This is the next post in a series of articles discussing the importance of real property attorneys in commercial real estate and investment real estate transactions in Tacoma or Olympia, Washington. The previous article discussed the importance of counsel for commercial real estate transactions. Unforeseen problems with a property can result in unanticipated liabilities for purchasers or lessees of commercial property or investment property. This post will explain the due diligence process and how an experienced real estate lawyer can help parties on each side of an upcoming transaction identify and handle problems in advance. If you are involved in a real estate transaction, contact my office today to speak with an attorney.
Prior to entering into a transaction to purchase or lease commercial property, a potential buyer or lessee should engage in a comprehensive inspection of all aspects of the real estate. This critical phase in the transaction is often referred to as the due diligence period. Due diligence goes far beyond the physical inspection of a property. It includes reviewing surveys, title reports, environmental studies, zoning requirements, permits, pending litigation and more. Serious problems can arise in all these areas, and due diligence allows a buyer to see the problems coming and make intelligent decisions about whether to accept them, use them to negotiate better terms in other areas, or simply walk away and look for a better deal. For example, a purchaser wishing to purchase land to develop may discover that the land includes a stream and other critical areas, significantly reducing the number of buildable lots and greatly increasing the cost of stormwater runoff control during development. This would significantly reduce the value of the property and create a high risk for the buyer. If a potential lessee desires to open a hair salon in a small town, a review of the zoning requirements may reveal that it is not a permitted use. In both instances, the issues would likely be identified by a knowledgeable real estate attorney assisting with the due diligence process.
My firm has experience in commercial property and real estate investment transactions and can assist in the due diligence process. If you are contemplating buying, selling or leasing commercial property or investment property, contact me today to speak with an Olympia property attorney. The firm also services the Thurston County cities of Lacey, Tumwater, and Yelm, the Pierce County cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, and Lakewood, the Lewis County cities of Centralia, and Chehalis, the King County cities of Seattle, Auburn, Bellevue, Burien, and Federal Way, as well as other areas in Washington, including Grays Harbor, Mason, Cowlitz, and Pacific Counties.