Monday, 5 October 2009

Commercial Real Estate Closing Checklist

One of the main reasons that a commercial property transaction might fall through when it is near to closing is because one of the parties has forgotten an important aspect of the transaction that needs to be considered before the relevant documents can be signed.

With that in mind we have created a small checklist of things that you need to keep in mind when closing on a commercial real estate property, to make sure that you cover all of the bases.

Acquisition Documents

You need to ensure that all of the documents relating to the purchase are in place and ready. This includes all of the following:

• A signed letter of intent 
• Any and all drafts of the purchase contract 
• Any information relating to your legal counsel 
• Access agreements 
• Any client or portfolio manager authorisation that is required 
• A fully completed purchase contract, that will be delivered into escrow 
• Documentation for the initial cash deposits for the purchase 
• Arranging for any bank accounts required to be set up

Title Matters

Title and zoning issues are also a high priority, so make sure you have the following:

• You have selected a title company whom you can send the seller's title commitment to 
• Have an ALTA survey carried out and ensure you have the right documentation 
• Verify that all relevant leases and assets are in the seller's name

Tenant Issues

If you are buying an apartment building or any form of commercial property where other businesses may become tenants and lease out space, you need to have all of the following:

• A current certified rent roll 
• A review of all current leases and the related documentation for each. 
• Your legal counsel should look over these leases and compare to the current review 
• You need to look over all current tenant files 
• Resolve any outstanding issues regarding lease 
• Receive all reports relating to the tenants, including sales and receivables reports 
• Transfer all tenant security deposits 
• Review the tenant credit and payment history 
• Prepare and sign the tenant Estoppel Certificates 
• Final check on all documentation


The transfer of all relevant financial information is extremely important as well. This includes:

• Copies of any historical or proforma financial information 
• Copies of utility bills 
• Most recent tax statements 
• An expense list for all expenses currently operating under the property


You will need to consider the possibility that there is any current action against the property or the existing owners and take that into consideration.


Getting insurance for the building is crucial, so it is important to get a quote as early into the proceedings as possible. Some of this may be covered by the Property Management Agreement.

Physical Property Inspection

Before any transaction is completed a physical property inspection must be carried out by the buyer to ensure that they are getting everything that they expect from the property.

Final Closing Documentation

To complete the transaction all of the relevant financial and legal documentation must be completed and handed in on time and be completely accurate.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

How to Sell Your House Fast Before Foreclosure

Being foreclosed on is not a pleasant event, and it can haunt your credit score and make it unbearably difficult or even impossible to get a mortgage loan over the next seven years. Seven years! To prevent this kind of credit catastrophe, one of your best options to consider is selling your home. In many situations though, you'll need to do this quickly in order to prevent being foreclosed on. While foreclosure is a process that can take a few months to a year to happen, selling a house can also be a bit of a lengthy process as well, so you should start thinking sooner rather than later, "I need to sell my house fast!" If foreclosure is coming and you know it, read on to minimize the damage to your financial future.

Deciding on Pricing

Since you'll want to be selling your home quickly, you likely won't be able to sit around waiting for the perfect buyer to appear to pay the price you think you deserve. In fact, it's much better for you to take a hit on the money you receive for your house instead of getting foreclosed on. This will require pricing your house aggressively, and definitely not overpricing it. To guarantee a fast sale, you'll want to entice potential buyers by thinking your house is a bargain. Look at the final sale prices of other similar properties in your neighborhood that have been sold recently and take 10 percent off of that average to arrive at your aggressive sale price.

If however you're in the unfortunate state of owing more on your house than it's worth, you'll have to take even more steps to complete what is known as a short sale. To do this, you'll have to work directly with your lender to get their acceptance of such a sale. While not having the money to make up the difference between the short sale and what you still owe on the house can also damage your credit, it still won't be as bad as the consequences of a foreclosure either.

Sell my House Fast!

Once you've priced your house, it's time to start marketing it. Get online and post your house on every listing website you can find. Even if cash is tight, hiring a professional photographer to take shots will drastically improve the reception you get from buyers looking online. You'll also want to change out cheaper things that can make a house look new. This includes paint, carpet, and other cosmetic changes that are cheap in nature but can make a huge difference in the overall feel of a house. By doing the legwork to market your house and price it right, you'll be able to sell your home quickly and avoid the horror of a foreclosure.