Real Estate Lawyer NJ - Commercial and Residential Real Estate Attorney

What is Commercial Real Estate?

Commercial real estate is a term used for real properties that are used for business purposes or for generating a profit. Properties that are used for operating, supporting, or expanding a business generally fall under this category. Office spaces, retail shops, warehouses, industrial buildings, apartment buildings, and mixed-use buildings are some common examples of commercial real estate. 

commercial real estate lawyer nj

Commercial Real Estate Attorney NJ

New Jersey has a booming commercial real estate development and commercial property leasing market. To support the current growth in the e-commerce sector, warehouses, and logistical facilities are being developed and many suburban office campuses are also being constructed for commercial purposes. 

At the Sekas Law Group, we represent clients in a variety of commercial real estate matters including:

  • Contract Negotiations and drafting
  • Due diligence 
  • Mixed-use projects
  • Title issues
  • Commercial real estate financing
  • Acquisition of commercial properties
  • Sale of commercial real estate
  • 1031 exchanges
  • Commercial property litigation
  • Green building
  • Utility issues
  • Landlord/ tenant issues
  • Injunctive relief
  • Easements and Restrictions
  • Land use and zoning
  • Mortgage issues including foreclosures, modifications, workouts, and restructuring
  • Leasing of commercial real estate
  • Condominium Documentation
  • Registration with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs
  • Environmental clearances 

If you are looking for an NJ real estate attorney, contact us today. We provide services to a wide variety of clients including contractors, developers, individual owners, property managers, architects, engineers, tenants, landowners, insurance companies, builders, lenders, and title companies. 

Our expertise spans across a range of projects including retail spaces, warehouses, housing societies, vacant lands, industrial real estate, multi-family properties, and office spaces. Contact us today if you are looking for a commercial real estate lawyer. Our well-equipped and highly competent team can help you with all the legal needs related to your commercial property. 

Commercial Real Estate Transactions

Transactions relating to commercial real estate property involve multiple complicated steps. 

Generally, a transaction may begin with a “letter of intent” that outlines the anticipated terms of the potential contract between the parties. 

Later, parties may negotiate and sign the final contract. The contract may include terms related to non-disclosure, due diligence, repairs, remediation, financing, pre-sale conditions, payment terms, insurance, title clearances, tax liability, environmental inspections, deposit amount, and closing date. The due diligence process generally requires compliance with the New Jersey Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA). 

With the help of a commercial real estate lawyer, you can ensure that you comply with all the legal requirements needed to successfully complete the transaction. Contact a New Jersey properties lawyer at the Sekas Law Group today to save yourself from future legal issues and disputes. 

Zoning and Land Use

Our real estate practice provides a full spectrum of legal services related to zoning and land use matters. We help our clients comply with zoning and land use regulations at the local, state, and federal levels throughout Northern New Jersey, in Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Passaic Counties. 

We have served Large Corporate Clients, like LG, major Developers and Contractor Sanzari Construction, Inc., Daibes Enterprises, LLC, Banks, Apartment Buildings, Residential and Commercial Development of all types and needs.  We have also acted as local zoning attorneys for various municipalities throughout New Jersey. 

We handle many residential and commercial applications.  We walk our clients through every step including site plan approvals, grading permits, subdivision approvals, special use permits, zoning appeals, variances (bulk and use), setback variances, and environmental clearances. We help builders and developers obtain all the requisite approvals and clearances for their upcoming projects. 

Taxation Issues

During the sale and purchase of commercial property, the buyer should make sure that there is no existing tax liability on the property. Thus, thorough due diligence on the property’s past tax burdens is required before finalizing the property.

Tax obligations also arise whenever a real estate sale/ purchase transaction takes place. With proper planning and understanding of the laws, buyers, and sellers can minimize their tax liabilities, for example, by using “section 1031 exchanges.” Sometimes, the parties may not agree with the tax assessment done by the authorities and may want to challenge their decision. We represent clients in all types of tax appeals, including illegal spot assessments, incorrect assessments, and tax reductions.

Unforeseen tax liabilities can create huge financial burdens on businesses. If you are purchasing or selling a commercial property, contact a property lawyer today at (201) 816-1333 or (212) 695-7577 to discuss how our lawyers can help you with your property’s tax issues. 

Tenancy and Leasing Issues

Often, disputes arise between the owner/ landlord/ manager and tenants of a commercial or residential properties. These disputes may relate to illegal eviction, non-payment of rent, non-refund of deposit, property damage, not complying with the lease terms, or even carrying out non-permissible activities at the property. 

