Commercial Real Estate Commissions are Negotiable

Commercial real estate commissions are negotiable between the agent and the principal. Commercial Real Estate negotiations have many aspects that need to be explored by both parties prior to the agreement of a contract.

Below is a list of important issues that should be discussed and investigated by the owner in a lease or sale negotiation:

  • Market Conditions
  • Custom and Practice regarding splitting fees with other agents
  • Sale, Lease or Sublease
  • Marketing Expenses
  • Principal’s needs
  • Complexity of the property
  • Continued relationship

Market Conditions

In the majority of commercial real estate transactions, commissions are dependent on what a real estate agent expects for his or her services subject to the size of the transaction.  In my experience, commissions range from 4-6% depending on the type of property and its size. For example, a 1,000 square foot unit for lease in a shopping center is usually a 6% fee, since it woul...

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NBA Clippers Inglewood Basketball & Entertainment Center partly in Opportunity Zone

The National Basketball Association (NBA) Clippers Owner Steve Ballmer is getting into the commercial real estate development business in Inglewood.  The multi-billionaire is planning to build a new basketball arena called the Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center.

Below is a list of what the Clippers owner plans to develop for $1.1 Billion:

  • State-of-the-art competition 18,500 seat venue and practice facility
  • Up to 75,000 square feet for the Clippers’ business and basketball office space
  • Up to 70,000 square feet for retail, restaurant, hotel and community space
  • Sports Medicine Clinic up to 30,000 square feet
  • Parking Structure

The former Governor Jerry Brown designated a portion of the development site as an Opportunity Zone in March 2018. Two of the 879 Qualified Opportunity Zones in California are locate...

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A Window of Opportunity for Commercial Real Estate

As we all know interest rates are low!   Commercial real estate loan rates have been on an average of 5% to 7% depending what the buyer is financing.  Now they are in the 3% range. Whether you are a seller, owner or buyer this may be the opportunity of a lifetime!  Never before in my 45 years in the commercial real estate business have I envisioned interest rates could be in the 3% range.

The Industrial real estate market vacancy rate in Los Angeles was at 1.9% in the 2nd quarter of 2019.  Ecommerce growth is creating a big demand for industrial space.   As a result, the low interest rates combined with shortages in industrial real estate inventory are pushing up values.  Sales and construction of industrial and logistics warehouses in many cities drove up the assessment value growth in Los Angeles County, according to an article in the LA Business Journal dated July 22 titled, “Value Add.”

Therefore, sellers in this marketplace have a chance to obtain prices for their properties at record levels. Buyers on the other hand will be able to lock in low interest rates for 10 years which will provide the buyer with the ability to purchase properties and amortiz...

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Tenant Beware when Signing a Commercial Lease - Good Tips

The tenant must perform his or her due diligence inspecting the premises in order to avoid expensive pitfalls that may occur prior to signing a lease for a commercial property.  The lessee should not delegate the due diligence to the agent/broker but take command to investigate the condition of the premises for its use themselves.

The following is a minimal list of what the future lessee should investigate:

1.    Visit the city Building and Safety Department plus the Planning Department which will inform the tenant if the building has the proper zoning for their use.

2.    At the Building and Safety Department, request permission to inspect the permit package.  The permit dates to repair and upgrade the building will determine if the building permits are recent (minimum age is 5 years for current upgrades).  Almost all buildings would obtain permits within the last 5 years for miscellaneous repairs.

3.    A licensed contractor should inspect the premises. An experienced contractor should be able to point out areas that should require further investigation in order to protect the new tenant from possible matters that may arise.

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Donald Trump's Tax Increase/Tariffs

The Tariffs war between the United States and China are already affecting the commercial real estate industry, and it could potentially cause vacancy rates to increase and drag leasing and sales prices down; in addition, dragging the economy down with it.

President Donald Trump increased Tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese products imported to the U.S. on May 10, 2019.  This may cause a downturn in the commercial real estate industry and the economy.

What effect has tariffs had on the commercial real estate industry since President Trump began charging tariffs?  The President put 25% and 10% tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from China, Canada, Mexico and the EU in March 2018.  As a result, construction raw material costs have increased forcing an increase in commercial real estate development costs.

The construction industry has felt the hit from the added costs to potential new contracts.  As a result, new commercial real estate prices will escalate.  What do we expect in the future from 25% increase on almost all products from China?
The cost of goods and services are going to increase; as a result, consumer sp...

