Whether you’re a real estate investor or you’re purchasing a facility for your company’s new headquarters or next location, it is important to have at least a basic understanding of the steps involved in getting from concept to closing. By familiarizing yourself with the process, not only can you help yourself make more-informed decisions along the way, but you may also be able to more-efficiently and more-effectively prepare for day one once the keys are in your hand.
The following is a brief overview of the steps involved in a commercial real estate acquisition:
While price is undoubtedly a major consideration, it is by no means the only term you should be thinking about negotiating in the deal. From the tax ramifications of various financing structures to the various contingencies and consents and appropriate limits on your liability, there are numerous provisions in the purchase contract that you will generally want to negotiate in order to minimize your risk exposure and maximize the benefits of your acquisition.
Along with thoroughly negotiating the purchase contract, purchasers also need to conduct extensive due diligence. Does the seller have clean title? What termination rights do any existing tenants have under their leases? Are there any zoning issues that prohibit your intended use of the property? These are just a few of the many questions you will want to consider before committing to purchase a commercial property.
Will one of your existing legal entities own the property or does it make more sense to form a new partnership, limited liability company or corporation to serve as the owner? There are a number of considerations that go into determining not only which entity, but also which type of entity (or entities) you should use to hold your commercial property. Your bank may want to have a say in the ownership structure as well. As a result, entity structuring is an important step toward closing that purchasers generally will want to address early in the process.
Escrow tends to be more complex in commercial real estate transactions than in residential purchases, and the terms of escrow are often another significant point of negotiation. When it comes time for escrow, a title agent will typically hold the funds to be transferred, collect and record the relevant documents, and then manage the funds transfer process in order to ensure that each party gets what was agreed in the deal.
Finally, the closing. Once all contingencies have been removed and the closing date arrives, assuming no issues arise, the transaction will close and the property will be yours.
Michael L. Feinstein, P.A. | Fort Lauderdale Real Estate Attorneys
At Michael L. Feinstein, P.A., we represent all parties to commercial real estate transactions in the Fort Lauderdale area. If you are contemplating a commercial real estate purchase or acquisition, call (954) 767-9662 or contact us online to speak with one of our attorneys today.