Commercial REO's Must be Deeply Discounted to Finally Sell
Take the very same commercial property. If you sell it retail - the normal kind of sale to another investor - the commercial property may sell for $1 million. Ahhh, but if the lender unwisely let's word slip out to the real estate brokers in town that the property is a foreclosure, the commercial lender will be lucky to fetch $600,000 for the exact same property. Why? As soon as the investing world learns that the property is an REO, every potential buyer wants a 40% discount.
There is a price, however, at which every commercial property can be sold. It's the price where the commercial property finally clears the market. "Clearing the market" is a price so low that a buyer can finally be found.
Liquidation is a term that is very similar to clearing the market. Liquidation means taking an asset and reducing it to cash. For example, let's suppose a finance company repossesses a living room set sold on an installment sale (sold for 12 or 24 monthly payments). The finance company will then liquidate the used furniture; in other words, sell it, in order to pay off its unpaid debt.
Hard money commercial lenders are taking a terrible beating during the Great Recession because first commercial real estate fell by 40%. Then every potential buyer of the property wants an additional 40% discount off the already-discounted fair market value of the property because the property is an REO.
As the owner of a commercial hard money lender, Blackburne & Sons, I can tell you that it's maddening.
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