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Purchases and Sales

Buying or selling commercial real estate is not like buying or selling a piece of equipment. It is not even like buying a house. In California, there are different rules that apply to transactions for residential property with four or fewer units. These rules require more disclosures and provide more protections for buyers.

In addition, buying or selling commercial real estate often raises issues that are not present in residential sales. For example, if the property is leased, the terms of the leases can have a large impact on the value of your investment and the complexity of managing the property. Standardized forms contain terms that may be disadvantageous, or may not address some important issues at all. Title issues are frequently more complicated. If there are environmental issues, the potential liability can dwarf the value of the property.

Many parties fell that their real estate broker will provide all the protection that they need. But real estate brokers are not attorneys. They seldom have the drafting skills to accurately prepare language to modify commonly used forms. They cannot give you advice on the legal implications of form language, or the implications of changing the form. And if the broker is a dual agent, he or she has obligations to both parties. This limits what the broker can do for each party during the negotiation process.

Also, once escrow is opened, it can be very difficult to change the deal. The contract needs to take into account all of your concerns before it is signed. You need an experienced real estate attorney right from the beginning of the process.

Peter has over twenty years of experience representing clients in the purchase or sale of many different types of commercial and industrial properties. These have included:

  • Purchases and sales of industrial properties, including operating and closed manufacturing facilities, warehouses, and former oil fields.
  • Transactions involving shopping centers and office buildings.
  • Numerous deals involving operating and closed gasoline stations.
  • Sale of the site of the world’s only synthetic crude upgrade facility. This transaction also involved the sale of pipeline rights-of-way and water rights, and required numerous joint-operating agreements.

Many of these deals also involved financing issues, as well as providing advice about ownership structure.