We represent both the landlord and tenant or the lessor and lessee in such disputes. We also help with negotiating, drafting, and finalizing leases and tenancy contracts. 

Business Partnerships

Most commercial projects are developed by forming a separate business entity. This could be an LLC, Corporation, Partnership, or even a JV. Our law firm helps clients with the formation of such business entities which helps them in minimizing their personal liability whenever legal issues arise. We counsel our clients on the best available options and also help them with all the documentation needs related to the incorporation of such partnerships. 

Often, commercial projects and properties are developed through collaborations with several business partners such as sub-contractors, machinery providers, raw material suppliers, and drilling companies. Often, disputes may arise between such parties which may even cause substantial delays and monetary losses. 

Commercial Construction

commercial real estate lawyer nj construction

Often, commercial properties are purchased for construction purposes. The construction may be for the buyer’s own use or for development/ resale/ leasing purposes. Construction loans, partner contracts, construction clearances and permits, and working capital financing.

Financing Terms & Bank Finance

Financing can be one of the most challenging issues when it comes to commercial property. Terms related to repayment, interest payment, collateral and security, mortgage, personal liability, and guarantees need to be negotiated properly with the lenders and bankers. 

We have excellent relationships with all the Major, Medium, and Smaller Banks and have worked with Lenders for more than 35 years.   We understand the Lending business extremely well.  Our found partner Nicholas G. Sekas, was also a Bank Director, Founder, and Shareholder of a small Bank Mariners’ Bank, which was acquired by Spencer Savings Bank for twenty (20) years.

We understand the Regulatory and Compliance issues that are important in all loan applications, loan approvals, and closing all types of Commercial and Residential Loans.  We have dealt with Federal and State Regulators and are extremely knowledgeable in what is necessary from both the Bank and Borrowers' perspectives and viewpoint to approve the loans.

Title Issues

Ensuring that the buyer receives a “clean title” at the time of or before closing is the most crucial part of a real estate transaction. Through due diligence, all potential claims on the property must be discovered and the buyer should make sure that no one else other than the seller has ownership over the property. Sometimes, it might even happen that the seller may not be aware of all the liens or claims over the property. 

If there are any easements or other rights/ restrictions associated with the property, the purchaser should be made aware of the same before finalizing the deal. A clear title is also important for obtaining insurance.

Mortgage Restructuring and Workouts

Often, commercial property owners may find themselves facing financial issues. During such times, it is in the interest of both the lender and borrower to modify the financing terms. The revised agreement may contain renewed terms related to the interest, duration, and monthly payments. 

Contact the Sekas Law Group today to know more about how a real estate lawyer can help you with negotiating a fair agreement that reflects the proposed changes. With the help of an experienced real estate attorney, borrowers who are facing foreclosure can avoid mortgage modification scams. 

Purchasing a Commercial Property- Legal Considerations

Making the decision to purchase a commercial property has major financial and monetary consequences. A good investment can yield multiple returns to the purchaser. On the other hand, if the property is purchased without following the due process under law, it can lead to costly legal complications in the future. 

It is advisable to bear in mind the following points before purchasing a commercial property in New Jersey:

  • Most commercial properties are zoned for a particular purpose or use. The buyer should ensure that such restrictions match the purpose for which he or she is buying the property.
  • There might be restrictions on making any exterior or interior modifications to the building or adding more floors to the property. The buyer should check the building code and the zoning laws for such restrictions.
  • The physical condition of the property should be properly evaluated during the negotiation stage. The buyer should ask the seller about how they have been using the property and if there are any shortcomings and internal defects, or other special neighborhood conditions that apply. 
  • Ensure that the access to the building and its parking is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Ask the seller for financial statements of the property, utility bills, architectural plans, building and site inspection reports, square footing certifications, and other drawings/ specifications.
  • Find out if there have been any previous fire or safety code violations at the property.

The seller of a commercial property should disclose all the important and relevant information to the buyer. The seller should inform about all the defects, shortcomings, restrictions, liens, pending dues, and safety issues. This helps in avoiding potential future legal claims against the seller.

With assistance from an NJ real estate attorney, buyers can avoid potential legal pitfalls while purchasing a commercial property. If you are planning to buy real estate in New Jersey for business purposes, contact the Sekas Law Group today to consult a skilled real estate lawyer who will help you with taking care of all the pre-purchase legal considerations. 

