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You found the perfect piece of commercial property. Now what?

After painstakingly looking for and researching commercial properties for your business, you finally found the one that's right for you. At least you think you have. Before you take any further action or even make an offer on the property, you may need answers to numerous questions.

Completing a commercial real estate transaction often involves several moving parts. Missing any one of those parts could cost you time and money at some point in the future. Therefore, it may be to your advantage to enlist the aid of others who understand the process and can provide you with the answers you need.

What kind of help will I need?

In order to help ensure a successful transaction, you may need to include some or all of the following people in your endeavor:

  • A commercial transaction lawyer
  • An appraiser
  • A mortgage broker
  • An accountant
  • A tax expert

Depending on the property you wish to purchase, you may also need an environmental specialist, an engineer or both. An attorney could help you determine what third parties you need in order complete your transaction.

Get to know the property

The property you chose may seem perfect, but further research will cement that choice. Before going any further, you need to obtain at least the following information about the property:

  • Current usage
  • Zoning
  • Current rent or income
  • Needed repairs or renovations
  • Surrounding property values
  • Property taxes
  • Reason for the sale

These are just some of the common questions asked regarding nearly every commercial property. Depending on the site you are considering, you may need additional information.

Financing

More than likely, you will need financing in order to purchase the property. You may have options outside of the traditional financing routes. Explore all of the available options before moving forward. A commercial real estate attorney could help you determine whether a particular financing arrangement will benefit you and then assist you in negotiating terms and drafting the transaction documents.

Make an offer and conduct your due diligence

Before you sign a letter of intent or any other contracts regarding the purchase of the property, an attorney could review them to protect your rights and ensure that you don't take on any unreasonable obligations. Once you submit the offer and it's accepted, the real work begins.

One of the most important documents you will need is an American Land Title Association survey. An ALTA survey, which is crucial to the due diligence process, provides you with the following information about the property:

  • Boundary lines
  • Easements
  • Location of any buildings
  • Condition of any buildings

If there are easements on the property, a review of their status, location and other details may help you determine your use of the property.

Closing your transaction

Once all of the pieces are in place, you have the right to take the time to review everything prior to closing. During this time, make sure that the property does not have any defects that could cause you to back out of the transaction. If everything is satisfactory, you may schedule the closing. An attorney could prove invaluable help throughout the process, but at this stage, he or she could also prove crucial to make sure that no last minute surprises arise.

The details of your purchase are unique. Before signing anything, it would benefit you to thoroughly understand the implications of each document you may be asked to sign. A Wisconsin commercial real estate transaction attorney will sit down with you, answer any questions you may have and help make the process as stress-free and smooth as possible.

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