Commercial Real Estate Agents – Get the Legal Facts in Listing

When you look at a commercial, industrial, or retail property for the first time, and in preparing for a potential listing, there are many things that should be questioned.  Some of them are likely to have an impact on the marketing of the property and potentially the price.

This then says that you should not give comment as an agent on a property until you know all the facts that could impact the marketing and inspection process.  Will the client tell you everything about the property?   Some clients will, and others will not.  Asking the right questions and taking notes is really important to the listing process.

Here are some factors to ask about when considering the listing of the property.

  1. The legal ownership of the property should be checked against the title.  Understand that the people that you are talking to really do have the right to act on a property transaction.  When it comes to working with business owners and companies, these facts can get a little ‘clouded’.  Get evidence of the ownership and understand how it works.
  2. When you look at a property, it will have a use and it will be constructed with relevance to the property zonings.  Ensure that the property is compliant with property zoning in the area and that the improvements in the property have been correctly approved and authorised by the local planning office.
  3. Ask about any orders or notices that could apply to the property today, and that are still to be discharged and satisfied.  These factors could have impact on the marketing of the listing.  In some cases the orders or notices may need to be discharged by the current property owner before any further action is taken to market the property.
  4. Look for problems in a property.  If you can see an issue then buyers will do the same.  Obvious problems should be investigated and qualified.  You do not need hurdles when your marketing campaign starts.
  5. Covenants and restrictions could apply to the property for any number of reasons.  Some may be detailed on the title, whilst others may not.  What issues impact the use and occupation of the building and the property?  Rights of way, easements, encroachments, and encumbrances are some of the big ones.  If such things do exist, get copies of the documentation and review it comprehensively.
  6. Environmental issues are a big thing today.  With industrial property they can be quite common.  If any environmental issues exist, it may be appropriate to get an expert consultant to give a report of the issue and its status.  Having a report will help with questions from interested buyers to the property.

You can add to this list based on the property and the location.  Importantly take all the notes that you can, because some of these issues can be a challenge later in the marketing campaign and negotiation process.

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