How To Check References When Selling Your Property

How To Check References When Selling Your Property

When you're looking to sell a commercial real estate property, choosing the right broker is an important part of the outcome of your sale. A good starting point when evaluating potential brokers is to check their references. This process can provide insights into their past performance, their approach to selling properties, and their ability to meet client expectations.

Here’s how you can effectively check references to ensure you hire the best broker to maximize the value of your sale.

Start by Asking for References

When interviewing brokers, always ask for references. A reputable broker should be able to provide a list of previous clients who can vouch for their work. However, don’t just rely on the references they provide. If you know of any recent transactions the broker has handled, request to speak with those sellers as well. This can give you a broader perspective on the broker's performance. Also see if some of the past sales were related to the property type you have. You’ll want to connect, if possible, with sellers who sold an asset that is similar to yours.

Key Questions to Ask

To get the most out of your reference checks, prepare a list of questions that will help you understand the broker's strengths and weaknesses. Following are some questions to consider. While you don’t have to ask them all, think about which ones might apply to your property type.

  1. How was the broker's availability and communication?
  2. Did they answer your questions promptly?
  3. Were they proactive in providing updates?
  4. Did the broker thoroughly research the property and market?
  5. Did they understand the specifics of your property type and market trends?
  6. How did they approach the sales process?
  7. How well did the broker market the property?
  8. Did they use multiple listing services and platforms to reach a broad audience?
  9. What marketing strategies did they employ?
  10. Was the sales process smooth and efficient?
  11. How did the broker handle negotiations and potential obstacles?
  12. Were there any issues during the transaction, and how were they resolved?
  13. Did the broker achieve the expected sale price?
  14. Was the final sale price close to the initial valuation provided by the broker?
  15. Were there marketing conditions that impacted the sale?
  16. How was the broker's team involved in the process?
  17. Did the broker have adequate support from their team?
  18. Was the team professional in handling the sale?
  19. What improvements could be made?
  20. Is there anything you would have done differently in hindsight?
  21. Any suggestions for how the broker could improve their service?

Evaluating the Responses

When speaking with others who have worked with the broker, listen carefully to their experiences. Look for patterns in the feedback that highlight the broker’s strengths and any potential red flags. Try to get a sense of whether the broker was easy to work with, responsive, and proactive throughout the sales process. You can learn more about brokers involved in commercial real estate in Step 2 of my book, “The Insider’s Edge to Real Estate Investing.”

Choosing the right broker to sell your commercial property involves thorough due diligence. By checking references and asking the right questions, you can make an informed decision. The goal is to find a broker who not only has a solid track record but also aligns with your specific needs and can effectively market and sell your property. We’ll look more in depth at a broker’s track record in the next article. By carefully evaluating a broker, you'll be well on your way to a successful sale.