When you are interested in buying a restaurant, you may be most interested in finding out about the food and managing the place, but before you finalize the purchase, it's wise to think about getting a real estate attorney. Your real estate sales agent may be helping you find places and look at them, but there are some reasons to have a lawyer in your corner. You might think you don't need a lawyer in this kind of situation, but look at the following points before you decide not to hire one.

An Attorney Can Determine What Exactly You are Buying 

If you are new to this process, you may not realize that buying a restaurant doesn't always mean that you are buying anything other than the building itself. For instance, the current owner could be renting the furniture in the seating area and the equipment in the kitchen. Without knowing this, you could very well be held responsible for finishing out the current owner's leasing deals. While many restaurant owners do not own these things, you might want to purchase your own pieces.

Your real estate lawyer can do a title search to see if the current owner will still own the land on the property even if you buy the restaurant building. If so, they have the ability to charge you rent for the land, if they so choose. In that case, you might want to renegotiate your agreement so that you will own both the building and the land on the property.

An Attorney Can Protect You from the Current Owner's Legal Problems

A number of restaurant owners have been sued at one time or another for reasons as varied as food poisoning and people slipping on the walkway. However, the current owner may be less than forthcoming about incidents like that because you may pull your offer or ask for steep discounts on the property.

You may not realize this, but if the restaurant itself is named in any legal problems, there is a chance that when you take over, you could be involved legally. A good real estate attorney will not let this happen. They know how to find out if the current owner or the restaurant itself is involved with any current litigation and they can draw up contracts that protect you so if you buy the restaurant, you need not worry.

For more information, contact Heil & Saylor or a similar firm.

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