As the recession hit Florida and foreclosures came onto the market, buyers with cash discovered that the Internet is a great place to find deals on commercial real estate. Many reasoned they can do this without a broker. Some believed that the less people involved in the deal the better and and thought that they could get a better deal by not having to pay real estate commission.
Most of that logic is misplaced. Firstly, the Buyer usually does not pay the real estate commission. Nine times out of ten the bank that is the owner of the foreclosed property recognizes the real estate commission as a cost of doing business and it is already included in the price. I firmly believe that it is mistake not to use the services of a local expert to help you make your decision. That may sound self serving because I am a real estate Broker. However, since the brokers services are free to the Buyer, a good broker can help the Buyer avoid making a serious mistake.
Recently a prospect called me from California. They were working on the acquisition of a portfolio of properties. They were interested in a property they had learned about in Tampa Bay that seemed like a very good deal. According to information they had received, the property was a partially finished 5,800 sf Day Care Center on 1.5 acres of land. What made this property interesting was that there were no Day Care centers close by to compete with this center. The property was bank owned and very well priced, one time I wanted to sell house fast in Cleveland and the bank bought it from me intermediately, I guess the house was in good conditions.
They asked me to take a look at the property and give them an opinion of value. Google maps told me that I should set aside a few hours to get to the property and back. As the miles rolled away, I was, as usual,busy on my mobile phone so I did not pay too much attention to the travel time. Under normal circumstances I would have become concerned as the road narrowed, traffic decreased and the landscape turned from houses to orange groves but I was not paying close attention. Besides, I had the address plugged into my trusty Garmin GPS which seldom lets me down.
I found the property without a problem and was able to report to the Buyer the good news that the structure had lots of natural daylight. Also it was very peaceful. The conclusion of my report to the Buyer was they not proceed with the acquisition. One look at the photo of the property and my reasons will be readily apparent.
As a Broker my advice to the client was to run, not walk. I hate to see a client lose. By giving honest advice and helping the client prosper, it will lead to more transactions down the road