Effectively building commercial real estate wealth requires the ability to spot a great bargain and the ability to sell that property well, no matter what the state of the market. The real estate market is notoriously cyclical in nature and somewhat difficult to predict. The market for local and national real estate can turn quickly and it is important for every investor in real estate, from the largest player to the smallest, to have strategies in place for selling properties in down markets.
In a hot real estate market, of course, little marketing is required. We have all heard the stories of bidding wars breaking out in the residential market at open houses in California and elsewhere. In the commercial world, it’s not unusual to have 30, 40, or more institutional and private investors bidding on a piece of prime commercial real estate in a strong urban market. In these kinds of markets, all a Seller needed to do was hang up a metaphorical “For Sale” sign and wait for the hordes of buyers to appear.
Of course, these markets do not last forever. Lately, we’re seeing some pressure on cap rates as short term interest rates have climbed in response to the Fed’s tightening. Those formerly “hot” markets have become “luke-warm” markets and are cooling further. As prices for residential and commercial real estate spiraled ever higher, more and more buyers found themselves priced out of the market. Even the creative financing schemes created by mortgage lenders often failed to close the gap. In hindsight, the downturn seemed inevitable, but many failed to see it or prepare for the inevitable slowdown to follow.
Fortunately it is not too late for sellers of residential and commercial real estate to get the most out of their property, even in a slowing market. Listed below are some strategies for turning that “For Sale” sign into a “Sold” sign.