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Buying Time: Options Contracts in Real Estate

May 14, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Options in commercial real estate transactions give the option holder more time to conduct due diligence, obtain financing and any necessary governmental approvals, and consider whether the transaction is truly viable.  The property owner, whose land is optioned, loses the right to sell the property to a third party for the duration of the option, but earns a fee for doing so.  In a world of complex and risky commercial real estate transactions, where time is often of the essence and risk is high, options allow developers, investors and others an effective mechanism to buy time and take a wait-and-see-approach.  This program will provide you with a practical guide to drafting essential provisions of options in commercial real estate transactions, including avoiding costly traps.

Handout Materials will be emailed to you prior to the seminar
1.0 MCLE Credit Hours


  • Negotiating and drafting most essential terms of option contracts in real estate transactions
  • Economics of real estate option contracts, including the purchase price of the underlying property and market volatility
  • Duration of exclusive period, fees, and extensions – and relationship to market conditions
  • Nature of exclusive period – access to property, restrictions on marketing, cooperation in obtaining permits
  • Role of contingencies – financing, regulatory, market variables
  • Practical uses, traps, and alternatives to options


Anthony Licata,Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP – Chicago