When do I look at the building financials?

Asked by Peggy Smith, Brooklyn, NY Wed Jun 25, 2008

Before or after I make an offer. I'm scared of making an offer and then not being able to get out of it if the financials aren't right. But I also don't want to lose out on a good apartment because I'm waiting on financial info before making an offer.

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Peggy Smith, Home Buyer, Brooklyn, NY
Wed Jun 25, 2008
Oops, forgot to say that this would be an offer for a residential co-op apartment, not a commercial property.
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William Metz…, , Portland, OR
Wed Jun 25, 2008
In my experience, offers for commercial properties work like this: You write an offer on a property including an earnest money deposit, with a thirty-day period to look at the financials (and perform other due diligence, such as inspecting the property, examining leases, etc.) and either go forward or back out at the end of the thirty days depending on what you find. This offer also ties up the property while you look at it. Of course, the seller may entertain other offers, but yours should have some kind of preference.

I would have an attorney prepare the offer, or, if the offer is on some kind of state-approved real estate form, have an attorney look it over. People sometimes balk at paying attorney fees, but a few hundred dollars for a lawyer on a multi-thousand dollar property only makes good sense.

I doubt even Donald Trump would make an offer on a property without some kind of due-diligence period!
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