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3 fundamental questions to ask in a commercial real estate transaction

Purchasing commercial real estate can be one of the biggest transactions that a business ever completes. You need to make the right choice about the location, the size of the facilities and the price, or you could put your business at a disadvantage that you will forever struggle to overcome.

As you start considering your options and looking at what is currently on the market, there are a few basic questions about the commercial real estate purchase process that you will need to ask yourself.

What obligations does the seller have to me as the buyer?

In some ways, the buyer and seller in a commercial real estate transaction come from opposite perspectives. The seller wants to make as much profit as possible, while the buyer wants a good deal. Still, the seller has certain obligations to the buyer, such as the requirement to fully disclose all known defects with the property.

Unlike residential listings, however, sellers do have the option of listing the property as is where is. Prospective buyers should be aware of the elevated potential for severe property defects in such listings and inspect accordingly.

What inspection rights will you have?

In any real estate transaction, the agreements you have with the other party largely dictate your rights. You can make an offer that includes inspection contingencies, which will allow you an opportunity to cancel or renegotiate your agreement if the property is not in the condition you believe it to be.

You can bring professionals to help you inspect the property, and the seller should facilitate that inspection process whenever possible.

What warranties are available to commercial property buyers?

Louisiana state law does extend a few valuable protections to buyers during and after a real estate transaction. You should be able to count on the property being in the condition listed on disclosure forms. You may have the right to take action against the seller or possibly their agent if there were misrepresentations made about the property.

There are, of course, ways you can more effectively protect yourself in a commercial real estate transaction. These include cooperating with inspection professionals and real estate agents, as well as working with a lawyer to draft customized documents and review agreements before signing them. Answering questions about what is at risk and what you must do to protect your business will make for a safer commercial real estate transaction.