Steps Involved in Purchasing a Commercial Property

Generally, purchasing a commercial property involves the following steps:

Selecting The Property

The buyer should select the property keeping in mind the intended purpose or use and the budget.

Commencing The Transaction

To commence the transaction, an initial meeting between the buyer and seller takes place. Both parties should discuss in detail their price expectations, the scope of the due diligence, payment terms, and how soon or late they intend to complete the transaction. Important documents related to the property should also be given to the buyer during the preliminary meeting. 

Securing a Title

After the initial meeting, the buyer should ask for back-titled information. He or she should obtain the existing title policy, deed restrictions, and reciprocal easement agreements.  

Property Appraisal

If there are any existing appraisals, the buyer should obtain them. An independent appraisal should also be done to recheck the market value and the discussed purchase price. 

Physical Inspection 

In addition to obtaining important documents such as architectural plans, drawings, and site inspection reports, a thorough physical inspection of the property should be done. The main focus during such inspections should be on roofs, walls, HVAC systems, and fire suppression systems.

Asking The Seller For Disclosures

The buyer should specifically ask the seller to disclose all known defects and problems within the property. He or she should also ask the seller about the health and safety concerns existing in the property. Also, environmental inspection reports should be obtained. 

Check The Zoning Laws and Regulations

The zoning laws that apply to the property should be consistent with the intended use of the property. For example, if the property is to be developed as a warehouse for the storage of chemicals and inflammable materials, the applicable zoning laws should permit the same. 

Obtaining Permits

Ask the seller if already has permits for the commercial or industrial activity to be carried out at the property. Determine if you need to obtain new permits.

Existing or Potential Claims

It is important to look at the history of the property to see if there have been any legal issues, disputes, or safety violations. The buyer should be aware of any possible claims that may exist on the property. 

Building Operations Inspection

To complete the inspection of the building operations, the buyer should obtain the last three years’ financial statements, utility bills, tax bills; insurance policies, and property budget for capital and operating expenses.

Consulting A Real Estate Attorney

The steps involved in purchasing a real estate property are complex, costly, and lengthy. If not done right, it may lead to disputes, monetary losses, and legal claims later. Therefore, it is a good idea to consult a real estate attorney who will guide you through all the steps of your transaction and make sure that your interests and rights stay protected. 

Commercial Real Estate Lawyer NJ

In addition to being a big financial investment, the purchase of commercial property is an important business decision as well. Any potential hurdles, legal disputes, or non-compliance issues may impact the business activities of the purchaser or the tenant in the future. 

At the Sekas Law Group, we offer a broad range of legal services related to commercial real estate. Even though it is not mandated under law to hire an attorney, having a competent and business-minded lawyer by your side will save you from potential legal issues and costly penalties in the future. To schedule a consultation with our law firm, contact us online or call us at (201) 816-1333 or (212) 695-7577

Residential Real Estate Attorney NJ

residential real estate attorney nj

Purchasing a home is a landmark event in one’s life. It is the fulfillment of the American Dream. However, purchasing a home is a complicated, costly, and time-consuming process. Therefore, to ensure that the process is done right from the beginning, it is important to comply with the legal requirements of purchasing a house. 

If you are considering buying a residential property in New Jersey, contact a real estate attorney at the Sekas Law Group today. We help our clients with all types of residential purchases including single or multi-family homes, coops, and condos. 

Our services include:

  • Negotiating, drafting, and reviewing the contract of sale or purchase. 
  • Explaining the contract, providing an Attorney Review of the contract terms, and suggesting modifications.
  • Ordering Title Searches and Land Surveys.
  • Obtaining Title Insurance Policy.
  • Dealing with the mortgage lender.
  • Resolving pre-closing issues related to repairs, defects, and other shortcomings in the property. 
  • Collaborating & communicating with the other side’s attorney, real estate agent, mortgage company, and title company.
  • Preparing for the closing and representing the client at the closing. 

Checklist For Home-Buyers

If you are considering purchasing a residential property in New Jersey, consider taking the following steps before finalizing the deal:

Determine Your Budget & Find a Real Estate Agent

The first realistic step involved is to determine what one can afford. The buyer should select the price range keeping in mind the current trends for the down payment, interest rates, monthly mortgage, and closing charges.

A real estate agent knows the area, market value, and current trends well. Generally, a buyer is not required to pay a fee to the licensed agent, therefore, having an agent to narrow down on the property is a good idea. 

