Questions to Ask Before Buying a Commercial Property

Commercial real estate

Before making an offer on a commercial property, there are some things you should ask your Clagett Enterprises commercial real estate agent!

Unlike residential sales, commercial sales are a lot more complicated than “when can I move into my new home?” Commercial properties are not about moving into a site, but who is already there. So before signing on the dotted line, here are some questions you should be asking your real estate broker.


If you are purchasing an existing commercial property, there may already be tenants renting the space. This could be both a good and bad situation if the tenants have been in the space for a while. Before purchasing the building, ask your Clagett Enterprises real estate agent for the current “rent rolls” as well as the details of the current lease or leases if there is more than one tenant. Rent rolls will tell you who the current lease holders are, their current rent, contributions to common area expenses, terms of the lease, and when the leases expire. The current leases will also have information on annual rent increases.


Just as you should inquire when buying a residential property, it is important to ask about the building’s expenses. This document is called a “pro forma,” which is a document that details the expenses and income for the building. These expenses will include anything you will have to pay in order to maintain the building. It will also include common expenses like electricity, trash removal, maintenance to the park lot and grounds, and a repair budget. It will also include the net operating income. You should total up the expenses and the income of the property to make sure it is profitable before buying the property.

Ground Lease and Intended Uses

Ask about the ground lease, which is common for most commercial properties. Know the terms of the ground lease as well as how long it will last and if it is renewable. One of the most important things to ask your agent about when buying a commercial property is the intended use of the space. Ask about the zoning of the property. This is especially important if you are considering using the space for your own business. Zoning is one of the most important things you should consider when choosing a commercial property. If you intend to use the space for something other than it is zoned for, make your offer with a contingent variance that will change the zoning. If your variance falls through, you will be able to get out of the property without losing your money.

These are just some of the things you should consider when thinking about investing in a commercial property. For more information on investing in your own commercial property, contact a Clagett Enterprises agent today!

Buying a Commercial Property with Clagett Enterprises

At Clagett Enterprises, we have extensive experience serving the greater Frederick area and Western Maryland, since 1987. Our team is a full service real estate company that’s ready to help you with your real estate needs. Speak with a Clagett professional at 301-665-6009, or request a proposal for preventive maintenance here.

This entry was posted on Sunday, August 30th, 2015 at 4:26 am. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.