Special agent Featured

8:10am EDT February 27, 2003
Most business owners use a real estate agent to sell a former office headquarters or manufacturing facility.

While using an agent saves time in the long run, you must first do research to find the best firm to sell the property. Here is a checklist to follow from TotalRealEstateSolutions.com to make sure you'll get the most profit out of your sale.

  • Do a phone interview. Place a call to each of the agents on your list. Document how quickly they return your call. Remember, these agents will be returning calls to your prospective buyers. Do an initial feel-out interview over the phone so when you meet, you will both be prepared.

  • Request a complete plan. From title to escrow, request a complete plan as to the services the agent can provide for you.

  • Evaluate the team. Top producers will have established relationships with lenders, title reps and inspectors. They are there for your benefit, and if they are ill-prepared to handle all the steps, you are being short-changed.

  • Get a detailed report of your property. Request a complete report of your property, with ideas for improvements, cosmetic changes, structural repairs or anything that could add value. Remember, a small investment up front will pay higher dividends at the time of sale.

  • Ask for an alternative report. Request a complete report of alternatives to the sale. What would current market leases generate? Rentals? Responsibilities attached with leasing? Have your agent educate you as to all your options.

  • Insist on prequalification. Don't waste valuable time negotiating or showing your property to unqualified prospects. Insist your agent prequalify candidates to screen out unwanted prospects.

  • Have a marketing plan. Insist on a step-by-step marketing plan of how your property is going to be sold and marketed. Look for innovative ways to attract buyers. Demand 24-hour advertising, lead accountability and tracking services.

  • Create a negotiation strategy. Have a written, well-conceived negotiation strategy. The old adage, "You don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate," rings true in real estate. Insist on a sound negotiation strategy before you entertain buyers.

  • Get a written closing checklist. You need to know in detail how you will conclude the sale of your property. This should provide a step-by-step procedure that is easy to understand and follow.

Source: www.totalrealestatesolutions.com.

Sign of the times

Good signage isn't just for attracting pedestrian traffic. It also helps your suppliers find your facility faster, when every minute counts.

The U.S. Small Business Administration has compiled three tips for designing your signage.

1. Keep it visible and legible.

People of all ages are looking through a windshield, in traffic, day and night. They must be able to see and read your sign easily.

2. Save the details for the sale.

Don't attempt to sell them with information on the sign -- save that information until they are in your business.

3. Keep it simple.

The proper design of your sign is critical to its effectiveness. Crowding the sign with too many words or lines of text makes it impossible to read from a distance.

Use as few words as possible so your signage is legible. Fewer words are better, and three to five are optimal for quick readability. Source: The U.S. Small Business Administration