Overcoming Obstacles When Selling Commercial Real Estate

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Most successful real estate agents will tell you that one of their major goals in every transaction is to bring both parties together for a happy closing experience.

This is particularly important when agents are selling commercial real estate properties. Not only do these transactions involve much higher sales prices than the average residential sale, but there are also more intricacies woven into the fabric of each commercial real estate deal. 

Simplifying the Process of Selling Commercial Real Estate

The first step in removing obstacles from any real estate transaction is to remove as many of them as possible before the offer is made. Small problems have a way of becoming huge issues capable of derailing even good purchase offers, if they are not corrected before the deal comes together.

Obstacle removal always starts with research.  

Using Good Research Prevents Obstacles

Massive improvements in technology and records have resulted in much more transparency, allowing all parties of a transaction to have the ability to access critical data before making, or accepting an offer. 

When selling commercial real estate, experienced agents always begin the process of thoroughly researching each property they are handling. In most cases, a tremendous amount of local county or municipal, as well as state and national information will be available, including the following:

  • Deeds, trust information and other documents that pertain to legal ownership interests
  • Mortgages, and liens, including mechanic's liens and other pertinent financial details
  • Maps, surveys, easements, local codes, restrictions, covenants, and encroachment information
  • Past legal activity involving the property or its owner, or instances of damage, such as fire, flood, vandalism or wind damage
  • Taxation records, including information about liens and unpaid taxes
  • Building permits, condemnation orders, and inspection reports
  • Rental amounts, vacancy rates, tenant issues, and legal actions involving tenants or the owner
  • Official measurements, square footage, structural details, age and past usages
  • Permits, regulations and other official information affecting the property, community or the owner
  • Past sale amounts, past attempts to sell, and other pertinent market information 
  • Valuation information, including comparable sales and listings

Making sure that your client is supplied with as much information as possible, before a contract is made, is a great way to facilitate negotiations and help the transaction move forward, swiftly, and smoothly.

Development officials within the local government are an excellent resource for almost all of the above information. Be sure to reach out early in the process. The sooner the local economic development staff know the details, the sooner they can start helping you and your clients.

Most governments have websites just for their economic development departments with most information you could need or resources to get the information you need.

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What to Do When Unexpected Problems Arise

Even when properly prepared and researched, there will still be some bumps in the road. Here are some excellent ways to handle unexpected problems and get the transaction back on track:

  • Listen to the problem, without emotion, and make sure that your client does, as well. Most problems can be diffused and solved when emotion is removed from the situation and all parties seek to find a way to compromise and move forward.
  • Take time to thoroughly assess the problem. Is the issue correctable? How will it affect your client? Solving problems is part of the landscape for any agent involved in selling commercial real estate, and often solving the problems simply means helping both parties find a fair solution by keeping the focus on the problem, instead of emotions.
  • Negotiate, or re-negotiate. Clients can act rashly and threaten to walk away from solid transactions when problems arise. Helping them to remain calm and seek ways to negotiate a solution will be appreciated by all parties, once they have time to think it through.

As with most areas of life, successfully selling commercial real estate involves preparation and attention to even the smallest details. These actions get noticed by quality clients and help you land more business and close more deals.

Selling Commercial Property

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