Friday, September 7, 2018

Why Hire a Broker - Just do it Yourself!

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Selling a commercial real estate asset is akin to planning your daughter’s wedding - sure, you can do it yourself but things go much more smoothly if you have a wedding planner - AKA a commercial real estate professional.

Certainly, you can do a quick Loopnet search, establish a price, purchase a For Sale sign at Home Depot and wait for the phone to ring - set the date, book the church, rent some tuxes and order the cake - this is easy!

Vista Print will create a glossy brochure of your building, mail a few to the neighbors and the inquiries will start to flow - Wow! They do wedding invitations too? Cool! Invite aunt Marjorie and a few dozen friends and let’s do this!

Just got your first hit! They want to see the building next week. Oh wait, you’ve a day job and can only meet the buyers on weekends or evenings. Hmmm, this doesn’t work for the buyers- now what? I guess you could slip out during lunch - but what if the buyer is late or stiffs you? Time wasted - and on an empty stomach.

OK, you get them through. They like it. An offer will be forthcoming. I’ll bet you’re glad you’re saving that 6% you’d have paid the broker. Why don’t more folks do this themselves?

Your prospective buyers call. Do you have a recent appraisal? Does the roof leak? When will the tenant vacate? What will be left when the occupant leaves? I noticed the building doesn’t have central air. Do the cracks in the floor portend something serious? Would you consider seller financing as we have a small credit blip - a bankruptcy? Oh, by the way, my wife has her agent’s license - so we will be deducting 3% from our offer. Next!

Three different agents - who comb the area - call. We have qualified prospects who would like to see your building. Will you pay us a fee if we bring you a buyer? Can you forward to us any marketing collateral you have? Any idea how much electricity feeds the property? - as one of our buyers is a machine shop. One of our guys stacks products high in the warehouse. Will the sprinkler system handle high-piled storage? What is the zoning? Our buyer is a trade school. Will the city allow that occupancy without a conditional use permit? Hmmm. Feeling a bit overwhelmed?

Finally, your perfect buyer appears - dressed as Prince Charming. Let the wedding bells ring! After all, a commercial real estate deal is a union of sorts. You gloat a bit as your email buzzes with a full asking price offer. No financing required, quick close, as-is - alright! Done. But, not so fast. You see, this buyer has made three full price offers to three separate owners. His plan is to tie up all three - and jettison two of the three. Will you be saying I do? Or, I wish I had - hired that broker.

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