Mortgage Pre-Approval

To better estimate what one can afford, it is important to obtain a mortgage pre-approval. Buyers should also be aware of their credit score and get a credit report. A seller is likely to take a buyer more seriously if a mortgage pre-approval is obtained.

Purchase Offer

The closing process begins with a purchase offer. The offer contains all the terms about how the transaction will happen, purchase price, inclusions, exclusions, pre-sale conditions, mortgage types, dates, and other related details. 

After the purchase offer is sent to the seller, the seller may negotiate the terms, and after a mutual agreement is reached, both parties sign the contract. 

Attorney Review

After the contract is signed by both parties, attorneys from both sides review the contract. During this review process, either side may cancel the contract without any legal consequences.

Property Inspection

Inspecting the physical condition of the property is very important. A professional home inspector can discover the defects that an untrained eye cannot. If any defects are found, the buyer and seller can negotiate at this stage about the repair work. If the seller does not want to get the repair done, the buyer should negotiate a discounted price to cover the costs of repair. 

Mortgage Application

Completing the mortgage process is a lengthy process and it needs to be completed within the time frame agreed upon in the contract.

Escrow Account

An escrow account for both funds and documents should be opened with an escrow agent.

Title Clearance & Title Insurance

The buyer should check for any existing liens, loans, or claims on the title. A title search should be conducted on the property to detect such issues. Buyers can opt for title insurance to protect themselves from future risks that may arise if there are issues with the property title. 

Closing the Transaction

To close the transaction, a few documents including a property deed, affidavit of title, disclosure statement, and settlement statement need to be signed. Other documents that need to be signed include a mortgage note, truth in lending (TIL) statement, deed of trust, HUD-1, and certificate of occupancy.  

The parties who are generally present at the closing time include the buyer, seller, attorneys, real estate agents, title agents, and lender representatives. 

Seller’s Disclosure Statement

The courts in New Jersey have ruled in many cases that home sellers need to disclose material, latent, and known defects about the property to the buyer. Sellers should not hide or suppress information about the property. For example, in a case where the seller failed to inform the buyer about a cockroach infestation, the court held that “silence could be fraudulent.” It is particularly important to disclose information that impacts the health and safety of anyone occupying the house. 

Choosing not to inform the buyer about known defects or problems with the property can later prove to be a costly affair for the seller. Under the “implied warranty of habitability,” the seller implies that the house being sold is habitable and fit to live in. 

As the buyer or seller of a residential real estate property, you would want to ensure that you receive or provide a legally sound and correct seller’s disclosure statement. If you are wondering, “where can I find a real estate attorney NJ” who will help me with the seller’s disclosure statement, contact the Sekas Law Group today. Instead of providing a generalized statement, our real estate law firm helps clients with preparing and reviewing seller disclosure statements keeping in mind the unique and special conditions that may apply to their property. 

Real Estate Litigation Attorney NJ

Our lawyers have extensive experience in representing clients in various kinds of real estate disputes. Our lawyers represent clients in matters related to breach of contracts, environmental disputes, landlord-tenant disputes, illegal eviction, title issues, property tax, adverse possession, boundary disputes, easements, trespass, and association issues. 

If you are facing a real estate legal dispute and are thinking, “Where can I find property dispute lawyers near me?” contact our law firm today to get the services of an experienced and skilled real estate lawyer. 

Residential Real Estate Lawyer NJ

Purchasing a home or vacation property is one of the biggest financial transactions most people make in their lives. The process may feel overwhelming and challenging, specifically for first-time home buyers. The sale-purchase contract becomes a very important document whenever a residential property transaction takes place. 

In addition to the purchase price of the property, many other costs such as appraisal fees, application fees, escrow fees, home inspection fees, credit report fees, and title search fees are involved. 

If you are considering purchasing or selling a home or vacation house and are considering hiring a property lawyer, an obvious question in your mind could be, “How can I find the best real estate attorney NJ?” Contact the Sekas Law Group today to avail the services of an experienced NJ Real Estate Lawyer. 

Real Estate Law Firm NJ

At the Sekas Law Group, our attorneys have many years of experience in providing legal consultation related to both residential and commercial real estate matters. Whether you are looking for legal advice on real estate transactions or obtaining zoning permits, we handle all types of legal issues related to real estate matters. 

If you are facing an issue surrounding real estate but are confused about “Where can I find the best real estate attorney near me?”contact us online or call us at (201) 816-1333 or (212) 695-7577. Our attorneys are here to guide you through each step and provide holistic solutions based on your requirements. 

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