Selling commercial property may sound like a piece of cake but once you go through the process you are bound to realize that there are a lot of details and factors that you need to consider. Entering the arena of commercial real estate unprepared or with a blind eye may cost you a lot of time, money, and could ultimately bring you to a dead end.
Considering that at the beginning of 2021, the volume of office real estate alone sold in the Americas reached nearly $128 billion, it’s safe to say that the commercial real estate space is attractive and lucrative. But regardless of whether you’re an owner of such real estate looking to sell their property alone, you would rather work with a real estate agency, or you are a broker hoping to sell a commercial real estate property for a client, there are a few fine details that you need to be aware of in order to make your sale quickly and get a decent return on your investment or sell for a reasonable price.
In this article, we’ll share with you valuable information that will help you sell commercial real estate like a pro. We’ll look into what it takes to prepare the property for sale, we’ll explore the different stages of a commercial property sale, and we’ll dive into what it’s like to work with real estate brokers vs selling on your own.
Preparing commercial real estate for sale
Every commercial real estate is different. Your property could be an office, a warehouse, a restaurant or coffee shop, or perhaps a whole office building. As different as each example could be, there are a few ground rules for preparing your commercial real estate for sale, no matter what type of property it is.
A lot of property owners who are about to go into their first commercial property sale neglect the preparation stage and therefore end up with regrets. Preparing your property for sale can help you attract potential buyers quickly, can captivate their attention, and potentially help negotiate and close the sale.
Here are some of the basic things you could do:
- Repair any minor eyesores – Some parts of your commercial property are bound to make a first impression. This could be a poorly maintained lawn, old and rusty signages, clutter, or damaged exteriors. Putting in the time and effort to make some small repairs to improve the appearance of the property and correct the spots you know are visible will help you sell your commercial real estate faster and for a higher price.
- Make sure the lighting is in good condition – Oftentimes, property owners fail to acknowledge the importance of lighting when selling real estate. Install LED bulbs for energy saving purposes and point out how the lighting is durable and just what the property needs.
- Get professional cleaning services – Viewing a property that is in horrible hygienic condition could be enough to make buyers want to run away without a second thought. Schedule a professional cleaning company to remove any dirt accumulations, clean the carpets, any curtains or blinds, and enhance the overall appearance and freshness of the space.
- Conduct an inspection beforehand – Before listing your commercial property for sale, it’s worth hiring a certified property inspector to check the condition of the property and inform you of any weak spots or areas that need immediate attention. For example, check if the roofing is stable, the pipe system’s condition, and other vital parts of the property.
- Declutter – Decluttering is a fundamental part of preparing your property for sale regardless of whether it’s residential or commercial. But when we’re talking about business, it’s even higher up the ladder of priorities. Clutter could prevent the potential buyer from being able to imagine and visualize what the property could turn into once they move their business there.
Of course, there are more tips that you can use and it all comes down to what your property looks like at the moment and what its weak and strong selling points are. Remember, you know your space best so take some time to make a note of all the advantages and disadvantages before welcoming potential buyers to view it or even listing it for sale. Brainstorm ideas on how you could turn the weaknesses into strengths.
Three strategies you could use to sell a commercial property
Next up, you need a selling strategy. And we’re here to help you by sharing with you three of the top commercial real estate sale strategies that inevitably work:
- Partnering with a professional commercial real estate broker
- Putting up your commercial property for sale on FSBO listing platforms or commercial websites
- Directly communicate with buyers using off-market data
Let’s dive into each one of these strategies in more detail.
Working with commercial real estate brokers
It’s not surprising that so many sellers of commercial real estate choose to work with an experienced broker in the field as opposed to tackling the task alone. Selling commercial property does have a level of complexity. There are a lot of legal aspects to consider, paperwork, negotiation skills required, and oftentimes – time restrictions.
Partnering with a certified commercial real estate agent can help you deal with all of the mentioned above and more without any stress. Here are some of the advantages of hiring an accredited real estate broker to help with your commercial real estate sale:
- Higher return on investment – Commercial real estate agents will be aware of any market trends, economic forecasts, and will have data available to help you set the right listing price.
- A developed network – Working with a seasoned agent also means that you can gain access to a rich pool of contacts and networks instead of purely depending on standard marketing alternatives that often take more time to prove fruitful.
- Superior communication skills – Believe it or not, communication during a potential commercial real estate transaction is key and could make or break the deal. Brokers are experienced and know what to say, when to say it, and most importantly – how to say it. They will also help you understand the demand and how to prepare your property to make it attractive.
- Listings – Although there are a lot of free commercial real estate listing websites that you could benefit from, working with a real estate agent means that they will handle the whole process for you. They’ll be able to strategically create the listing to point out the unique selling points of the commercial property.
Marketing the commercial property on your own
On the other hand, there is also an effective strategy that includes you selling your commercial real estate by yourself, without the help of an expert.
You can easily do the work alone, as long as you can dedicate some time to the journey. There is a range of commercial property listing sites available that could present your property to millions of potential buyers. Some of the most popular ones to be on include Commercial Estate, CREXI,Ten-X Commercial, LoopNet, and Showcase.
When working alone, you can also widely benefit from services like CREOP. The platform gives both sellers and agencies the opportunity to create customized marketing packages, providing memorandums, proposals, and flyers using reliable cloud-based software. All you have to do is upload your company’s color scheme, enter the property data with pictures and the solution will provide you with all the charts, graphs, tables, financial analysis, rent roll, demographics, property websites, email campaigns you could possibly need.
There are other listing platforms, specifically dedicated to for sale by owner listings that you can also add to your strategy. For example, FSBO.com or For Sale By Owner could help you get your listing across to even more people. Some of them may require a subscription to actively participate and add listings, while others may be completely free.
Discovering buyers off-market
Lastly, the third strategy is finding buyers off-market. This strategy can be used by both experienced commercial real estate agents and owners who would rather seek potential buyers via research done off-market. It’s perhaps one of the most proactive ways to start conversations and discover buyers.
Oftentimes, this strategy is associated with accessing local public property records of off-market research. However, this method involves having a potential buyer in mind and conducting your research on that basis. Alternatively, you can use platforms like Reonomy that offer nationwide off-market information that can fully support you with your research. You can locate new contacts that may be interested in commercial properties like yours.
When it comes to off-market research, you can try to find people you’ve recently bought or sold commercial real estate similar to yours or you could review real estate comps. Regardless of the path you choose for your property sale, off-market research does take time to conduct properly, which means that you ought to be prepared for a slower sale.
Choose the right path for you
As you can see, selling commercial real estate could be a demanding and challenging task. Luckily, the market is so advanced and well-developed that today there are a myriad of options available to help you make the sale quickly and efficiently, getting the return on your investment that you’ve been waiting for. We hope that the information provided in this article will help you craft the right selling strategy for you and will support you in reaching the objectives you’ve set for your commercial real estate. Get in touch to learn more about what CREOP can do for you as a seller or commercial real estate professional.