Due diligence is a critical process in commercial real estate transactions, which involves investigating and verifying a property's legal, financial, and physical aspects before closing a deal. The due diligence package is a compilation of documents and information that the buyer or investor will review and analyze to assess the risks and benefits of the investment. A comprehensive due diligence package should include the following:
Legal documents: This includes all legal records related to the property, such as the title deed, survey, zoning, environmental permits, leases, and contracts. The title deed shows the ownership history of the property and any liens, encumbrances, or easements that may affect its transfer. The survey shows the exact boundaries, measurements, and physical features of the property and whether there are any encroachments or disputes with neighboring properties. The zoning and environmental permits show whether the property complies with the local regulations and standards and whether any risks or liabilities are associated with it.
Financial records: This includes all financial statements and documents related to the property, such as income and expense reports, rent rolls, tax records, insurance policies, and maintenance records. The income and expense reports show the revenues, expenses, and net income generated by the property and whether there are any outstanding payments or debts. The rent roll shows the current occupancy, lease terms, and rental rates of the property, and whether there are any pending renewals, expirations, or evictions. The tax records and insurance policies show the property's current and past payments and coverage, and whether there are any outstanding liabilities or claims. Finally, the maintenance records show the repairs, replacements, and upgrades performed on the property, and whether there are any outstanding or anticipated capital expenditures.
Physical inspection reports: This includes all reports and assessments related to the physical condition and safety of the property, such as the building inspection, environmental assessment, engineering report, and appraisal. The building inspection shows the property's current and potential defects, damages, and deficiencies, such as structural, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems. The environmental assessment shows whether there are any risks or hazards associated with the property, such as contamination, pollution, or hazardous materials. The engineering report shows whether the property is built to code and standard and whether any risks or liabilities are associated with the design or construction. Finally, the appraisal shows the property's current and estimated market value, based on its location, size, condition, and potential use.
Other documents: This includes any other relevant documents or information that may affect the investment, such as the tenant or customer data, market reports, site plans, or permits. The tenant or customer data shows the property's current and past occupants or users, and whether there are any potential risks or opportunities associated with their profiles or behavior. The market reports show the property's current and future trends and demand, and whether any competitive or regulatory factors may affect its value. The site plans show the current and potential layout, zoning, and access of the property, and whether there are any opportunities or constraints for development or expansion. Finally, the permits show whether there are any pending or approved projects or activities that may affect the property, such as road construction, utility installation, or zoning changes.