Philip Goforth discusses due diligence in commercial real estate
Entering into any deal involving commercial real estate requires careful attention to detail and attention to the property and its potential. Those interested in buying should do everything in their power to gather all the necessary information and discover the documents, financial details and records pertaining to the property.
Philip Goforth of Missouri is a construction and real estate professional who runs Genesis Companies. Below, it details the process of effective due diligence in commercial real estate transactions.
What Is Real Estate Due Diligence?
Philip Goforth explains that when it comes to commercial real estate, there are usually several parties involved, each with their own financial history. These stories can affect the mitigation and / or buying process, so it’s best to find them out in a timely manner.
Buyers should make sure they keep their eyes open for zoning restrictions, possible privileges, and even schedule a full inspection to ensure the property is in healthy and stable condition before proceeding.
Before taking any binding action, Philip Goforth of Missouri says it’s critical to first have a deeper understanding of the transaction and all of the parties involved. Since commercial real estate is usually purchased with a goal in mind, interested parties should first visit the property and browse through it to ensure it meets their needs.
Buyers need to go ahead with their goal in mind, making sure that the property and the area around it is suitable for that purpose. Not only do they need to conduct a thorough property survey, but also acquire an environmental suitability assessment.
This will help buyers buy with confidence and ensure the property of interest is free from harmful contaminants like mold and lead.
Philip Goforth explains that sellers are required to share documents at the time of the sale, although buyers will still have to push to find out more than is required. Buyers should gather as much information as possible, trying to understand the whole story before buying.
Commercial Real Estate Due Diligence Checklist
From the earliest stages and beyond, all parties need to start thinking ahead and doing due diligence. For commercial real estate, there are several things buyers should consider first, which is why we’ve created a checklist to follow.
First of all, title deed is required. The seller should have it with them along with all title documents so that potential buyers can take care of it.
The ALTA investigation of a structure will give all the most complex details, including plans according to Philip Goforth. These are used to get a good feel for the foundation and the structure as a whole.
When structures are built, they must be zoned. These zoning documents are important in the future to ensure that it is in a location that will not interfere with other structures.
All buildings must also undergo checks to ensure that they are environmentally stable. This includes checking for mold and asbestos, as well as other harmful substances that may harm people working in or around the building.
Philip Goforth from Missouri explains that buyers should also obtain all financial documents, including income statements, security deposits, etc. It is also important to have a copy of the taxes paid and / or owed before changing owners from person to person.
Buyers should request this documentation as well as detailed information on invoices paid and / or due for at least three years. This will help them better understand the situation they find themselves in and help them budget.
Permits and licenses
Sometimes commercial real estate also comes with permits and licenses, which all buyers should have in their possession. Buyers should review expirations and renewals of all necessary licenses and permits, as well as what each one involves so that they have a good understanding before buying, says Goforth.
This includes all documents that involve insurance for the building, operations or any necessary third party insurance.
If there are any pending charges on the property or on the owners of the property, buyers will need to make sure to get some information, making sure they know all the details before making a purchase.
If there are other important documents that buyers or sellers can think of, they should acquire it and be prepared to present it if necessary. It is better to have excessive paperwork than to risk a delay in processing the transaction.
Before you leave
Philip Goforth of Missouri recalls that all transactions are unique and come with their own set of steps necessary to close effectively. All parties need to effectively use the due diligence period to fully understand what is being traded so that everyone leaves the table satisfied with the acquisition.