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Contract Mistakes: “It Looks Legitimate”

Yes, you should always have your attorney review a contract to purchase a business or real estate or a lease before you sign the document. Most legal problems that come to me are the result of a poorly drafted or one-sided document. Legitimacy is only one concern; just because “an attorney” drafted a document does not mean that it serves your interests, unless the drafting attorney was your attorney. Your attorney will look out for your interests.

You may think you are saving money by not having your attorney review a contract; however, in the long run such a decision may cost you far more money if there is a misunderstanding or dispute. Learn from the mistakes of others. I can tell you stories . . .!

Things to Know About Construction Contracts

Of course, every contract will vary based on the needs and goals of the involved parties, but here are some examples of things you should look for in a typical contract of these types—and consider asking about if you don’t see them:

If you are purchasing a business or real estate, you may want a study period that provides a contingency that—in your sole discretion—you may terminate the contract within a certain period. This contingency can be for financing, an engineering study, or a Phase-One environmental study, to name a few. If you are selling a business or real estate, you will want to limit the study period to a reasonable and defined amount of time.

If you are the owner of a commercial real estate, you may want to include a requirement that the tenant obtain your written consent prior to beginning any alterations, and you may want to require a personal guarantee.

Although there are middle-of-the-road contracts that do not benefit either party to the exclusion of the other, most contracts benefit one or the other. You need your attorney to negotiate/draft a contract or review a contract prepared for or by the other party.

Ms. Fine practices in the following areas: business lawestate planningequine lawreal estate law, or civil litigation. Please reach out if you need assistance.