Purchasing commercial or investment real estate can be very hazardous. In Virginia, contracts for commercial and investment real estate are generally enforced by the courts according to their terms, regardless of whether they might seem unfair or unreasonable. Commercial and investment property owners are generally free, under the law, to agree to whatever they like, no matter how ill advised. Unlike some areas of consumer law, where State and Federal laws provide some protection to the parties to a contract, this is not generally true for commercial or investment real estate.
Many commercial or investment real estate transactions begin with a “Letter of Intent” or “LOI.” What people do not always realize is that such a letter, with nothing more, may be a binding contract all by itself. If you expect to retain an attorney to assist you with a real estate purchase, it would be prudent to do so before you have signed an LOI. Even if the LOI seems to say that it is not binding on the parties, parts of it may be. At Rice & Stallknecht, P.C. we can assist you in making sure that you are not bound by the terms of any agreement until all of the terms have been negotiated and agreed to.
Many commercial or investment real estate contracts provide for a study period, also known as a due diligence period or feasibility period. This allows a purchaser to make sure the property works for him or her, but not risk spending a lot of money investigating the property only to find that the seller will not sell it on the desired terms. At Rice & Stallknecht, P.C., we can assist you in ensuring that your contract allows you to perform the appropriate due diligence, and can assist you in performing it.
At Rice & Stallknecht, P.C. we have assisted clients with real estate contracts for over twenty five years, dealing with these, and many other, issues.