Purchase and Sale of Properties
We have represented hundreds of clients in the purchase or sale of most every kind of real estate – from homes to office buildings, retail centers, apartments, industrial properties, hotels, motels, gas stations and land for subdivision or development. In each transaction, the interests of the seller and buyer are quite different. When sellers come to us, we seek to minimize their risks and maximize their return, which will include reviewing the tax implications of the sale and strategies such as a tax deferred exchange (i.e. 1031 Exchange). If the seller is being asked to take payments over time, we will recommend the best way to secure those payments. When buyers come to us, we seek to assure that they can use the property for their intended purpose and to avoid unexpected problems. We can counsel them about financing options. In the case of investment property, we can counsel and assist them on the formation of a limited liability company or other appropriate entity to hold the property.
In every transaction, the most important step is the preparation and execution of the purchase and sale agreement. Some may be misled into thinking that the purchase and sale agreement is a preliminary document to be signed quickly and that the more serious documents will be presented and signed at closing. To the contrary, the purchase and sale agreement is the central document which establishes the terms of the deal and dictates what will happen at closing. If it is not done right, a seller may find his or her property bound up on unsatisfactory terms and conditions or a buyer may discover that his or her purchase rights are not enforceable or that the earnest money deposit will be lost if the buyer does not close despite unexpected circumstances. In some cases, form purchase agreements prepared by real estate brokers associations will work, but in many transactions addendums to the form agreements or customized purchase agreements are needed to truly protect the interests of a buyer or seller. In this computer age, customized purchase and sale agreements are not costly and we can prepare them quickly. A good purchase agreement is a wise investment in what we call “preventative law,” which like preventative medicine, works to avoid catastrophic and costly events down the road.