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Dirt Lawyer's Thoughts


David Stejkowski has a roundup post on things being tough, but also offers some advice for those who might be going over the top with panic.

As we have all said countless times, real estate is about location. So if you only make money by buying, selling and leasing, and you can find a panicked or distressed seller (not as easy as it seems, bucko), then it is your business call. I can give you a few legal thoughts I see in my crystal ball.

First, involve your lawyer at the letter of intent stage, not once the main points are covered. We can make suggestions that might make you life easier.

Remember that unless you are a cash buyer your lender will drive the deal. Transactions are getting delayed a lot lately because of due diligence, committee approvals and just plain slowness, and you will need flexibility to meet your lender's needs.

Make sure your seller commits to obtaining high thresholds of estoppels and SNDAs that your lender requires (or negotiate this with your lender if posssible). Get as long of a financing contingency as you can. (Yes, the days of no free looks, no contingencies and close in fifteen days are gone for now.)

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Elaine Misonzhnik

Senior associate editor Elaine Misonzhnik has been writing for National Real Estate Investor since June 2006 and has covered commercial real estate for more than 12 years. She first became...
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