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What is the commercial property closing process like in Florida?

Much like a residential purchase and closing process, commercial ones start with an escrow deposit being made. Because commercial buildings are often more expensive than residential ones, escrow often doesn't come from a single source. Savvy commercial buyers often have their attorneys draft complex documents that spell out the conditions that both parties must meet in order to move forward with the sale.

The second step in the commercial real estate closing process is the signing authority verification. At this stage, a single individual is appointed to place their signature on all necessary documents needed to move forward in closing on the property.

A seller will often want to see proof that the person agreeing to sign the documents is legally authorized to do that. Oftentimes, a company only needs to produce their corporate charter showing that the individual that's signing is eligible to do so on the company's behalf.

Federal laws that require sellers of residential homes to use certain forms or to make condition disclosures don't apply with respect to buying or selling commercial real estate. This makes it important for both buyer and seller to closely review the purchase contract.

It's also important that the buyer ensures that he or she has a copy of the most recent survey report and a receipt for the payment of title insurance. They'll also want to have on hand copies of all leases and any termination notices that have been issued. They'll want to check to make sure that the property is in compliance with zoning restrictions and that no outstanding tax liens are on the books for it.

The seller will want to make sure not to continue with negotiations until he or she is sure that the escrow deposit has been made into a third-party, interest-bearing account. They'll want to make sure that they've reviewed the survey and title reports for any errors. It's important that they make sure that all assumptions and assignments of leases are properly executed as well.

Finally, both the seller and buyer must agree to and sign the title for the property, as well as any other closing documents. The latter may include environmental or zoning reports, assignments of liens and deeds.

If you're considering purchasing a piece of real estate, then a Melbourne commercial property closings attorney can guide you through the process.

Source: Property Metrics, "Definitive guide to the commercial real estate closing process," J. McBride, accessed May 16, 2018

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