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

Financial

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

Litigation

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.

Insurance

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.

Commercial Real Estate Tenant Screening Checklist

The length of a commercial lease is more than a residential one. Generally, a commercial unit is rented for 3-5 years. Since it involves a great deal of money, it’s important to screen tenants before renting. Read on to know the essential commercial real estate listings before renting out an office space.

Have an established process for screening tenants

One must have an established process for screening inhabitants. Prospective renters must fill in an application form. In the form, one must seek permission to do a credit check. The method makes sure that there is no discrimination by the landlord while leasing out his property.

Review credit report

There are many online services which run credit checks on inhabitants on the behalf of landlords. After receiving the credit report, owners must review it carefully and ask for an explanation if there is any delinquency. The report will make it clear whether the tenant has a history of paying bills late or has suffered bankruptcy.

Get personal information

While leasing out a commercial real estate for rent, owners must ask for personal information of the lessee. Often during such a deal, tenants use the company’s credit, information, and not their own personal information. If the inhabitant is new in the business, it’s the right of owners to know whether he/she can pay the rent incase the business shuts down. Personal information will also help proprietors to know if the renter has a criminal background or not.

Contact previous landlords

Most applications ask tenants to fill name and contact information of their earlier landlords. However, owners tend to overlook it and don’t call up past proprietors for references. It’s a huge mistake as a past owner can give valuable information, which is not available otherwise. Therefore, before renting it’s imperative to contact previous owners of the prospective occupant.

Get help from tenant screening firms

It’s not always possible for an owner to do all the checks on his own. In such a scenario, they must seek help from tenant screening firms who do credit checks, reference check, etc. Landlords can make a decision based on the report of such firms.

Interaction in person

The last part of the screening process should include a face-to-face interaction with the renter. There are several things that can’t be communicated in an application or telephonic discussions. During such interactions, owners must study the body language of the lessee. This is a great indicator to know whether the occupant is reliable or not.

Proper screening doesn’t cost owners much, but reaps huge benefits for them in the long run.