction.

When you are in a situation where you are considering using a commercial real estate attorney, always weigh the risks versus the rewards and make sure that you always use a commercial real estate attorney.

Office: 480-213-5251

Know the Players in Commercial Real Estate

Every line of business has its pundits who like to refer to the business as being a sort of game. I don’t dismiss this notion, and actually am a believer that game theory has its place in real estate. Every game has an objective, a set of rules, a concept for what it takes to win, and of course players or participants. Who are the players in commercial real estate? This article explores that very issue.

First, let’s look at this from the investor side of things. Every market has investors, large and small, who are interested specifically in commercial caliber real estate. Some of these are what I call Tier One investors, who look for small to medium-sized commercial buildings. Tier Two investors look for even larger buildings (exclusively so) and Tier Three investors are perhaps the biggest players of all, responsible for developing new properties.

While this player breakdown is pretty loose and definitely unofficial, I think you get the general idea. Some investors are finders of properties and some are creators or developers of properties. Any and all of them may build funding for their projects through collaboration with others but all are people you would benefit from knowing in your area as you start building your own business. These players may have deals to offer and some may be interested in collaboration so these contacts are essential.

Next, we have professional players, who would include personnel like commercial realtors, bankers, appraisers, property managers, contractors, bird dogs and the like. As you can imagine, these players are also very important but they are more from a supporting role to help get things done in the world of commercial real estate.

It is no less important to know the professional players because, without them, you will find the business of commercial real estate much more difficult to navigate. A great way to build a business is to start assembling a team of professional players, who will both help introduce you to investor players, but will also give you more credibility when you make contact with other investors.

Last, we have the behind the scenes players, who would include city or county officials, code enforcement reps, planning and zoning specialists, architects, and engineers. These personnel are no less important to playing the commercial real estate game and are arguably the most integral, given that seasoned investor players regularly and effectively use behind the scenes players as a part of their successful formula.

When you embrace the game aspect of commercial real estate and recognize that there are indeed players you must recognize, your own ability to play and play to win will go up dramatically. When this happens in this business, profits are soon to follow.

Office: 480-213-5251

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