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The secrets to a smooth property transaction

As the commercial property market slowly starts to emerge from the recession, Shayne Foley gives some timely tips on how to get the best from your advisory team.

Although significant technological advances have been made over the past five to ten years which speed up the process for commercial property transactions, human shortcomings such as poor communication and planning can sometimes frustrate optimistic timetables.

As the commercial property market slowly starts to emerge from the recession, Shayne Foley reminds developers and purchasers how to get the best from their advisory team.

Choose your lawyers wisely

Delays are often caused by the choice of a lawyer without the relevant commercial property expertise. If you want prompt commercial advice, you need to instruct a lawyer with the knowledge and experience to expedite the decision-making process. Responsiveness and direct access to the decision makers are key. Make sure that your work will not be delegated to a junior colleague where this is not appropriate.

Involve your lawyers early

Legal involvement before the heads of terms are agreed should pay off. Ask for your lawyer for feedback on the draft heads of terms. Clarity leads to costs savings, for example a refusal to accept onerous break clause conditions in a lease can be missed easily.

A meeting or, telephone conference, to clearly define each party's role is of enormous benefit. This should be used to allocate to each party their area of responsibility and to identify issues such as title defects or absence of information and then to devise solutions.

Accurate data

If you are selling, data in deal rooms should be checked at the outset to ensure that comprehensive and up-to-date information is provided. It is pointless making available out-of-date information such as a lapsed insurance certificate.

Although standardisation of legal documentation is not yet upon us, all good lawyers strive to ensure that documentation is succinct and reasonable. This should speed up the process by cutting down on legal negotiation with the associated costs benefits.

Who signs?

The introduction of e-conveyancing and the use of e-signatures has been delayed yet again. On a practical level, early consideration should be given to availability of signatories for conveyancing, especially for foreign-based clients who may need to put a power of attorney in place.

Conclusion

The vast majority of the frustrations raised above could be dramatically reduced by forward planning, the correct choice of lawyer, better communication and more clearly defined roles which will lead to a smoother and more cost-effective transaction.

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This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. It should not be used as a substitute for legal advice relating to your particular circumstances. Please note that the law may have changed since the date of this article.

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