Offers to Purchase Any Building Must be in Writing

Offers to Purchase Any Building Must be in Writing

There are several options for putting forth an offer to purchase: 

a written purchase agreement

an email or letter detailing the terms

a letter of intent

I generally don’t like to start with a purchase agreement, as commercial contracts have so many legalese that most people may get lost in the language. Residential agents do use contracts; however, their contracts are usually provided by the multiple listing services, so they are fair to both parties. Unlike the residential world of real estate, there are no laws protecting the buyer or the seller of a contract in the commercial world. 

A letter outlining the basic terms of a contract can move a transaction along. However, if neither party signs the agreement, then it isn’t binding. 

I prefer to use a letter of intent. It spells out most of deal terms, including the price and how long the two have to negotiate a contract that both parties consider to be fair. The seller and buyer both sign off on this document. A contract isn’t entered unless a meeting of the minds occurs.


About the Author

Lynn Drake’s status is well known in the industry: She’s the commercial realtor focused on maintaining “true north” for her corporate clients. It’s a reputation built on 35 years of commercial real estate experience. Lynn became a commercial realtor in 2001 after 15 years in corporate real estate. Thus far in her career, Lynn has successfully completed over 1,500 real estate transactions ranging from small business tenant leases to the sale and purchase of industrial complexes.