Waterfront buildingsThis is the next post in a series of articles discussing the importance of real estate counsel in commercial transactions and real property investment in Olympia or Tacoma, Washington. The previous post explained the important role legal counsel plays in negotiating the documents for a purchase or lease of commercial real estate. In this post, I will discuss how an experienced real estate lawyer can help navigate a complicated transaction involving third parties. Understanding the typical “players” in a deal and coordinating the role that each will play is an important part of the attorney’s role. If you need assistance, contact my office today to speak to a commercial real estate lawyer.

Complex commercial real estate purchases or leases involve more than the buyer and seller or lessor and lessee. In the typical deal process, other interested parties may include the bank, an escrow agent, title company, surveyor or engineer, property wholesaler or deal finder, and one or more brokers. An attorney experienced in real property transactions will explain their respective functions to the client. The lawyer will communicate with each throughout the transaction. The attorney will also review information provided by various parties, such as the surveyor or title company, and incorporate such information as needed into the contractual documents or negotiations. Others, such as a purchaser’s lender, may require appraisals or environmental testing prior to issuing a loan or taking a mortgage on a property. Often, the buyer’s attorney engages with the lender directly to comply with the bank’s requests.

For businesses owners or people who do not engage in commercial real estate transactions in the ordinary course of their business, experienced counsel can be even more essential. A lawyer will be able to suggest if and when a specialized professional may be required for a specific transaction. For example, if an office manager is asked to locate new office space for her firm and she has never been through a property search or lease negotiation in the past, she may not know where to begin. Contacting a commercial real estate lawyer early in the process to discuss potential transaction structures and contacts (such as a commercial broker) for her search may help her successfully navigate an unfamiliar process.

If you are contemplating a commercial real property transaction, contact my office today to speak with an 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.