I wanted to talk a little bit about commercial real estate transactions, which is my primary area of expertise. The first thing that I think is important is the structure of the transaction. You need a contract. And there are so many different types of commercial real estate that you need a contract that specifically addresses all of the due diligence and other issues related to that specific type of real estate, and a contract that documents your specific agreement either as the seller with the buyer, or as the buyer with the seller.
There are forms out there, just like there are forms for residential real estate transactions, but you run the risk if you use a form and rely on a form, that it’s not going to cover a specific issue or a specific need or a specific negotiated agreement that you have with the other party. It’s a little different from residential transactions, in that a residential, you know, one house (and that’s what I’m talking about when I say residential transaction) is, it’s one type of real estate, and it’s you know, the transactions are very similar. And so you have forms that are easier to sort of squish, squeeze the deal terms that you have within the parameters of that form.
So, in that commercial real estate transaction – or I mean “contract” – You need to have it sort of contoured to the type of property that is the subject of the transaction and the specific deal terms.
There are people that can prepare those contracts that aren’t necessarily attorneys. I say you do that at your own risk. So if you’re going to have someone else prepare the contract that is a non-attorney, make sure that they’re qualified and experienced. There are a lot of issues that you don’t know need to be in a contract, unless you’ve had the experience… I can think of a dozen issues that go into a shopping center transaction contract that I wouldn’t have been aware of when I first started practicing law without having done shopping center transactions. You don’t learn it in law school. You just have to learn it sort of on the job.
I can think of a dozen issues that go into a shopping center transaction contract that I wouldn’t have been aware of when I first started practicing law without having done shopping center transactions. You don’t learn it in law school.
So getting a good and an enforceable contract, you want to make sure it’s enforceable in the event there’s any kind of dispute, so step 1 is, well one of the first steps anyway, in what I do with clients is getting that contract in place, make it a clear, well-understood, well-drafted, enforceable contract.
– Spencer R. Munns is an experienced real estate attorney and shareholder with the law firm of Bogin, Munns, & Munns, a full service law firm with offices in Orlando, Clermont, Kissimmee, Orange City, Daytona Beach, Ocala, Melbourne, Gainesville, and Leesburg, Florida. He welcomes questions and comments regarding the above and can be reached at [email protected].
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