no need to leave your home to receive legal consultations and services - Call or click to learn more about phone and videoconferencing with our attorneys

Risks of Not Using an Attorney When Buying or Selling Commercial Real Estate

Article written by Illinois & Iowa Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
March 16, 2020

In this article, we’ll be covering why having a commercial real estate attorney is important when buying or selling commercial real estate property. If you’re selling or buying a residential property and looking for more information, we discussed the risks of not using a real estate attorney when buying a home in a previous article that’s worth a look.

We’ll answer the questions “why is an attorney necessary for commercial real estate transactions,” “do I need an attorney for the entire process or just one portion,” and “what does the attorney do if I’m the buyer or seller?”

Why is an attorney necessary for commercial real estate transactions?

Buying or selling a commercial property can be a much more complex endeavor than the sale or purchase of a home. There are a number of issues that can arise during the process of buying, selling, financing and developing commercial property and trying to navigate the process alone, or even with the help of a commercial real estate agent can be ulcer-inducing. Commercial real estate purchases also have many more laws and regulations than buying a home, all of which must be followed in order for the transaction to be valid.  Your attorney will review all the pertinent information and documents and consult with you regarding financing, construction, zoning and environment laws, title insurance, taxes, and any other questions or issues associated with land use and development.

A qualified attorney should help you with negotiating the sale, analyzing any contracts, resolving inspection or permit issues, and finalizing the closing. He or she will also be much better at catching any abnormalities in the contract that could cost you time and money in the long run. Beyond the purchase of the property, the attorney can help address any issues with contractors or subcontractors during the build-out process. For example, if your architect hijacks your build-out and holds up the entire process by withholding the blueprints or refusing to work with the contractor, then your attorney can seek legal action against that person much faster and with greater efficiency since they’re already familiar with the property.

Other items that might come up before, during or after the property purchase that can be handled by your qualified commercial attorney include:

  • Negotiating Tax Incremental Financing (TIF);
  • Dealing with tax abatement arrangements (LERTA);
  • Negotiating and drafting purchase and sale contracts;
  • Evaluating and resolving ground leasing issues;
  • Problems with property management contracts and site development issues;
  • Title insurance matters

Am I Required To Have An Attorney Present At Closing?

While some states do not require you to have an attorney present at closing, or at all throughout the process, it is highly advised that your attorney is at the closing. In fact, it’s not uncommon for the seller to invoke power of attorney and let their attorney handle all the paperwork and signing at the closing. While all or a large portion of the documents are available for review prior to the closing it’s important to have one final review during the closing before signing any legally binding contracts.

What is the Attorney’s Role for the Buyer?

While the attorney’s primary job for a buyer or seller is to be a guide and expert during the entire transaction process, he or she may have to take on different responsibilities depending on the situation. If a buyer is purchasing a property with tenants, an industrial complex, or a property that is bank owned, different legal stipulations will be present from the outside. Or, in a more unique circumstance like buying a property that has structural problems, is in a natural disaster zone, contains or may be exposed to hazardous materials, or is being sold by the government, the attorney will need to bring his or her specialized expertise to manage risk, identify opportunities and to ensure the deal proceeds smoothly.

What is the Attorney’s Role for the Seller?

A commercial real estate attorney can help make your property marketable even if it has undesirable traits. If your property has liens against it or leases associated with it the attorney can navigate the complex legal process of resolving those before or at the time of sale. Or, if the property must be sold due to an unfortunate circumstance such as death or divorce and the emotional toll is too great, you can hand over a majority of the responsibility to the qualified attorney.

Whatever the property and whatever the reason, whether you’re a buyer or seller, having a qualified commercial real estate attorney to guide you through the process will save you time, money, stress and also protect you from any potential future legal issues, such as a lawsuit.

Additional Financial Considerations
from Financial Experts

From Financial Experts

For many years, financial institutions have been creating a disservice to clients and the industry as a whole for years.
View More Professional Considerations

Presented By O'Flaherty Law

What services does a Commercial real estate attorney do?

Need Legal Help? 

Schedule a
Consultation

What to Expect From a Consultation

The purpose of a free consultation is to determine whether our firm is a good fit for your legal needs. Although we often discuss expected results and costs, our attorneys do not give legal advice unless and until you choose to retain us. Although most consultations are complimentary, some may carry a charge depending on the type of matter and meeting location.

Leave a Comment With Your Questions

Read more about

Real Estate Law

We offer free, paid & Online CONSULTATION in:

Real Estate Law

Schedule a consultation with our Illinois & Iowa Attorneys

We offer free, paid & online consultation in nearly every area of law throughout Illinois and Iowa. We have a range of options to assist you with your legal needs.

What happens at a legal consultation?
Meet with an attorney for a free consultation to discuss what type of matter you need to discuss with an attorney.
Over the Phone Legal Consultations
Similar to In-person consultations, you discuss your legal needs with our attorneys to discuss your matter.
An online consultation is like an in-person and an over the phone online Consultation. You meet face to face with our attorneys through our online portal.
Paid Legal Consultations
While a free consultation allows us to discuss what we can do in general terms for your legal matter, a paid consultation allows us to answer direct questions.

More Illinois Real Estate Law Episodes

contact us

Monday to Friday
9am - 5pm

Contact Us
Disclaimer: Our articles and comment responses do not constitute legal advice and are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

Please contact us to schedule a free consultation for legal advice specific to your situation.

Here are some articles that may interest you
Schedule a
Consultation

Contact us for a Free Consultation

Schedule a free consultation

O'Flaherty Law is happy to meet with you by phone or at our office locations in:

Who We Are
We are your community law firm. Our Illinois & Iowa Attorneys are committed to providing exceptional client service in a cost-effective manner in the areas of Family Law, Probate, Estate Planning, Civil Litigation, Guardianship, Criminal Defense, Corporate & Contract Law, Bankruptcy and Real Estate.

Some of Our Accomplishments

Best Child Support Lawyers in Chicago
DuPage County Probate Attorney
Kevin P. O'Flaherty
Rated by Super Lawyers


loading ...
Naperville attorney
DuPage County Probate Attorney

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required