Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona Commercial Real Estate Law Attorney

Law Office Of

Joseph A. Velez

480.710.5079

When knowledge and experience matter.

Real Estate & Business Law Attorney

Phoenix, AZ Commercial Real Estate Attorney


The Law Office of Joseph A. Velez provides high quality legal services for a variety of Commercial Real Estate matters.  Arizona Commercial Real Estate encompasses a wide range of issues including but not limited to, purchasing and selling agreements, commercial property leasing, zoning, and Landlord/ tenant disputes.   Our clients range from small businesses, to land developers, to commercial real estate brokers and agents.  We work closely with our clients to ensure they are favorably represented with their best interests in mind.  Our office advises and assists on the following commercial real estate issues:


  1. - Landlord/ Tenant Disputes and Law

  2. -Commercial Loan Workouts/ Commercial Loan Modifications

  3. -Commercial Loan Restructuring

  4. -Drafting and Reviewing Commercial Leases

  5. -Commercial Property Transactions

  6. -Purchase Agreements

  7. -Conveyancing

  8. -Lending and Secured Transactions

  9. -Retail, Industrial and Office Buying, Selling and Leasing

  10. -Zoning Restrictions

  11. -Land Use & Environmental Compliance

  12. -Property, Acquisitions, Sales and Lease Disputes

  13. -Transactional Services


The Law Office of Joseph A. Velez will work diligently to protect your individual and business interests in Commercial Real Estate matters.  Whether you are purchasing a commercial property, drafting a commercial lease, concerned about zoning compliance or have a landlord/tenant dispute, our office can help.  We offer cost effective Commercial Real Estate arbitration and mediation to resolve disputes and conflicts.  Please call Phoenix Commercial Real Estate Law attorney, Joseph A. Velez to discuss your commercial real estate matter today. 

The Law Office of Joseph Velez

Commercial Real Estate & Business Law Attorney

Scottsdale Financial Center

7272 E. Indian School Rd., Suite 111

Scottsdale, Arizona 85251

480.710.5079

Our law office represents clients throughout the Phoenix, Arizona area including the cities of Scottsdale, Maricopa, Mesa, Surprise, Paradise Valley, Avondale, Gilbert, Chandler, Glendale, Florence, New River, Fountain Hills, Peoria, Surprise, Queen Creek, Tempe, Sun City, Apache Junction, and Casa Grande. We serve the counties of Maricopa, Yavapai, Gila, Pinal, La Paz, Yuma, and Pima County.

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

Q: What exactly is commercial real estate?

A: Broadly defined, the term "commercial real estate" can be used to refer to any dealing with real property in a business context. It could involve leasing out office space, owning an apartment complex, or selling real property along with and as part of the sale of a business. It might be industrial or agricultural property. It could even involve residential properties like apartment complexes or rental houses being held for business or income-producing purposes. It can even involve working with the government. Unless the property is a residence where the homeowner is living, you are probably dealing with commercial real estate.


Q: Are there really that many differences between a commercial real estate deal and buying a house?

A: While many of the concepts are the same, there can be huge differences between commercial and residential real estate. Commercial real estate transactions can be far more diverse and wide-ranging than selling home. The risk and potential liability exposure that you face on a commercial real estate deal can be much greater than when you buy a house. Depending on the nature of the business, commercial property may have all kinds of liens and title problems. There may be greater concerns about hazardous materials or zoning issues. And there will always be questions about the suitability of the property's location for your business needs.


Q: If I hire a real estate broker, why do I need to hire a lawyer?

A: The benefit of competent legal advice on a real estate deal stands on its own. There are so many things that can go wrong on a real estate deal that you may very well end up kicking yourself mightily if you don't hire an attorney to help you with the transaction. You may even end up hiring a lawyer on a lawsuit, which could end up being a lot more expensive. Real estate agents don't usually get paid unless the deal closes (or unless you somehow become obligated to pay a commission by, for example, backing out of a deal or otherwise breaching your listing agreement) and listing agreements will clearly state that real estate agents are not providing legal advice. So, real estate agents are typically not going to worry about the "what if's" of the legal details and are inclined to do whatever they can to push a deal to closure. This is not the case with an attorney working on an hourly basis, who is going to get paid one way or the other. An attorney will be in a better position to provide you with essential legal advice and to do so with more impartiality than may be the case with your real estate agent.


Q: Is an escrow always necessary?

A: Strictly speaking, no. Unless the parties contractually agree to it as part of their deal, there is seldom a legal requirement that there be an escrow. Inevitably, though, an escrow is almost always a good idea. The escrow company ends up being an intermediary and a facilitator to the transaction. They can also handle most of the details and the paperwork, including escrow instructions, title reports, title insurance, recording deeds and other instruments, and disbursing funds.


Q: What is a preliminary title report and how much attention should I pay to it?

A: A preliminary title report is a document prepared on real property once an escrow is opened, but prior to closing. It provides all kinds of information about the property that is essential for a buyer to see, such as how title is currently held and what kind of exceptions to title are currently of record (for example, easements, liens and encumbrances). The preliminary title report then becomes the final title report, on which title insurance is based. In addition to specific exceptions to title that will be listed on a title report, it will also list standard exclusions from coverage.

In virtually every real estate transaction, the buyer has the right to approve or object to the preliminary title report and back out of the deal unless the seller can provide clean title by eliminating certain exceptions to title prior to closing. But a buyer will only have a short period of time during which to act on the preliminary title report. So it's extremely important for a buyer to carefully review a preliminary title report immediately and to take appropriate action if there are any unacceptable exceptions to title.


Q: Are there different types of deeds, and why should I care?

A: The type of deed can make a big difference. In some states, the typical conveyance is a grant deed, which basically says the seller has an interest in the property and that it is being conveyed to the buyer, but not necessarily with any representations or warranties as to title. Other states have warranty deeds that go a step further to provide a warranty that the seller has good title to the interest being conveyed. All states have something like a quitclaim deed where a party is only signing over whatever interest that party has in the property, if any.

The bottom line is that you could take a deed from someone that means nothing. While this may amount to fraud on the part of the seller, who wants to have to sue someone to try to enforce your rights? And you may not even have a good case if, for example, you accepted a quit claim deed that says that you got only whatever interest the other party had, which may have been nothing. You can see the need to get competent legal advice.


Q: What should be in a real estate purchase contract?

A: Real estate purchase contracts can be extraordinarily simple but usually end up being very complex and lengthy documents, in order to try to address all the "what if's" that are typically involved in a commercial real estate transaction. Points that would typically be covered include:

  1. Parties

  2. Recitals (background facts as to why the parties are doing the deal)

  3. Description of the property

  4. Sales price and terms of payment

  5. Title and title insurance

  6. Closing date

  7. Escrow provisions

  8. Conditions to closing

  9. Representations and warranties

  10. Environmental and hazardous waste provisions

  11. Zoning and land use issues

  12. Rights to inspection

  13. 1031 exchange provisions, if applicable

  14. Liability insurance requirements

  15. Indemnification and hold harmless provisions

  16. Remedies if a party breaches

  17. Rights to amend and modify

  18. Term and termination

  19. Rights to assignment or delegation of rights

  20. Attorneys' fees and costs

  21. Arbitration rights, if any

  22. Governing laws

  23. Other standard provisions

In many instances, it's possible to use standard form documents prepared by realtor associations that help to facilitate the drafting process. At a minimum, these standard form agreements can serve as effective checklists of issues you may want to address.

Commercial Real Estate FAQS

One hour initial office consultation fee is $295 for the matters discussed above.