Commercial Real Estate Lawyer in Santa Clara County
Why a Commercial Real Estate Attorney Is Important
The process of acquiring or selling a property is often complicated and
time consuming. With industry jargon that can be confusing, and complicated
legal documents, it is hard to know if everything is properly documented
for maximum protection, minimum tax ramifications, and maximum income
benefits. Our team at Napolitano Law Office can answer all of your questions
and provide the support necessary
for businesses in real estate transactions. With a Santa Clara County commercial real
estate lawyer on your side, you can proceed with this transaction with
Three Steps of Real Estate Transactions
To better understand, it helps to break it down into manageable processes.
In simple terms, a real estate transaction can be broken down into these 3 steps:
The Transaction: Two parties agree to do business with each other, agreeing on a fair price.
Once a buyer finds a property to acquire, he / she submits an offer to
the seller. Depending on the state, the offer is made on “boilerplate”
real estate purchase forms. This serves as the
contract for the transaction. Or, a letter of intent is drawn up as a less complicated
alternative. Once seller and buyer agree on prices and terms, a contract
is signed and funds are deposited into an escrow account—usually,
the real estate broker’s account.
The Inspection & Preliminaries: The buyer inspects the property, looks for financing and ensures that what
he is buying is okay to buy:
- Physical Inspection – Most contracts of purchase include a clause
that allows inspection of property before purchase by the buyer. This
is done either by the buyer or by professional inspectors hired to assess
the state of the property. Once the property passes inspection, the buyer
can then remove the contingency. If the property does not pass inspection,
the buyer may choose not to proceed with the purchase and his deposit
is returned, or he /she may negotiate for a price reduction or for repairs.
- The Lending Process – In most cases, this begins even before a property
is found by the buyer, but this process starts in earnest once the property
goes under contract and through inspection. The lender conducts an in-depth
assessment of the prospective buyer’s financial capability to pay.
The lender also ensures that the property meets expectations and has an
assessor establish the property’s value as collateral for the loan.
- The Title Process – This step involves research on the property’s
ownership history. This is to ensure that the seller actually has the
right to sell the property and that no one else has claim to it.
The Closing: The buyer ensures that the seller will turn over the property to him before
payment is given. Once inspections are done and mortgage is secured, the
property can finally move to the closing. A closing agent prepares a final
statement to indicate the source of the financing and where it will go.
The buyer sends the money to the closing agent, typically through a wire
transfer. At the closing, the seller then signs over the property’s
deed to the buyer and the payment is turned over to him. The buyer then
signs his loan documents and obtains the title to the property.
The Role of an Attorney in a Real Estate Transaction
Selling or acquiring property requires extensive knowledge of local real
estate laws. Therefore, it is highly advisable to obtain the services
of a knowledgeable real estate attorney during the process. Many people
think that a Santa Clara
business law attorney is not necessary, and that their real estate agent or loan broker
is good enough. The problem with this is that each of these people has
a vested interest in completing the transaction. They are supposed to
be looking out for your interests, by law, but common sense dictates that
with a financial transaction this large, a disinterested third party is
a good idea.
- The role of the attorney becomes particularly critical in the following:
Purchase and Sale Agreement – It is advisable for both the buyer and the seller to hire a real
estate attorney prior to the signing of the Purchase & Sale Agreement.
The lawyer makes a review of the document and ensures that the client
becomes aware of the legal ramifications of each clause in the agreement.
The attorney likewise notes any deadlines to insure that the deal proceeds
Title Search – The attorney will arrange for and review the title search through
examination of the records at the Registry of Deeds in which the property
is located. This is to ensure that the seller has a good and clear record
and title to the property. The title search will show any encumbrances,
rights of way, easements, restrictions, and any other matters or conditions
that may affect the property. The attorney will also order related searches
such as tax arrears, common expenses, zoning, or work orders.
The Closing – During the closing, the buyer, the seller, their respective attorneys,
and the attorney for the mortgage holder finalize and execute the closing
documents. These include, among other documents: The deed, discharges
of mortgages, promissory note and mortgage, the Truth in Lending statement—which
documents all finance charges, the Survey or Mortgage Plot Plan, and final
accounting—which involves a prorating of property taxes, water bills,
and so on.
Post Closing – The title examination is updated and the deed, mortgage, and other
documents, including the municipal lien certificate, are recorded in the
Registry of Deeds. During this time, the title to the property is transferred
to the new owner. The attorney’s role is to ensure that the client
is informed and protected throughout the transaction.
Contact Napolitano Law Office for a Free Consultation with Our Lawyer
A specialty area of Napolitano Law Office is real estate transactions.
We assist our clients in buying or selling their properties,
general consulting, and ensure that their best interests are protected. We take care that
our clients are informed and well protected from most of the foreseeable
risks associated with real estate transactions. If your real estate venture
is a part of your
business formation plan, we can help make sure your transactions are aligned with your overall
Set up your free overview phone consult today: Call Napolitano Law Office
at (650) 399-9545 to speak with our Santa Clara County business lawyer.