Market News

Commercial Buyer’s Brokers

You saved your money and did your homework. You’ve been to the bank, and your business plan screams success. Now all you need is the perfect location.


You’ve been driving the market and perusing the internet for months (or years!) and you know where you need to be, but there are real estate signs everywhere.


Which spaces are the right size? Which locations can you afford? Are they zoned correctly? Do they have a grease trap? How high are the ceilings? Do they have any use restrictions? How much parking will they allocate to you?


As you contemplate calling ten different brokers to ask about fifteen different spaces, you wonder if there might be a more efficient way to find the right space. Luckily, there is.


A knowledgeable Commercial Broker can help you wade through the options, and may even know of space that’s not currently on the market. If you are familiar with the residential real estate market in Illinois, you may be familiar with the concept of a Buyer’s Broker who works on behalf of a Buyer (or Tenant) to find the right property. In McLean County and surrounding areas, a Buyer’s Broker is typically compensated through the Listing Agent, so there is frequently no cost to the Buyer. Your Broker should establish this relationship and clarify this for you upfront.


A good Buyer’s Broker will work really hard on your behalf, and he or she may ask you to sign an agreement that confirms your relationship. Always read everything before signing, but typically these agreements are simply to protect both sides, confirming that the Broker will work diligently on your behalf, and that you will agree to work through your Broker.


When you drive by a new sign on the “perfect” property, a quick call or text to your Broker is all you need. No need to waste time setting up a showing appointment with the Listing Broker, just to find out your brand new specialty oven won’t fit in the space, the ceilings aren’t high enough for your gym equipment, or the zoning doesn’t allow outside storage for your raw materials.


If you are buying a franchise, oftentimes, a franchise’s real estate department will allow a franchisee to work through a local Broker who is familiar with the market. The real estate department typically reserves the right to approve the location, but they will work together with a local Broker to find the right site.


A good Buyer’s Broker can provide so much more than basic property information. A Buyer’s Broker can help you determine what market lease rates are, who typically pays for different operating expenses, how much landlords are likely to contribute towards tenant improvements, whether there are any red flags with regard to zoning, who you need to contact at the City and/or the County before proceeding, and much more.


Before you try to do it alone, consider enlisting the help of a professional. It might not cost you anything, and it might save you significant money, time and frustration.