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Heather Jones

If you are considering buying, selling, or renting commercial real estate, you undoubtedly have many questions on how to proceed. Is a commercial real estate agent sufficient for my needs? How do I protect myself from potential future risks if something goes wrong? How do I know if the proposed deal will work for me long term? If you are considering a commercial real estate transaction, you should schedule a meeting with an Illinois commercial real estate attorney to discuss your situation. Commercial real estate is a complex area of law, and it will pay to have someone in your corner. Read on to find out more about commercial real estate attorneys in Illinois.  


What Does a Commercial Real Estate Attorney Do?


A commercial real estate attorney should be involved if you are planning on renting or buying commercial real estate. Since commercial real estate properties are generally more expensive and come with different rules and regulations, you want someone with a real estate background in your corner. In cases like this, a real estate agent is not enough. If you are renting a commercial property for your business, you need a real estate attorney in order to understand what very complex agreements and possible pitfalls as the lease progresses are. The bottom line here is that commercial real estate is a very complex area, and entering into any commercial real estate undertaking without an experienced Illinois commercial real estate attorney guiding and advising you can lead to time-consuming and expensive litigation in the future.  


What Will an Illinois Commercial Real Estate Attorney Do for Me?


There are many reasons you should hire a commercial real estate attorney. Whether your goal is to sell commercial real estate in Illinois or buy or rent commercial real estate in Illinois, you need the appropriate guidance and advice to protect yourself. Here are a few general services that a commercial real estate attorney will provide for you:  


Save You Time and Money and Future Hassle

Commercial real estate operates by a different set of rules than residential real estate. If you have successfully negotiated the purchase or sale of a home, you cannot expect all the same skills to transfer. Hiring an experienced real estate attorney will provide you with protection that none else can. Real estate attorneys deal with real estate litigation all the time, and they know the applicable law and what problems can occur down the road. Any agreement for the rental or transfer of commercial real estate should be reviewed by and negotiated by your commercial real estate attorney to ensure that all potential issues are addressed, that you are getting a deal that works for you, and that you are not exposing yourself to future liability. Hiring a commercial real estate attorney in the beginning, instead of after something has gone wrong, can save you thousands of dollars by avoiding litigation, which is usually time-consuming and costly.  

commercial building for rent


The Attorney Will Handle All The Paperwork

Your real estate attorney can handle drafting contracts, deeds, offers to buy or sell, and title searches. The attorney will be able to understand all the documents related to the transaction and, importantly, sit down with you and explain what they mean and why they are necessary. Furthermore, the attorney will be able to identify if a proposed deal does not benefit you or is not enforceable and act to correct any such problems before you sign on the dotted line.  


The Attorney Can Intelligently Negotiate A Commercial Real Estate Contract

You already knowing that a real estate attorney understands the applicable law. For example, there are many portions in a rental agreement for a commercial real estate contract that change over time, and it can be challenging to understand how that will affect you (and your business) throughout a commercial lease agreement. Furthermore, many commercial landlords or sellers attempt to include unreasonable or outrageous terms for a potential tenant or buyer. An inexperienced person could take on more financially than they are ready for. An excellent real estate attorney can communicate with the seller, buyer, or potential landlord and make sure that the agreement is one you can be happy with or even advise you to look elsewhere for a more equitable deal.  For more information on how to negotiate a commercial lease in Illinois read our article, How to Negotiate a Commercial Lease.


The Attorney Will take the Time to Explain the Process to You

Once you hire a real estate attorney to conduct the deal for you, you will have someone you can count on in your corner. The only goal of the attorney you hire is to ensure you reach your goal and keep your interests protected. Furthermore, the attorney will be able to sit down and explain anything you might feel nervous about or don’t understand so that you can move forward with the transaction with a lighter heart, not worried about something you might have missed or something that seemed like it might be one thing but was something very different. One example would be how much insurance a commercial renter would need to carry to comply with the terms of the commercial lease. Does the landlord have the right to ask the potential tenant to carry a million-dollar policy on the space, or is that out of line? A commercial real estate attorney can evaluate the insurance issue and explain whether or not it is reasonable.  


The Attorney Can Plan For Possibilities That You May Not Have Considered

Building off of the commercial renting insurance issue in the previous paragraph; an attorney can discuss your goals with you and evaluate what you need, then advise you on what is and is not a good deal for you. Often, the excitement of finding a buyer or renting a space can overshadow long-term consequences, and you don’t think about unexpected consequences. Many people think working with a realtor will protect them, but realtors work on commission, and attorneys do not. When negotiating your commercial real estate transaction, an attorney will have one goal: protecting you. Your attorney has most likely dealt with an abundance of commercial real estate deals that went south and could think transactions through to the worst possible outcome. In other words, your real estate attorney has already dealt with all the problems that can occur and knows how to avoid them to your benefit.  


commercial real estate building

The Attorney Will Protect You Financially

This is a recurring theme here, but it bears stating again, hiring an attorney before you negotiate or enter into a commercial real estate transaction will potentially save you thousands of dollars in litigation costs in the future. Additionally, the attorney will negotiate directly on your behalf and will not be looking to earn a commission off any transaction, saving you time and money. Furthermore, the attorney can examine and identify if the deal is even a good one and if there is potential for savings for you.  

The Attorney Will Require The Proper Inspections

Unfortunately, many unscrupulous people out there will make it sound like inspections are not a necessary part of a commercial real estate transaction, which is untrue. Not only will your commercial real estate attorney require inspections before closing any transaction, but they will include terms that address any problems or issues in the transaction documents so that no one can back later and claim that they were misinformed or that there was any breach of the agreement by either side.  


The Attorney Knows What Your Legal Rights Are When Renting or Purchasing a Commercial Property

The commercial real estate attorney knows the applicable law for commercial real estate transactions. A realtor does not know the applicable law. A realtor uses documents that a real estate attorney has drafted, and they are not customized to your situation or even, at times, applicable to your goals. To emphasize, real estate agents are not lawyers. Real estate agents cannot advise you on the terms of a proposed contract or tell you the legal ramifications of entering that contract. Real estate agents cannot interpret title work or draft a new deed. Do not expect a real estate agent to properly or even legally advise you on a negotiated commercial real estate transaction.  


If you are in Illinois and are interested in buying, selling, or renting a commercial property, you should at least consult with an experienced Illinois commercial real estate attorney. As we covered in this article, the amount of time, money, and stress you can save yourself is considerable. There are multiple other benefits to having someone dedicated to ensuring your goals are met and your future protected. If you are considering a commercial real estate transaction in Illinois, please feel free to give O’Flaherty Law a call. We would be happy to help you.  

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Always seek the advice of a competent attorney with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.

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