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Commercial Real Estate News

Know how: Getting your commercial property ready to sell

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By Lorraine Sheldon
NAI Emory Hill Real Estate Services

Spruce up the property and make sure all systems are in good working order

Just like selling your home, first impressions are important. Make sure the building is freshly painted or touched up and the grounds and parking lot are in good shape. Repair/replace any major items, including the roof, HVAC, electrical and plumbing. Buyers look for properties that are “ready to go.”

Make certain all the owners are “on board” to sell

Today, commercial properties are often held by LLCs or in trusts. Ensure all ownership parties are agreeable to sell. Identify who is authorized and required to sign legal documents. Confirm your entity is in “good standing” with the state and that you have paid all applicable corporate taxes.

Be familiar with the numbers and documents

Know your mortgage pay-off and how much you owe on other mortgages or unresolved property liens. Calculate your anticipated settlement expenses that usually include half of the state’s transfer tax (4 percent), unpaid property taxes, utility bills, commissions and attorney fees. Collect property expenses from the past year to share with prospective buyers, including utility bills, maintenance expenses, property surveys and approved plans. Also make copies of recent receipts for big-ticket property improvements and repairs.

Find the right team to sell your property

Interview a few real estate professionals who specialize in commercial real estate. Look for a team that has experience with your type of property and marketing resources to advertise and promote your property. Ask about recent transactions, marketing tools such as CoStar, LoopNet and CREXi, signage and global presence. Ask for recent sales comps, and get an agent’s opinion on pricing.

Know your next move

Once under contract, commercial sales usually take 60 to 90 days for the buyer to complete due diligence and obtain financing. Think about where your business will go or what you plan to do with the sale proceeds. Your agent can assist with finding a new property and utilizing the IRS 1031 tax-deferred exchange program.

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