10 Most Important Tips to Prepare Your Commercial Real Estate for Sale
Author: Matthew Smith
The U.S. commercial property market has seen a surprising rise in volume during the recent years. This has been largely due to strong investor interest in commercial properties with deal volumes rising sharply, especially when compared to the first quarter of last year. However, even with this moderate comeback, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy for commercial real estate owners to sell their properties. Here, we are going to highlight some tips to ensure that your listed commercial property gets sold quickly:
Table of Contents:
- 1. Give Your Commercial Property a Makeover
- 2. Compare Properties
- 3. Be Realistic with Your Demands
- 4. Gather the Necessary Documentation
- 5. Get Familiar with Both Sides of the Transaction Process
- 6. Choose the Right Listing(s)
- 7. Hire a Professional Photographer
- 8. Display Your Commercial Property in a Good Light
- 9. Get Your Commercial Property Appraised
- 10. Have Patience
1. Give Your Commercial Property a Makeover
Regardless of how pretty the interior of your commercial property looks in the pictures you have on the listing, the exterior is going to be the potential buyer’s first impression. If the commercial property is not a new construction, looks for ways to increase the curb appeal of your property. It might be that a fresh coat of paint is all you need. Choose paint colors that are trending and suit the type of businesses you’re trying to attract to your property. You can also make minor repairs around the exterior and interior. Repair windows, doors, lighting fixtures and common areas around your property.
Landscaping is another great way to give the appearance of your commercial property a boost. Since commercial properties don’t always sell better when they are empty, it’s best to make sure the interior is as clean as possible before you market it.
2. Compare Properties
Before listing your property on the market, the first and foremost task is knowing how your property compares to other similar commercial real estate in the area. This will give you a better idea of what your property is worth. To make sure your property sells quickly at your asking price, you need to get familiar with the pricing trends of the neighborhood where your property is located.
When you are ready to buy or sell a home, a realtor will provide professional guidance from a market perspective. Few of us have enough up-to-date knowledge and experience to pull this all together on our own. Thankfully, there are many fabulous agents who have the skills, capabilities, experience, resources, ambition and personality to get the job done to your advantage.
3. Be Realistic with Your Demands
Owners of commercial properties need to make sure their asking price is what the market is willing to pay. Asking too much or too little can be bad when selling a commercial real estate property. While asking too little means you’re losing money for your property, asking too much is one of the main reasons why properties remain unsold for months. This is because the owner’s demands were unrealistic.
4. Gather the Necessary Documentation
Before you list your property on the market, you need to gather all the necessary documents and information regarding your property. These documents include the title, lease, zoning regulations, ADA Compliance, permits and surveys, along with the tax certificates and the seller’s financial records. Not only that, sellers need to ensure all their legal entity data is stored securely in a VDR (Virtual Data Room).
While the paperwork is something that owners often let their attorney handle, sellers need to get familiar with the documents that will be required in a commercial real estate transaction. All documentation pertaining to your commercial real estate property needs to be organized and current.
5. Get Familiar with Both Sides of the Transaction Process
Although you are the seller, which means there will be quite a lot of work for you to do, it pays to educate yourself on the buyer side of the commercial real estate transaction as well. That’s because it’s crucial that both parties are on the same page to make the transaction possible. Knowing what the priorities are of the other party will give you a better chance of making your property more attractive for the buyer.
6. Choose the Right Listing(s)
As compared to traditional options, online real estate listings are a great way to make sure a property is viewed by the most people. Due to their popularity, real estate listing resources have mushroomed over the years which makes it harder for sellers to find the right listing platform.
As a seller or seller’s broker, you need to make sure that the listing you use reaches the most potential buyers in the market. Since not all CRE listing platforms have been created equal, there are a few ways in which you can determine the right option for you. This means, as a seller you need to target not only on-market buyers but also the off-market pipeline as well.
Some of the top CRE listing platforms, such as Total Commercial, LoopNet, Commercial MLS like MNCAR and CityFeet will help ensure that your property gets in front of the most viewers as possible. For many of those markets, the property seller needs to be represented by a commercial real estate broker.
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7. Hire a Professional Photographer
Smartphones have made it incredibly easy to take great pictures, but regardless of how good a camera your smartphone is packing, you need to hire a professional photographer to make sure your property gets more than a 10-second look. Images play a big role when it comes to purchasing commercial real estate, which is why you need to make sure you have the best images to represent your commercial property on the listing.
8. Display Your Commercial Property in a Good Light
Online real estate listings have made it easier for sellers to make sure their property is viewed by the most people and sold quickly. Buyers of residential and commercial real estate normally gravitate towards listings that are accompanied by pictures and video. This enables them to get the true picture.
Potential Buyers will have a better idea of the type of property they are purchasing by picturing themselves in the property. Keeping that in mind, you want to make sure you have included high quality photos, video and, if possible, even floor plans and site plans of your commercial property.
9. Get Your Commercial Property Appraised
The process of appraisals is more complex when it comes to commercial properties as compared to residential real estate. The typical appraisal will involve an initial inspection. Appraisers will also look at public ownership, zoning records, and they will analyze all other information related to the value of your property. Apart from supplying the appraiser with all the information that is required, you need to learn the commercial real estate appraisal process to make sure your property has a better chance at selling. As a seller, you might want to take this approach first rather than last. This will give you the most realistic idea of the value in today’s market.
10. Have Patience
Patience is the key to selling commercial real estate. The process of selling commercial property—and property in general—can be a lengthy one that requires a lot of documentation and legwork. Depending of what type of commercial property you have for sale, it could take as little as a couple of months or even longer than a year or more.
Then again, when the price is right and it is marketed to the right audience, selling your property should be a walk in the park. On the other hand, if you do not have the time or simply do not know what to do to sell your commercial property, you can contact a professional service provider who can list your property for you in the proper channels.
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