Phase 10 - Real Estate Law

Gone are the days when a simple fill-in-the-blank form works in respect to real estate sales agreements. With the imposition of stricter governmental conditions and by necessity, it is now generally impractical to utilize forms which attempt to generically address all concerns of a purchaser and seller, landlord and tenant, and other parties dealing in the real estate field. As well, negotiations in respect to real estate matters have taken on a different flavor over the years as the level of sophistication of those dealing in both commercial and residential properties has increased significantly such that the negotiations and knowledge that one takes into initial dealings in respect to real estate must also be of a significantly higher level. Our firm offers counsel, its negotiation skills and drafting experience in respect to both commercial and residential transactions involving real property as well as counsel as to all real property-related matters. Pay particular heed, for example, to:

  1. Environmental Conditions - Lenders of commercial properties are now requiring Phase I Environmental Audits to be certain that the property being acquired is free of potential environmental conditions. Anticipate significant delays in respect to closing on commercial property due to environmental audits not being ordered well in advance of the closing date.

  2. Disclosure of Defects - While not applicable to commercial transactions by statute, residential property purchasers are now subject to a disclosure statement required by the State of Ohio. Disclosure of known or expected defects and/or shifting the burden to a prospective purchaser to conduct an inspection and accept the property in as-is condition, is one approach you must consider.

  3. Zoning and Other Governmental Regulations - Proper due diligence is required to be certain that the property meets your particular needs and can be occupied as anticipated, whether you be a purchaser or seller. What looks like it might be a good deal may turn very sour if the property is not as usable or possibly cannot be used for the purposes anticipated. A useful hint: Communicate with the building and zoning departments of the individual municipalities in advance to determine the history of the property in respect to violations or governmental regulations impacting use.

  4. Selling by Owner/Purchasing from Owner Without Brokers - A significant number of our clients have either sold their properties without the benefit of a broker or learned of the existence of a property and commenced negotiations without the use of a broker. A sophisticated, knowledgeable seller or purchaser can acquire an ultimately better outcome in respect to contract negotiations with the benefit of appropriate counsel. Our firm has developed a "For Sale By Owner" brochure that we provide to our clients as a courtesy. Feel free to call upon us and we will provide you with such brochure at no charge. Should you wish to utilize a broker, our experience is such that we can provide you the names of extremely competent real estate brokers or agents, whether your transaction involves the purchase/sale or leasing of real property.

  5. Use of Tax-Free Exchanges - By, in essence, exchanging one real property for another, the detrimental application of capital gains can be deferred such as to allow for your ability to purchase a higher valued property. Though somewhat complicated by the Internal Revenue rules, this vehicle is finding more and more favor with all levels of sellers of real estate.