Hire an experienced New Jersey real estate attorney to represent your interests.
Real Estate is Not a General Practice
Buying and selling real estate involves property targeting, contract execution, due diligence inquiries, contract contingencies, title review, potential government approvals, financing, closing, and post-closing work. It is much more than a simple contract. Yet some attorneys take on real estate transactions without an understanding of the complexities of real estate transactions or a network of trusted real estate
professionals. It is important that you hire an attorney experienced in real estate, land use, zoning, and municipal requirements to handle your transaction. It is also important that you determine whether an attorney or a paralegal will be handling your transaction, especially if unique or complex issues are anticipated.
Past and Present Uses of Property
Commercial, industrial, agricultural, and residential properties each have unique considerations and potential sources of liability. Past uses of the land are relevant to which inquiries are appropriate during due diligence investigations. Documents to be reviewed and land use requirements also vary with use, as do appropriate terms for disclosure and indemnification. If a property is held by an estate, additional requirements apply. It is important that you hire an attorney who can navigate and prioritize the complexities of both the unique property and the past and proposed uses and structures when drafting a contract. Your attorney should communicate with you and customize a contract to your needs.
Due Diligence and Contingencies
Once a contract is drafted, the buyer’s and seller’s rights are subject to its terms. Typically, between contract and closing, documents are exchanged, inspections ordered, title and permitting reviewed, and financing arranged. Municipal compliance must also be evaluated, as well as potential easements, licenses, or liens. Contracts may be long term, requiring land use and environmental approvals for new structures as a condition of closing.
Managing deadlines and contract addendums, if needed, are very important. An experienced attorney works with the buyer or seller to facilitate this process and advises as issues or questions arise. It is important that you hire an independent attorney willing to advocate for your best interests, even if it means considering termination of a contract. That said, the majority of contracts proceed to closing, especially with proper negotiation from the outset. In fact, an experienced real estate attorney has many “tools” for resolving issues that might otherwise “kill the deal.”
Real Estate Investing
Buying real estate for the purpose of investing or locating your business can be very rewarding and profitable. It is important that real estate holding entities be separate from operating businesses and that investment properties be properly structured. Lending requirements can become complex when obtaining a commercial loan to purchase real estate for your business. A smart investor will hire an attorney also experienced with business formation, commercial transactions, and leasing. The investment must be protected from legal risks.
Help is Available
Every real estate transaction is unique and unforeseen complexities often arise. Hiring an attorney with knowledge of real estate, land use, and municipal requirements is important to protect your interests. If you are a commercial buyer, make sure your attorney also has experience with business, commercial transactions, and leasing.
With the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney, you can proceed through your transaction with increased confidence and protection. It is important that you hire an experienced attorney who gets to know you, your property and your goals.
The attorneys at Shanahan & Voigt, LLC are experienced real estate, land use, and business attorneys, having successfully provided counsel to both the buyers and sellers of commercial, agricultural, industrial, and residential properties, including distressed properties and properties held in estates.
Since entering law school in 1997, Nicole Voigt has dedicated her legal education and career to work in real estate, land use, construction, and environmental matters facing property owners, tenants, and investors.
Nicole’s clients have ranged from large companies to individuals and not-for-profits. Nicole enjoys working with agricultural, commercial, industrial, and residential clients. Prior to her career as an attorney, Nicole worked as an environmental scientist and was immersed in family construction businesses. Nicole understands the issues underlying real estate, development, sustainability, preservation, and construction. She uses her multidisciplinary background to provide clearly presented, targeted strategies.