It’s a two-way street. Presenting your property for sale demands a special kind of dual vision: how you see what you are presenting, and what the prospective Buyers’ market sees.
The field of prospective Buyers for commercial property contains a variety of interested parties. There are some who look to buy for investment purposes only with a quick turnover, and those who want an additional revenue stream. Still others are looking for commercial property for a start-up business or continuation of an existing, thriving enterprise.
As the Seller, you have a challenge and a responsibility to consider all the possibilities, look at strategies that will enhance the sale potential, and make some sensible choices.
Your Commercial Real Estate Agent has a lot of responsibilities, too. Along with a myriad of technical factors, he or she needs to look at the importance of first impressions. That’s why I want to discuss the importance of curb appeal.
It would be difficult to over emphasize the importance of curb appeal. All the inside care of dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s in our documentation can become instantly irrelevant if a prospective Buyer is turned off at the drive-by. Nothing works more effectively for that “pass” than a shabby structure needing a paint job with weeds shouting out poor maintenance!
Often the Seller may have relegated that commercial property to a back burner, hoping to sell as is, but not really noticing (or giving due importance to) the deteriorating condition. It happens. Becoming discouraged because a for-sale property hasn’t moved as quickly as one would wish, sometimes leads to a self-fulfilling circumstance: discouragement leading quickly to decline.
Your Commercial Realtor will be clear and concise if a pattern of poor presentation fits the property that you want that realtor to help you sell. At that point, your reaction to creative criticism, advice and suggestions will be key in getting the action going.
Any factors that stare back at a Buyer, on first viewing of your commercial property, deserve an immediate, long, hard look. That prospect has ideas and plans in mind. If your property interests them “on paper,” they will have specific expectations when they ask to view it.
Will the prospective Buyer’s expectations be met, or will they see poor and damaged signage, bad landscape maintenance and the need for significant repairs and painting? (Those are just on the outside!) If a prospect’s expectations are let down at that point, they may not want to go further. They may assume the interior is also a disaster of poor plumbing, electrical deficiencies, water damage and a whole host of up-front negatives that would threaten to delay and dampen their plans.
Assumptions? Yes, but it is hard to read a Buyer’s mind; why take the risk? Establishing successful curb appeal is an excellent pre-sale investment that actively inspires your potential prospects. Depending upon which category your buyer falls into, preparing a successful show-to-buy path is worth your consideration.
Ask your Commercial Realtor for a frank assessment of what will boost your commercial property’s curb appeal. Unless you are counting on getting lucky with a prospect who plans to bulldoze and re-build – presentation matters and can make the difference between a negative drive-by and a door opener!
In my next column I will be discussing some practical actions and simple approaches to successful curb appeal.