Many real estate buyers, investors and lenders see environmental due diligence as a necessary evil – a box to be checked in the transaction process. Until something goes terribly wrong, that is. At the very least, an incomplete or inaccurate report can put closing dates at risk. At worst, a faulty report can lead to devastating liability and litigation for unreported contamination that must be treated and removed.
A strong environmental due diligence consulting firm can provide property buyers with more than peace of mind. An environmental consulting partner can give buyers a competitive advantage improving offers on properties, reducing inspection costs and accelerating closing times. Here’s how:
- Improving Offers: A good environmental consultant will do a lot of discovery, both about why you are purchasing the property and what you plan to do with it, and they will also provide information about the building and property itself. Working with an experienced consultant, you can get these reports done early, and present an offer that is stronger than your competitors. Also, if any possible hazards are discovered, this can give you leverage in pricing your bid.
- Reducing Inspection Costs: If purchase of the property requires multiple due diligence reports in order to satisfy lenders and regulators, a strong consulting firm with the right breadth of experience, can save costs by getting more done with fewer site visits, and by consolidating any overlapping assessments.
- Accelerating Closing: Consolidating multiple investigations and reports with a single firm also saves time. Again, it reduces the number of site visits and allows inspections to be done in parallel, rather than one at a time.
Environmental due diligence is all about identifying, reducing and managing risks for buyers. It’s important to keep that in mind when hiring a firm to do your investigations. The stakes are too high to simply put your project out for bid and hire the cheapest consultant you can find. You may save a buck or two in the short run, but the long-term costs can be much, much higher.
A strong environmental due diligence consultant is your advocate in the transaction. The consultant and firm should learn as much as possible about your business plan & objectives to ensure that they can confirm that the property is cleared for what you want to do with it. And if it isn’t – they should be able to advise you on what needs to be done to get it there. They should also be looking for ways to save you money and help you put together the best offer possible, as quickly as possible.
To learn more about how to select an environmental due diligence consultant, download our white paper, The Ultimage Guide to Hiring an Environmental Engineering Consultant.