Keys To Closing Commercial Real Estate Transactions

Anyone who thinks Closing a commercial real estate transaction is a clean, easy, stress-free undertaking has never closed a commercial real estate transaction. Expect the unexpected, and be prepared to deal with it.

Iโ€™ve been closing commercial real estate transactions for nearly 30 years. I grew up in the commercial real estate business.

My father was a โ€œland guyโ€. He assembled land, put in infrastructure and sold it for a profit. His mantra: โ€œBuy by the acre, sell by the square foot.โ€ From an early age, he drilled into my head the need to โ€œbe a deal maker; not a deal breaker.โ€ This was always coupled with the admonition: โ€œIf the deal doesnโ€™t close, no one is happy.โ€ His theory was that attorneys sometimes โ€œkill tough dealsโ€ simply because they donโ€™t want to be blamed if something goes wrong.

Over the years I learned that commercialย Land For Sale Belizeย Closings require much more than mere casual attention. Even a typically complex commercial real estate Closing is a highly intense undertaking requiring disciplined and creative problem solving to adapt to ever changing circumstances. In many cases, only focused and persistent attention to every detail will result in a successful Closing. Commercial real estate Closings are, in a word, โ€œmessyโ€.

A key point to understand is that commercial real estate Closings do not โ€œjust happenโ€; they are made to happen. There is a time-proven method for successfully Closing commercial real estate transactions. That method requires adherence to the four KEYS TO CLOSING outlined below:

KEYS TO CLOSING

1. Have a Plan: This sounds obvious, but it is remarkable how many times no specific Plan for Closing is developed. It is not a sufficient Plan to merely say: โ€œI like a particular piece of property; I want to own it.โ€ That is not a Plan. That may be a goal, but that is not a Plan.

A Plan requires a clear and detailed vision of what, specifically, you want to accomplish, and how you intend to accomplish it. For instance, if the objective is to acquire a large warehouse/light manufacturing facility with the intent to convert it to a mixed use development with first floor retail, a multi-deck parking garage and upper level condominiums or apartments, the transaction Plan must include all steps necessary to get from where you are today to where you need to be to fulfill your objective. If the intent, instead, is to demolish the building and build a strip shopping center, the Plan will require a different approach. If the intent is to simply continue to use the facility for warehousing and light manufacturing, a Plan is still required, but it may be substantially less complex.

In each case, developing the transaction Plan should begin when the transaction is first conceived and should focus on the requirements for successfully Closing upon conditions that will achieve the Plan objective. The Plan must guide contract negotiations, so that the Purchase Agreement reflects the Plan and the steps necessary for Closing and post-Closing use. If Plan implementation requires particular zoning requirements, or creation of easements, or termination of party wall rights, or confirmation of structural elements of a building, or availability of utilities, or availability of municipal entitlements, or environmental remediation and regulatory clearance, or other identifiable requirements, the Plan and the Purchase Agreement must address those issues and include those requirements as conditions to Closing.

If it is unclear at the time of negotiating and entering into the Purchase Agreement whether all necessary conditions exists, the Plan must include a suitable period to conduct a focused and diligent investigation of all issues material to fulfilling the Plan. Not only must the Plan include a period for investigation, the investigation must actually take place with all due diligence.

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