How to learn more about a commercial real estate property before buying

How to learn more about a commercial real estate property before buying

Real estate is one of the oldest, most trusted investment opportunities in the U.S. The rise in commercial real estate demand has led to several opportunities for investors and financiers. The market is currently valued at $1.2 trillion and is growing at a rate of 2.8%/year. 

Commercial real estate is teeming with excellent opportunities for both business owners looking for office space and real estate investors looking to diversify their portfolios. But where do you start?

The real estate market is complex, and shopping for a suitable commercial property can be confusing and tedious. However, if you have clear requirements and a set budget, you should be able to use these parameters to narrow down on properties that work for you. 

Once you’ve zeroed down on a place you like, there are a few ways in which you can gather credible information and take another step toward owning your own commercial property.

So how can you learn more about the commercial property you’re looking at buying? Let’s find out. 

  • Check existing databases 

The first thing you should do is look for suitable listings on different databases and listing websites. Read up about the property across multiple platforms and gather as much information as you can. These websites usually provide all the relevant information about the ownership, price history, and neighborhood.

Once you have the basic information you need, you can approach the realtor handling the property and delve deeper into its specifics. Many of them will be able to answer your questions about past uses, the neighborhood demographics, recent repairs and renovation, and local public transport facilities. 

  • Ask the realtor the right questions

The first question to ask is the most obvious, “Why is the owner selling?” If it’s your lucky day, the realtor might let it slip that the owner wants to move away quickly and might therefore accept a lower offer. If not, you might find out more about the mold in the conference room. Either way, this question never fails.  

Similarly, it’s important to ask about the property’s ownership over the years. If it’s been bought and sold too many times, there might be something wrong with the construction.   

You can also ask how long the property has been on the market. If it has remained unsold for a while, that could be because other potential buyers were able to identify some red flags you might have missed.

  • Talk to the neighbors

You might feel awkward, but all it takes is one chatty neighbor to spill the beans on the property. Despite all your late-night internet research about the area, you can only get a real sense of the place once you start talking to the people who live there. 

Most people are generally quite willing to talk to potential buyers. While realtors will almost always try to sugarcoat their responses to you, neighbors offer more realistic opinions. They will be more likely to share negative observations and therefore prepare you better for what to really expect. 

Neighbors might also be able to offer you information on the specific property you are considering. Having lived in the area for a while, they might have interesting observations about the property. 

  • Check documents: 

There are usually lots of approvals and licenses that you need to verify before you can sign the dotted line. Land title, sale deed, environmental clearances, construction permits, utility taxes to the building plans, you need to go through it all while conducting due diligence. 

If you are buying a property in resale, you will also need to look at its previous tax paperwork to ensure there are no outstanding bills. In order to avoid surprises later, you must ensure there are no legal obligations attached to your property. 

  • Get the property inspected

A potential buyer should always get the property inspected by professionals. This is a crucial step because, as someone who isn’t in the real estate business, you might miss important details that could affect your final decision. These experts essentially look over the property thoroughly and identify all kinds of problems or potential repairs they can spot. 

This can help you avoid a big expense later when you discover a leaky roof or bad wiring. With the survey report, you will be able to figure out exactly what you are buying and where you might need to invest further in order to make repairs. 

Alternatively, you could even ask for a lower price in lieu of all the problems you’ve discovered. 

  • Drone images and videos 

An interesting, new way to look at a commercial property is to ask for aerial images and videos. Property owners can now capture expansive views of their properties and the surroundings using drones. 

With drone-captured images, videos, and even 360-degree panoramic views, buyers can survey the whole area and engage with the view and scenery. Drone images give clients a real sense of the place and what it would be like to live there. 

Some realtors even offer buyers virtual tours of their properties. With a VR headset, get an aerial view and have a completely immersive experience. All of this can be done from the comfort of your home. 

With Up Sonder’s state-of-the-art drone services, property owners can add a new high-tech dimension to their clients’ real estate viewing experience. 

With a fleet of FAA-certified drone pilots and photographers, Up Sonder offers a wide range of digital content solutions that can help create engaging photos, videos, and virtual reality tours that can take real estate marketing to the next level. 

Book a session with Up Sonder, and our pilots, located all over the US, will help you capture your property in all its glory.