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Standard of Care for Real Estate Agents in a Transaction

The Standard of Care for agents in a transaction is difficult to measure since each agent has a different background and experience in real estate.  Standard of Care is what the client’s reasonable expectation is of the agent’s service in a transaction. What we find in a dispute is whether an agent’s actions are reasonable and then determine if the measure of Standard of Care is correct.

In litigation with an agent, one side claims that the agent fell below the Standard of Care. The other side indicates that the Standard of Care was appropriate. The methodology for determining the Standard of Care is measured by the following:

  1. Agent’s time in the business
  2. Education both from transactions and continuing education as required by the Bureau of Real Estate (BRE)
  3. What another agent would do in a similar situation based upon the same amount of education and time in the business
  4. What assistance/investigation was recei...

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Sports Developments are Rising in Inglewood and Raising CRE Rents, Forcing Tenants to Close thier Doors

The Los Angeles Rams will be moving into their brand-new stadium for the 2020 season. The $5 billion stadium entitled LA Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park is in the City of Inglewood. In addition, the Rams will share the stadium with the LA Chargers as a co-home stadium.

The Rams are currently playing at the Los Angeles Coliseum in Exposition Park and the Chargers have been playing their home games at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson.  The LA Stadium & Entertainment District at Hollywood park will provide a 298-acre complex including:

•    A 70,000-seat stadium with expandable seats up to 100,000 for big events
•    A 6,000-seat performance center in the stadium
•    890,000 square feet of retail space
•    300-hotel rooms
•    780,000 square feet of office space
•    2,500 residential apartments and condos  
•    25 acres of outdoor parks with bike and walking paths
•    State-of-the-art event, conference and meeting space
•    a 250,000-square-foot West Coast headquarters for NFL Media and Network
•    Parking

However, NFL football isn’t the only sport that is developing commercia...

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Leasing the Commercially Zoned Land Could be a Great Opportunity


With little vacant land left in Los Angeles County land leases are a viable option for owners; as a result, lawyers are busy working on contracts with the legalities of commercial land leases.

Land leases are two separate assets with two separate owners. The owner of the land and the owner of the building. Land leases are leases that only lease the land, and the lessee builds a commercial building on the land.

For example, an owner of a commercial zoned property lot who does not want to sell may be approached by a business who needs a bank located in that neighborhood; however, there is nothing available for lease or sale. As a result, the company asks the owner if they can build on his land and pay him to lease the property.

This is a win for both parties involved. The lessee pays for the construction of the building. They are responsible for their own maintenance, utilities and upkeep of the building. They don’t have to answer to the landlord.

The land...

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Government Controls Over Property Rental Rates

On November 6, 2018 voters went to the polls, and Proposition 10 was defeated which keeps the current laws effecting residential rental rates to remain somewhat constant.

The City of Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance protects tenants from excessive rent increases on multi-family apartments built before1979. However, it lets landlords increase the rents every year to a reasonable amount.  The rent increases are determined on the consumer price index, according to the Los Angeles City website.  The rent increase caps on rent stabilized apartments in Los Angeles City is currently 3% this year and has been 3% for about the last 10 years, according to the website.

The City of Los Angeles cannot cap rental rates when a tenant moves out of a building built before 1979.  The Costa-Hawkins Act of 1995 made it illegal for cities to enforce caps on multi-family rental rates when a new tenant moves in.  

The owner can rai...

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Alternatives for a 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange

Many of our Segal Commercial clients own commercial income producing properties.  These properties include but are not limited to shopping centers, industrial, office buildings and free standing retail properties.

A good sound commercial income producing property with positive cash flow is a difficult asset to replace.  Positive cash flow is the crown jewel of owning an income producing property.  Why would someone sell a property that is generating a positive cash flow?

Reasons for Selling a Cash Producing Property

There are numerous reasons for selling a successful income producing property.  I have listed a few reasons below:

•    The area has changed demographically
•    The property is not consistent with the marketplace
•    Death of an owner
•    Cash flow is not consistent with the size of the equity in the property
•    Depreciation has been depleted which can cause income taxes to rise
•    One or more tenants are a nuisance

The seller should do his or her own due diligence on the property and examine why they want to place the property up for sale.  The seller’s legal counsel or real...

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“Lee has a tremendous breadth of knowledge in the real estate field. He assisted me with a case which involved combing through a great deal of information, and he was very thorough in navigating his way through the sea of documents with a good understanding of the facts. He was always mindful of trying to be as efficient as possible by focusing on the most relevant information rather than delving into every single document. I would absolutely work with Lee again in the future.”  
Eugene Kim, Attorney, Stream Kim Hicks Wrage Alfaro, PC