How a Lawyer Can Help with Real Estate Contract Negotiation

Close-up Of A Real Estate Lawyer's Hand Helping Client In Filling Contract Form Over Desk

Negotiating a real estate contract is a complex process. Every transaction is unique and involves specific nuances. Since the stakes are often high when it comes to real estate, it’s crucial to have the representation of experienced counsel who can negotiate the best possible terms in your contract. Whether you’re buying a home, purchasing an investment property, or leasing a commercial space, a lawyer can play an important role in protecting your financial and legal interests.                  

A Lawyer Understands the Applicable Statutes That Govern Real Estate Transactions

North Dakota has specific laws, regulations, and guidelines that apply to both commercial and residential real estate deals. An experienced real estate contract lawyer will have a deep understanding of the applicable statutes that apply to a particular transaction and how they can impact negotiations. They will also be familiar with the local land use laws and zoning ordinances which govern how you can build upon a piece of property. It is a good idea to discuss your objectives for the property with your lawyer from the outset so they can help you avoid entering into a contract that has the potential for costly litigation in the future. 

A Lawyer Can Negotiate Favorable Clauses in Commercial Real Estate Contracts

While certain provisions might be standard in commercial real estate contracts, every term can be negotiated. Whether a business is purchasing or leasing commercial space, a lawyer can negotiate a wide variety of provisions that can help ensure the company achieves long-term success. It’s essential for these contracts to be reviewed meticulously and negotiated skillfully — just one word in a commercial lease can significantly restrict your use of the property and impact your business operations.

Signing a commercial lease without negotiating any of the terms is never in a company’s best interests. Common clauses that a lawyer can negotiate in a commercial real estate contract can include the following: 

  • Termination clauses — A termination clause can allow a party to end their lease early under certain circumstances. Although not every commercial lease contains this type of clause, they can be vital for occupants entering into long-term lease agreements.  
  • Contingency clauses — Contingency clauses can provide a way for a party to back out of the deal if the specified conditions aren’t met. The contingencies contained in a contract can vary, depending upon the purchase. However, some of the most common contingency clauses that are negotiated in commercial real estate contracts can include those related to a buyer’s ability to secure financing and those related to zoning or land use. Environmental, inspection, and title contingencies can also be negotiated.    
  • Exclusive use clauses — An exclusive use clause can limit a landlord from allowing another occupant in a shopping center from using their premises in a way that would compete with their permitted use.        
  • Assignment clauses — An assignment clause allows an occupant to transfer the remainder of their lease to a third party. With a commercial lease, you should consider any changes that could arise in the future and factor them into the negotiation.                              

There are many other clauses a real estate contract lawyer may negotiate in a commercial lease or purchase contract, depending upon the needs of your business and the type of property. Not only will a lawyer be able to identify the potential issues that should be addressed when negotiating a commercial lease agreement — but having a lawyer handle the matter can also preserve a good landlord-occupant relationship.                                           

A Real Estate Contract Lawyer Will Know How to Protect a Homebuyer’s Interests

For most people, a home is the most significant purchase they will ever make. In addition to negotiating the purchase price of a home, the parties to a residential real estate contract have wide latitude to negotiate the terms of the agreement. Some of the most common provisions in a residential real estate contract that are negotiated can involve the following:      

  • Fixtures — Just because certain fixtures are in the home doesn’t always mean they are part of the sale. Buyers and sellers can negotiate what fixtures remain in the property and which are removed.  
  • Contingencies — A lawyer can effectively negotiate contingencies in a residential real estate contract, including those concerning financing, appraisal, and inspection.
  • Repairs and renovations — If a buyer discovers conditions in need of repair or renovation, these can be negotiated as part of the purchase agreement.
  • Occupancy date — A buyer may be able to negotiate a later occupancy date if they will require more time after the closing.
  • Closing costs — When purchasing a home, a buyer is usually responsible for paying most of the closing costs, which are often substantial. However, a real estate contract lawyer can negotiate these costs and have a seller cover a portion of the required fees.     

The elements of a residential real estate transaction that can be negotiated can vary based on the buyer’s motivation, whether it is a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, and how determined the buyer is. But with the assistance of a real estate contract lawyer, you can maximize your chances of securing favorable terms and getting the best possible deal.                                     

Contact an Experienced North Dakota Real Estate Contract Lawyer

If you are buying or selling a commercial or residential property, having a real estate lawyer by your side is critical. Real estate contract lawyers are trained negotiators and know the tactics, techniques, and strategies to obtain the best deal. Located in Fargo, the legal team at Fremstad Law Firm is dedicated to helping clients in North Dakota navigate the complexities of commercial and residential real estate transactions — and negotiating favorable contract terms on their behalf. We welcome you to contact us online or by calling (701) 478-7620 to learn how we can assist you.