Property Types


Commercial properties are considered distressed primarily when the owner experiences financial trouble and is unable to pay the mortgage or other debts. However, the “distressed” label also applies to properties that have deteriorating conditions either from poor management or environmental causes. As a result, distressed properties often have below-market occupancy rates, high vacancy rates or have become obsolete, either physically or functionally. In such cases, buyers who are willing to undertake rehabilitating or repositioning the property may find a unique investment opportunity.

Business Sectors

Short Sale

When a property’s owner is facing financial difficulties and cannot pay their mortgage but want to avoid a foreclosure, then can sell the property for less than they owe on the mortgage as a “short sale”, with the approval of their lender. The owner sells the property for a reduced amount and the lender forgives the remaining debt.

Foreclosure Auction

Sometimes when an owner defaults on their mortgage loan and the lender initiates foreclosure proceedings, that commercial property may be offered for public sale in an auction. A foreclosure auction allows the lender to recoup some of the outstanding mortgage debt and may provide strong opportunities for investors to purchase the property at a discount.

REO (Real Estate Owned)

When a borrower defaults on their mortgage loan and is unable to sell the property through a short sale or foreclosure auction, ownership is then assumed by the lender. This is referred to as an REO property, or “real estate owned.”

Your Trusted Guide

Distressed properties can be an excellent business opportunity for investors. Coldwell Banker Commercial® affiliated professionals provide the expertise and guidance that both buyers and sellers need in these unique transactions. Professionals specializing in distressed properties can help ensure a successful transaction by identifying risks and opportunities to help you maximize returns, helping with repositioning the property and connecting you with financing lenders. You can rely on a CBC® affiliated professional to act as an advisor who is there to help you navigate the complexities of a distressed property transaction.

Our Services

  • Property evaluation – Your CBC affiliated professional can assess the value and condition of the property to determine its marketability.

  • Due diligence – Our experienced affiliated professionals may gather and review financial and legal documents to ensure the property is suitable for investment.

  • Property Management – A Coldwell Banker Commercial affiliated professional can assist with the management of the property after sale or lease, including rent collection, property maintenance and tenant relations.

  • Repositioning – We can help you reposition a property that isn't doing well by identifying potential buyers or tenants, advising on property improvements, and negotiating lease or sale terms.

  • Financing Our commercial professionals can connect investors with lenders that specialize in financing distressed properties and assist in the loan application process.

Latest Distressed News

Stay informed with the latest commercial real estate market reports,
trends and industry news from Coldwell Banker Commercial.

See all Articles >
  • Distressed

    Are Office Distress Opportunities Around the Corner?

    Although opportunities to acquire distressed CRE have been few and far between thus far, conditions may lead to a significant uptick in the sale of troubled office assets in the coming years. It’s long due, as industry observers have been anticipating a wave of distressed office listings since the pandemic’s onset first unsettled the office market.

  • Distressed

    A Distressed CRE Market that Never Happened

    Distress was supposed to arrive at commercial real estate’s door in 2021, but it never materialized. Research by Real Capital Analytics (RCA) shows there were low levels of troubled CRE assets that hit the market, despite the dire predictions and investors’ expectations that 2021 would produce opportunities to buy properties at steep discounts.

  • Distressed

    Gentrification: The Good, the Bad, and Its Impact on Real Estate Markets

    Gentrification is a controversial topic in many markets in the U.S. because it can significantly impact specific areas and residents in those communities. According to Million Acres, some of the poorest and most distressed urban neighborhoods across the country have experienced revitalization via gentrification and redevelopment. That has been accomplished through national and local tax incentives and resulted in billions of dollars in development funds, and municipal grants flowing into those improvements. Gentrification might seem like an easy solution for struggling cities, but there are many complicated factors to consider. In this article, we explore the positive and negative impacts of gentrification on real estate markets, and what investors and government officials should consider when looking to gentrify an area.

Other Property Types

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