Real Estate

Commercial Real Estate

Purchase and Refinance Closings
Commercial Real Estate encompasses a number of different legal transactions. One of the primary responsibilities of the real estate attorney in the purchase of commercial property is to represent the buyer, working with the commercial realtor when applicable, in all phases of the purchasing process, including searching title to ensure marketability of title, providing advice concerning various pre-purchase issues such as environmental, zoning or leasing questions, preparing loan documents or package, working with the buyer’s lender to make sure all requirements of the loan are met, conducting the closing, and obtaining title insurance for the buyer and, when applicable, the lender. The loan closing of a refinance includes many of the same requirements of a purchase of commercial property. In North Carolina, unlike many other states, purchase closings and refinances must be conducted by or supervised by an NC licensed attorney, rather than by a title company or the bank itself. Our law firm prides itself on timely, efficient, and accurate representation of our clients to ensure a successful transaction.

Complex Financing Arrangements
In cases where financing is needed for large construction projects and/or purchases, the legal process is much more complicated than in a regular commercial arrangement, especially if the loan involves a government program such as the Small Business Administration, etc. In addition to all the activities required above, a complex financing arrangement may include the creation of one or more new entities, assistance with obtaining an ALTA survey meeting the lender’s stringent requirements, assistance in obtaining an environmental study, work on zoning issues, and a significant amount of other due diligence work. Working in conjunction with an experienced real property attorney can help streamline the process and protect your interests. Our law firm can provide all the necessary legal assistance to complete such a transaction successfully in a timely, efficient and accurate manner.

Seller Representation
In a purchase closing, the closing attorney represents the buyers and not the sellers. Sellers will need assistance with the preparation of required documents for the closing, such as the deed, an owner’s affidavit, and various tax forms. They may also need advice from an attorney for negotiation of many issues on the purchase agreement as well as other issues that may come up during the closing process. Generally, it is advisable that sellers do not rely on the closing attorney for advice and assistance, since the closing attorney represents the buyers. Our law firm has attorneys who can assist sellers in the creation of the necessary seller documents as well as advise sellers through the entire process.  

Contract Preparation/Negotiation
In a commercial purchase, attorneys are more often involved in the negotiation process of the purchase agreement, in conjunction with real estate brokers if applicable. Many more issues are typically negotiated in a commercial purchase agreement, especially issues concerning environmental and other warranties. Although we do not recommend selling or purchasing without an experienced realtor’s help, our law firm can provide drafting and negotiation assistance in a purchase arrangement.

Leases
Lease drafting and negotiation, other than those items on the standard lease, is complex, and the services of an attorney are advisable. Although a standard commercial lease is available from the NC Association of Realtors, many landlords either use their own form or make significant changes to the standard form. This is particularly true in instances where the landlord will be constructing or remodeling all or a portion of the leased property to the tenant’s needs, which will also result in additional obligations on the tenant’s part, usually having to do with the length of the lease and/or payback obligations. Our law firm can help you understand these additional obligations as well as provide drafting and negotiation assistance in a lease arrangement to ensure a successful and timely result.

Residential Real Estate

Purchase and Refinance Closings
Residential Real Estate encompasses a number of different legal transactions. By far, the primary responsibility of the real estate attorney is to represent the buyer in all phases of the residential purchasing process, including searching title to ensure marketability of title, preparation of loan documents or package, working with the buyer’s lender to make sure all requirements of the loan are met, conducting the closing, obtaining title insurance for the buyer and, if applicable, the lender. The loan closing of a refinance includes many of the same requirements of a purchase of residential property. In North Carolina, unlike many other states, purchase closings and refinances must be conducted by or supervised by an NC licensed attorney, rather than by a title company or the bank itself. Our law firm has four attorneys who provide these services, both in English and in Spanish, and we pride ourselves on timely, efficient, and accurate representation of our clients to ensure a successful transaction.

Short-Sale Negotiations
In the present economy, many homeowners are finding themselves in difficult economic situations which may preclude them from continuing payment on their mortgages. One alternative to foreclosure is a short sale, where the lender agrees to take less than the amount remaining to pay on the mortgage if the sale to an unrelated third party is approved by the lender. This is a very complex area with many issues for the homeowners to consider, including secondary lienholders, deficiency judgments, tax consequences and credit score impact. North Carolina law prohibits realtors from negotiating anything but price with the lender, and recommends that the homeowner obtain legal counsel to address any other issues. Our law firm has attorneys who can assist in this negotiation process for a homeowner involved in a short sale situation.

Seller Representation
In a purchase closing, the closing attorney represents the buyers and not the sellers. Sellers will need assistance with the preparation of required documents for the closing, such as the deed, an owner’s affidavit, and various tax forms. They may also need advice from an attorney for other issues that may come up during the closing process.  Generally, it is advisable that sellers do not rely on the closing attorney for advice and assistance, since the closing attorney represents the buyers. Our law firm has attorneys who can assist sellers in the creation of the necessary seller documents as well as advise sellers through the entire process. 

Contract Preparation/Negotiation  
In most real estate purchase transactions, the purchase agreement is created by the buyer’s realtor from a standard form approved by the Realtor’s Association and the North Carolina Bar. Real Estate agents are permitted to negotiate the points to be filled in on the standard form, but they are not permitted to modify the standard form in any way.  In addition, many builders have created their own purchase agreement in conjunction with their attorney. This agreement often changes the standard agreement in ways that help the builder rather than the purchaser. In a “Sale by Owner” situation, homeowners can create a purchase agreement, but this may result in problems for buyers and sellers if not all issues are addressed or if they are addressed incorrectly. For this reason, it is advisable to have an attorney draft the purchase agreement in a “Sale by Owner” situation as well as providing advice and alternative language to realtors for the standard contract and reviewing the builder’s agreement. Although we do not recommend selling or purchasing without an experienced realtor’s help, our law firm can provide drafting and negotiation assistance in a purchase arrangement.

Leases
In many residential real estate lease transactions, the lease is created by the property manager from a standard form approved by the North Carolina Association of Realtors. Other landlords choose to create their own leases or use alternative forms. Lease drafting and negotiation, other than those items on the standard lease, is complex, and the services of an attorney are advisable. Our law firm can provide drafting and negotiation assistance in a lease arrangement.


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