Law Office of Henry B. LaTorraca Civil Trial Attorney

The importance of separate representation in real estate

Commercial real estate transactions in California are highly complex. Some sellers make the mistake of believing that they can rely on the buyers' attorneys during their transactions. Buyers' lawyers only owe duties to their own clients and do not represent the interests of the sellers.

Commercial real estate sellers might want to secure legal representation prior to listing their properties for sale. Brokers often present standard forms for their listing agreements. While sellers may believe that these are not negotiable, the terms contained in the listing agreements may be negotiated to make them more beneficial to the sellers. For example, some listing agreements provide that the brokers will receive their commissions after a certain time has passed, regardless of whether or not the properties have sold. This makes it vital for sellers to review the language contained in listing agreements before they sign them.

Sellers may also want to have their own lawyers review the closing documents and other agreements with which they are presented. For example, purchase and sales agreements presented to them by prospective buyers may be drafted in ways to benefit the buyers much more than the sellers.

Business and commercial law attorneys who practice in the area of commercial real estate may work to make certain that their clients' interests are protected throughout their complex transactions. They may advise their clients about legal issues involved with the transactions so that their clients may avoid potentially costly mistakes. Attorneys may also help to conduct the research that might be needed for their clients, and they may draft contracts in ways that are protective of their clients. By retaining separate lawyers, sellers may be better-positioned in their transactions and feel more secure in their ultimate sales agreements.

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