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Agent Presenting Commercial Real Estate Model to Client

When Do You Need a Commercial Real Estate Attorney?

Silvestri Law, P.A. May 12, 2023

Purchasing commercial real estate is a complicated and expensive undertaking. It can also be an incredibly exciting time filled with opportunities for financial growth and expanding your business holding.  

That said, most individuals who are considering a purchase or sale, though they may be well-versed in their own business practices, likely aren’t experts in buying and selling commercial real estate or drawing up commercial real estate contracts. Because of this, it can be very helpful to work with an experienced commercial real estate attorney so you can better understand the process and proactively address any potential problems down the road.  

For legal help in St. Petersburg, Florida, or anywhere throughout the Greater Tampa Bay area, call me at Silvestri Law, P.A. to set up an appointment and discuss your options. 

The Role of a Commercial Real Estate Attorney

Many people mistakenly believe that if they have experience buying or selling residential property, making the shift to commercial property won’t be much different. Unfortunately, this is simply not true. The general process may be the same, but there are far more details to manage, which also means there’s more room for error. Commercial transactions almost always come with a higher price tag, often have more complicated contract language depending on what you plan to do with the property, and may require additional inspections and permitting per state or municipal code.  

Of course, you’ll want to work with a real estate agent during this time, but unless this person is also a licensed attorney, they can’t give you legal advice. Only a commercial real estate attorney can provide you with the perspective and guidance you need to critically evaluate each stage in the buying or selling process, alert you to potential issues, and enable you to make informed decisions. Your attorney should also have a detailed understanding of business and contract law and can perform a contract review for you that will put you in a stronger position to negotiate. 

When Do You Need a Commercial Real Estate Lawyer?

  1. Drafting important documents: Buying or selling real estate requires a lot of documentation, including contracts, purchase and sales agreements, land titles, and lease agreements. Your attorney can draft, review, and negotiate on your behalf as well as ensure you fully understand the terms of the agreement and are aware of any concerns. 

  1. Negotiation: In a typical commercial real estate purchase, there will be several instances where you’ll be negotiating back and forth with the other party. This can be both informal and formal, and having a trusted legal representative on your side can ensure you’re going into any agreement with both eyes open. A good attorney will not only help you broker a better deal, but they’ll also alert you to any red flags they see in a deal that may be “too good.” They will also ensure that the final deal is fair for all parties involved to reduce the risk of future disputes. 

  1. Minimizing risk: When you hire a lawyer, they are on your side. They have no skin in the game apart from ensuring your best interests are being represented and that you’re satisfied with the finalized deal. My decades of experience specializing in real estate law allow me to identify and address risks before they become a problem. 

  1. Resolving disputes: While not an ideal outcome for either party, disputes can occur. It’s only natural that parties involved in an expensive transaction like this will occasionally disagree about the specifics of what should be done, and they can also make mistakes that violate agreed-upon terms and conditions. Thankfully, most of these mistakes can be addressed quickly and thoroughly when caught early and do not have to result in litigation (in fact, when you work with me, I will do everything in my power to avoid this). Common disputes could include a breach of contract, co-owner disagreements, zoning or permit issues, property defects, or construction issues. 

  1. Avoiding disputes altogether: A much healthier approach to any real estate transaction is to work proactively to avoid disputes altogether, and this is entirely possible with the right legal representation in your corner. When you start from the beginning with an eye toward setting up your business for success, you can drastically minimize (and often eliminate completely) disputes with the other party.  

Skilled and Knowledgeable Legal Counsel

If you’re in the St. Petersburg, Florida, area and are considering purchasing or selling a piece of commercial real estate, it’s in your best interest to team up with a skilled and knowledgeable attorney. At Silvestri Law, P.A., I've dedicated my practice to assisting in real estate transactions just like this and can bring my years of experience to help with contract reviews, due diligence, closing, and buying, selling, or leasing. Reach out to my office today to schedule a consultation and get started.