In our past two newsletter issues we discussed the importance of preparing and pricing a property appropriately and the process of marketing and negotiating a deal. In this third installment in our series, we will discuss the final steps of a sale or lease.
If you are leasing your property and terms have been agreed to and a lease signed, the final step is to complete any tenant improvements, whether by the landlord or tenant. Typically this process is coordinated by the property manager. On a larger project, it may be coordinated by a project manager. The broker generally stays involved to keep the parties informed of progress on the improvements and to assist with any questions or complications that may arise.
If you are selling your property, once a contract is signed there is often more coordination than meets the eye. For a building sale, there is typically an inspection of the improvements, ordering and reviewing of surveys, procuring title insurance, conducting environmental surveys, coordination with lenders and ordering appraisals. In some building sales – and frequently with land sales – there is also coordination with the City to obtain zoning, platting and special or conditional use permits. This frequently involves coordination with a zoning attorney as well as working with civil engineers to prepare the site plans, drainage, traffic and other studies that may be required. This process, depending on the issues involved, can take anywhere from 30 days to six months or more. In most cases, meeting deadlines is critical.
We believe it is important for the broker to stay actively involved throughout all of these processes. There are likely going to be issues that arise that need discussion and/or resolution between the parties. Staying engaged as a broker allows us to understand firsthand what the issues are and how to deal with them. Our involvement in the process has allowed us to help ensure the close of many deals that otherwise may have fallen apart due to disagreement or miscommunication.
Once the due diligence process has been completed, it is time to coordinate closing. We assist with obtaining estoppel certificates, transferring utilities and transferring or canceling various contracts with vendors such as snow removal, trash, janitorial and others. This may involve the party’s attorneys, title company and lenders as well as the principals to the transaction. In the past, it was common for both parties to come together at the title company or bank to close a transaction. Today, most documentation is transmitted electronically to the respective parties, signed and returned, and there is no actual sit-down meeting of the parties.
For questions about the sales or leasing process or to get help with selling or leasing your property, please contact one of our team members.
This article appeared in our company newsletter in December of 2019. Please click here to download the entire newsletter.