October 01, 2017

Rethinking Rights of First Refusal, Rights of First Offer, and Options to Purchase

Kathryn E. Allen, Carl J. Circo, Wilhelmina Kightlinger, Beat U. Steiner, and KenDrell D. Collins


Reprinted with permission from Probate & Property, September/October 2017 (31:5), at 45-51. ©2017 by the American Bar Association. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any or portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.


This article looks at rights of first offer (ROFOs), rights of first refusal (ROFRs), and options (sometimes referred to collectively in this article as “preemptive rights” and by some practitioners as “preferential rights”) for real property. Preemptive rights are commonly used by real estate lawyers in a number of contexts, such as office and retail leases, ground leases, residential condominiums and cooperatives, planned communities, franchise agreements, and joint ventures (whether as partnerships, LLCs, or in some other form).

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