Commercial land transactions are complicated. Doing careful research up front makes sure that the land can be used for the commercial venture you have in mind.
Many government regulations require that owners pay the cleanup costs for any environmental hazards or waste that are found on the property. Contaminants are not always visible or obvious. They may be underground. Before you close on the deal, hire a qualified professional to do environmental testing.
Commercial Zoning Laws
When you find a piece of land that seems ideal, consider local zoning laws. Make sure that you're allowed to use the land for the purpose you have in mind. Even land that's zoned for commercial use doesn't permit every type of commercial activity.
For example, local laws may allow you to build a one-story retail complex but prohibit you from building a 10-story office tower. Determine the specific types of structures and activities that are allowed on the land.
Verify the Deed
Sellers of land will need to ensure that the deed, which is your evidence of legal ownership, has an accurate description of the property's boundaries - in very precise terms. Buyers will want to review the deed's description as well.
If there's any doubt as to the boundaries, it may be necessary to hire a local surveyor who evaluates deeds. Doing so helps you avoid an expensive boundary dispute in court.
Documents for Closing
You don't officially own a piece of land until after the closing, when legal title to the land is exchanged for payment. At closing, a wide range of legal documents will be reviewed and signed.
A Real Estate Lawyer Can Help
The law surrounding the sale and purchase of land is complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. We hope you found it useful. For more detailed, specific information, please contact a commercial real estate lawyer.