The longer that you work in commercial real estate brokerage, you will encounter a good variety of pressure and difficulty when it comes to listings, negotiations, transactions, and deal momentum. A fact-finding process should apply to all client discussions, listings, negotiations, and transaction documentation. (NB – you can get plenty of negotiation tips in our free Snapshot program right here)
Get all the facts as part of any property transaction. Be prepared to sift through all the information that applies to the client, the property, the negotiation, and the documentation.
So, what is the issue?
All property transactions are unique and different, and on that basis, should be reviewed and accurately tracked through every stage of the deal or negotiation. Keep things under control as you work with different clients and different property situations. Every client will have a unique perception of their property and the current property market; you must work with those perceptions, provide a good degree of conditioning, and help the client achieve their targets.
When in any doubt on a property fact or situation, stop what you’re doing and research the question to get the right answer. Only work your transactions and negotiations from a base of accuracy, and the clear commitment of the parties. Take plenty of notes when it comes to conversations, undertakings, negotiations, and agreed outcomes.
What is most important here?
All the critical elements of the negotiated transaction should be documented according to the relevant local property laws that you must work to, and those elements should be reflected in your accurate note taking. Notes made through the listing process are important to property discussions, representations, and negotiations.
Here are some of the most common commercial real estate problems to understand and to work with as they arise:
- The parties to a transaction changing their position – as a negotiation moves ahead, your client and the negotiating party will likely change their position within the sale or lease. That could happen a few times. Clarity in every stage of an offer and acceptance is significant to the end result that you are seeking.
- People failing to agree on the essential terms of a negotiation – behind every property transaction there will be a good degree of money (as a negotiated price, incentive, counter offer, or rental), and that will be supported by the variable aspects of accurate legal documentation. Quantify and capture all property agreements, offers, and counter offers in writing; there is no other way to move a transaction to finality.
- Complex property facts to research – in the listing phase, make sure you know the complete and relevant elements of the property as it exists today. Be prepared for questions as you take the property to the market. Don’t answer any question if you are uncertain on an important point.
- Undisclosed relationships and property issues – some clients will fail to tell you the ‘whole story’ about something; perhaps even an important point about the property and its history, the improvements, and or cash flow. Research the client’s facts and conversations deeply, so you can be certain about all aspects of the listing and the property.
- The ultimate need to document a transaction or negotiation accurately – verbal offers and orally conveyed facts are of little value to getting a transaction across the line to finality. People can change what they said or what they think they said; that can be a big problem for you in the closure of the transaction. Know the documents that you should use to accurately reflect the agreements between the parties. The document(s), be it a lease or contract, should be accurately compiled. You may need others to undertake that for you, and a property experienced solicitor may be the solution. Remember who your client is in the transaction and preserve all parts of the listing, negotiation, and settlement in accordance with the client’s instructions.
Through these points mentioned, keep your notes, understand what people are saying, and get the documents in place that accurately reflect things. Remember who your client is in the transaction progress.