Written by | Tom Rosman
We can (and will) do things discretely, when necessary.
There are occasions when a commercial owner comes to us requesting that we list and sell their property discretely—no marketing, signage, or any form of public promotion. Such was the case with one of our clients from the Fan District who wanted a quick (and quiet) sale of his 20,000-square-foot, two-story building.
Now, you might be thinking that this scenario is a mission impossible or extremely difficult at the least; for some real estate firms, that may be the case. Or maybe you’re wondering about the motivation behind a private listing. It’s simple: Tenants are the lifeblood of investment properties. Place a big “For Sale” sign on their doorstep, and you risk ending up with a partially—or worse yet, completely—vacant listing. Not an attractive feature for investors.
Here’s a brief play-by-play of how we pulled this particular listing off:
We were allowed to work with the seller’s attorney and accountant, but that was the extent of their involvement in the listing. Additionally, it was made clear upfront that the seller needed a speedy closing. Part of our leverage in these situations comes from our immense database of potential buyers, particularly for this sort of property. And as was the case for this listing, often our first phone call is a bullseye. We knew the prospective purchaser had cash, and because it was a good match, he was immediately interested in the building. However, there were challenges to meet; most notably, this property qualified for Federal and State Historic Tax Credits—and the associated ins-and-outs of the tax credit process. The client was unfamiliar with this process, but fortunately, he was willing to follow our lead.
Next, we opened our database of architects and contractors, and we hand selected those we felt were best suited for the project. Then, we spent the next few days going over the terms of a proposed deal with the seller’s attorney. There was some negotiating over the price, but nothing to disrupt the deal for either party. There was also plenty of “educating” to do along the way, including bringing everyone up to speed on adaptive re-use, which often needs to be calculated along the lines of a development, rather than simply viewed as a building. But with the proper team in place, in addition to our familiarity with the subject, a tight deadline turned out to be a non-issue. Today, that property is a mixed-use project that is commanding some of the highest rents in the city.