Choosing a Commercial Realtor

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During the heyday of the residential real estate market boom a few years ago many investors were exclaiming: “why should I hire a realtor to sell my property and give him 6% of the sales price when I can just as easily sell the property myself and keep that money in my own pocket?” This made a lot of sense at the time as residential houses were selling like hotcakes and all you had to do for marketing was to hold an open house. In fact, during those days, many sellers were actually getting offers ABOVE the asking price. Times have changed, and about 95% of commercial real estate sales are handled by licensed commercial real estate agents. In fact, there is not even a multiple listing service for commercial real estate sales. This means that unless you work with a licensed commercial real estate agent you won’t even access to or knowledge of the properties available for sale.

I recommend that the commercial real estate investor educate himself as much as possible before even contacting a commercial real estate agent. Commercial realtors are busy people and they normally work with a group of closely guarded buyers and sellers of commercial property. The beginning investor should want to be taken seriously from the start and the best way to accomplish this is to at least have some book knowledge of the subject before you begin.

The investor should look for a commercial real estate agent who specializes in the marketing, sales and listing of apartment buildings. Additionally, try to find a realtor who has gone through the intensive training and education to receive his or CCIM or Certified Commercial Investment Member designation. This certification ensures that you are working with a commercial realtor who has extensive experience and education in the investment aspects of commercial real estate. The knowledge of a CCIM certified realtor can help the beginning real estate investor save a lot of time and perhaps even make more money in the long run. You can search for a CCIM certified realtor in your particular geographic area on the CCIM website.

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  1. Great point. I am commercial agent and can’t stress enough the importance of finding someone who specializes in product type and has achieved designations like CCIM or SIOR. I am currently working on my CCIM and appreciate the level of professionalism of those who accomplish such credentials.

  2. A competent commercial agent is very important. Always look and ask around for one that it experienced in the area and type of property, because when pre-closing issues arise, they will be integral in massaging the deal through to completion. They are also often a great resource for finding investment partners or hard equity lenders, either of which can be necessary on short notice to keep the deal going and avoid losing deposits.

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