Three Real Estate Contract Questions to Consider Now


Whether you hold an interest in an industrial, commercial, retail, residential asset class; whether you are an owner, buyer, seller, landlord and/or tenant, lender or borrower, property manager, or homeowner; and whether your real estate is business or personal, there is a need to address COVID-19’s immediate impact on real estate agreements.

Generally, real estate agreements reflect the business climate and risk assessments at the time the contracts were made. In negotiating, executing, and performing their contracts, parties relied on their relationships with the parties on the other side of the transaction. However, when an unforeseeable or disruptive event occurs, parties must look back at their agreements and reassess their standing, rights, remedies, recourse, and relationships.

Now is the time to check on provisions of your real estate contracts. Below are three common questions you may be asking:

1. Which provisions of a real estate purchase and sale contract, lease, or loan document might offer protections or provide guidance at this time?

The following is a sample list of applicable contract provisions:

2. What else should purchase and sale, lease, or loan parties consider as we all move forward from this point?

The following are some additional considerations:

3. From a practical perspective, where should I start?

Discuss your specific situation with your attorney. Apply good business judgment. Everyone is suffering through this together. It is important to understand the applicable contract documents and assess your relationship with your transaction parties. Courts and Congress may end up taking unusual positions and taking protective steps in the coming months to avoid recession, flatten the curve, and share the loss in ways that today’s contracts might not have contemplated.


© 2024 ArentFox Schiff LLP
National Law Review, Volumess X, Number 83