Last Updated: November 11, 2022

Use Year End as a Spur to a Faster Commercial Real Estate Transaction

Written By: Barbara L. Pearce
A for sale sign in front of a commercial building.

Many, if not most, businesses do their financials on a calendar year basis.  Although the last quarter of the year is not always the biggest one, if it’s the last one, there is a drive to make the numbers good.  While real estate is a capital item for business, and may not even be owned in the company’s name, the end of the year is a convenient time to transfer title for several reasons. 

One simple one is that, if the property closes at the end of December, the new year begins with new numbers, and that makes it easier to compare costs.  It’s also a convenient time to have maintenance or equipment contracts come up, because January 1st is an easy date to remember.  It avoids the busy times for residential moves, so movers and other workmen might be more flexible.  If you are negotiating any improvements, or equipment, it can be a very good time to make a good deal, especially with salesmen who work on commission. 

It also may prove to be the best time to acquire property at a good price.  Individuals all work on a calendar year basis, so they may have reason to want to sell in the current year.  Maintenance costs go up in the winter; if the property is unoccupied, the prospect of turning over that work is very attractive.  With all the attention on rising energy costs, sellers may factor that into a decision to take a reasonable offer now.  And, if packing up needs to be done, why not do it in the slowest commercial time for non-holiday businesses?

This plan only works if sellers and buyers act quickly.  There is no time left to waste in 2022, if a transaction is to close this year.  Don’t look back next year, and regret not acting now. 

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