Before You List
Our clients are always asking us what they should do to prepare their property before we list it for sale or for lease. Unlike staging a residential listing, preparing a commercial property is much more basic. The key is simply having the entire premises cleaned out and repairing any obvious issues that would negatively affect a prospect’s opinion during a showing. These issues can range from water leaks to damaged walls. We typically do not recommend completing major repairs where deferred maintenance may exist, such as roof replacement or heating and cooling issues because the potential buyer would rather discount the purchase price and complete the repairs themselves. For this same reason you should also leave all cosmetic changes to the next occupant so they can select their own color preference. In rare situations we will recommend returning an area to a neutral color or removing some walls to open a space up, but typically this is money spent that you will not be able to recapture. If you are unsure, we always conduct a walk through with our clients prior to the first showing.
Here is a top ten checklist to reference:
1. Clean entire property and remove all furniture, boxes and other personal belongings.
2. If any miscellaneous items remain, store in one isolated area of property.
3. Repair any obvious issues such as water leaks or damages walls.
4. Compile a list of all repairs completed in recent years and list ages of mechanical systems.
5. Provide all historical operating expenses pertaining to the property including taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities and janitorial.
6. Disclose any known easements or encumbrances related to the property.
7. Display as-built floor plans of the building and site survey if available.
8. Have thermostat setback but not to an extreme level.
9. Notify employees and major clients of pending listing.
10. Set an asking price that will solicit activity without leaving anything on the table.