Commercial real estate transactions tend to involve high-value pieces of property, often including custom-designed buildings, expansive tracts of land or a premium Ft. Lauderdale location.
In other words, there’s a lot on the line. Accordingly, it is essential to work with Ft. Lauderdale real estate attorneys throughout each milestone in the purchase, from execution of the purchase contract to the settlement. If not, you could face one of the many pitfalls awaiting unsuspecting purchasers, including any of these top six scenarios:
#6: Fraud: This catch-all category involves any act of misrepresentation by the seller. A seller could lie about his identity, the value of the property, the fitness of the property or even his ability to sell it! In fact, it is not unheard of for a fraudster to enter into more than one purchase agreement for the same piece of land, accept cash payments from the unsuspecting buyers, and abscond the next day. Fortunately, a real estate attorney can help identify and avoid this and many other scams targeting investors in high-value real estate.
#5: Clouds on Title: More so than residential real estate transaction, commercial properties are prone to liens, judgments, and encumbrances – all of which become the buyers problem if not identified prior to settlement. Our title searches are thorough and our keen eye for detail can spot even the most ambiguous issue with title.
#4: Easements: An easement is a right-of-way interest in a portion of property belonging to another. Easements are generally recorded along with deeds and mortgages, and run with the land even through changes in ownership. To avoid the surprise of a right-of-way easement across your commercial property, be sure to work with a real estate attorney experienced in spotting this sort of issue prior to settlement.
#3: Boundary Lines: Boundary lines are usually confirmed by a licensed surveyor, who will create a specific metes and bounds legal description of the property. However, if a specific piece of commercial property has been under family ownership for generations, it may not have ever benefitted from a survey – which could create a major problem down the road in the event adjacent landowners accuse you of overstepping your bounds. If we see a problem, we will have a survey prepared – and a new legal description drafted – to ensure you and your business (as well as the neighbors) do not over-expand onto the property of another.
#2: Contract Disputes: You thought you agreed to purchase the main building, but the seller is adamant the agreement is for the purchase of the storage facility as well. This kind of contract dispute, surprisingly, is not uncommon – particularly if the parties are using vague form contracts downloaded from the internet. Before we even get started, we will review every detail of the purchase agreement to identify and correct any ambiguities, which could save you a hefty sum in the long run.
#1: Building Defects: Sellers are under a strict duty to disclose any material issues with the building, its infrastructure, or its history. If a seller lies about this, the buyer can undo the deal on the spot. However, once settlement occurs, the seller is off the hook – even if issues are discovered later. To avoid this result, be sure to work with our team of experienced real estate professionals who will ensure all proper protocols and procedures are followed.
Contact Michael L. Feinstein, P.A. Today!
If you are considering a real estate transaction or anticipate a problem within a current purchase agreement, please contact a real estate attorney in Ft. Lauderdale today. To reach our office, please call 954-767-9662.