SELL, LEASE OR SALE-LEASEBACK YOUR COMMERCIAL PROPERTY?


29 Jun
29Jun

You have a few options when it comes to selling or leasing your commercial property.  The most common options would be selling it, leasing it or doing a sale leaseback.  There are positive and negative to each option, lets run through a few:

Selling:  When selling a property, you will primarily come across two types of buyers, users and investors.  The good news is investors are usually well capitalized, often are cash buyers, highly qualified and can close quickly.  The downside is investors typically must pay less to make the investment numbers pencil.  Additionally, investors are usually a lower risk buyer to the seller (high chance of closing and lower risk of falling out of escrow) and for that they get a discount (less risk less reward).  Some industrial investors will start considering assets at the $5 million level and over and more at $10 million and over.

Users are buyers who intend to use the property for their business.  Due to the many benefits of owning your own property and typically being less qualified users can pay a higher price.  The downside is users typically are less sophisticated and take longer to complete the transaction.  You also run a higher risk of falling out of escrow with a user buyer (higher risk/higher reward).

One of the things to consider when selling is capital gains.  You can defer your real estate capital gains through a 1031 exchange but there are some rules you must follow.  You have up to 45 days to identify 3 potential replacement properties and 180 days to complete the purchase. 

Leasing:  Leasing your property is another option.  The upside is collecting passive income, avoiding potential costly environment remediation issues and/or capital gains a sale may trigger.  The downside is you must play landlord and deal with the many issues that brings.  A few examples could be legal, maintenance and/or vacancy issues. 

Sale-leaseback:  Sale-leaseback could be another option if you would like to sell your property and continue to occupy all or a portion of it.  A typical reason for this could be a cash infusion for the business, pulling equity out the to deploy in other areas and more recently a way to avoid tax risk due the potential passage of the split tax roll.  A buyer for a sale leaseback would typically be an investor, so many of the advantages and disadvantages listed above apply.  An investor for a sale-leaseback will typically want a longer term, however if the investor is primarily buying the property as an investment to lease to other tenants they usually will grant a short-term sale-leaseback if you just need extra time to wind down your business or move it.  The price of the sale is mostly driven by the rent you agree upon for a longer-term deal, so the higher the rent, the higher the sale price and vice versa.

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