Guide to Due Diligence for Commercial Real Estate Acquisitions

Inform Real Estate Transactions with Accurate Due Diligence and Location Reports

October 19, 2023

Embarking on a real estate transaction requires meticulous attention to detail and thorough analysis to ensure a sound investment. 

This comprehensive guide sheds light on the critical phase of due diligence in real estate transactions, outlining what it entails, its significance, and the process involved, to arm buyers and sellers with the knowledge necessary for successful dealings.

Definition of Due Diligence in Real Estate

Due diligence in real estate refers to the necessary steps a buyer or seller must take to ensure they have accurate and comprehensive information before proceeding with a transaction. 

This process includes document reviews, financial assessments, and risk evaluations, often likened to doing thorough homework before making decisions.

Real Estate Due Diligence Period

The due diligence period in real estate transactions usually begins upon acceptance of the Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA) by both parties, followed by the contractual deposits. 

This period allows the buyer to gather essential information about the property to decide whether to continue with the purchase.

Time Frame of Due Diligence Period

The due diligence period's duration can vary based on the PSA terms, typically ranging between 30-90 days. Some complex transactions may have longer due diligence periods. 

During this period, state laws or negotiated terms may dictate specific timelines for particular contingency items.

Earnest Money Deposit

The earnest money deposit, as outlined in the PSA, is an upfront payment by the buyer, held by the seller or a third party until the end of the due diligence period. 

If the buyer opts not to proceed, the deposit gets returned. 

If the transaction proceeds, the deposit goes to the seller, credited to the buyer towards the purchase price. 

However, post due diligence, if the buyer backs out, the deposit is usually forfeited to the seller.

Due Diligence List for Real Estate

During the due diligence period, buyers should conduct a variety of tasks, including:

  • Research on zoning, building permits, title, demographics, and other crucial factors.
  • Economic analysis for income-producing properties, such as market supply and demand, comparable rents, and operating expenses.
  • Physical inspection of existing structures by professionals to generate a property condition report.
  • For undeveloped lands, evaluation of development feasibility through engineering expertise.
  • Environmental assessments, especially in areas near industrial or processing facilities.

Location Report

A Property Location Report created from a Scan-to-BIM (Building Information Modeling) service provides an in-depth analysis of a property's areas and elements, along with other crucial information. 

This modern technology-centric method is becoming increasingly prevalent in real estate due diligence. 

Here's how the process typically works and the details included in the report:

1. Data Acquisition:

  • 3D Scanning: High-definition 3D laser scanners capture accurate spatial data of the property, including structures, systems, and surrounding areas.

2. Data Processing:

  • Point Cloud Generation: The raw data from scanning is processed to create a point cloud, which is a large data set comprising points in three-dimensional coordinates.
  • Point Cloud to BIM: The point cloud data is then utilized to create a precise BIM model of the property. This model is a digital representation that includes architectural, structural, and system details.

3. Report Generation:

  • Spatial Analysis: The BIM model enables spatial analysis, including measurements of areas, volumes, distances, and other geometric properties.
  • Condition Assessment: The model and associated virtual tours helps assess the condition of structures, identifying any defects, damages, or areas of concern.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Compliance with zoning laws, building codes, and other regulatory requirements can be evaluated using the BIM model in partnership with architects and engineers.

4. Additional Analysis:

  • Cost Estimation: An estimation of repair, renovation, or construction costs can be derived from the model using element quantity counts. 
  • Simulation and Analysis: Various simulations like sunlight analysis, energy modeling, or evacuation simulations can be carried out to understand the property's performance under different scenarios using the delivered BIM model.

5. Documenting and Sharing:

  • Interactive Platforms: The BIM model and report can often be accessed through a platform like IPX by Integrated Projects, enabling stakeholders to explore the data and findings in detail.

6. Future Planning:

  • Risk Assessment: The report aids in identifying risks, which is critical for making informed investment decisions.
  • Future Planning: Insights from the report can also be invaluable for planning future renovations, expansions, or other modifications.
  • Renovations: The delivered BIM model can be shared with architects, engineers, contractors, and service providers to kick start any needed renovations or upgrades.

SCANIT: Easiest Way to Empower Due Diligence

Integrated Projects offers the easiest way to empower acquisition teams with accurate building data. 

We specialize in digitizing buildings into BIM models and location reports through 3D site scans with SCANIT or point cloud uploads via BIMIT.

Our platform, IPX, enables users to view, verify, and quantify their building data down to the inch, promoting efficient data sharing among teams and collaborators.


  • Accurate architectural background for new plans
  • Verification of BOMA defined dimensions for acquisitions
  • Material, furniture, and spatial dimensions quantification for estimating and procurement
  • Quick verification of existing conditions for facilities/operations and renovations
  • BIM visualization for sales/marketing and construction management
  • Accurate data for accounting and insurance purposes


The due diligence phase is a cornerstone in real estate transactions, enabling buyers and sellers to assess the viability and implications of a deal thoroughly. 

Leveraging modern technologies like Scan-to-BIM services for accurate property analysis has now become an integral part of this process. 

This guide aims to provide a clear pathway for individuals in the real estate realm to navigate the intricacies of due diligence, ensuring informed decisions and successful transactions. 

Armed with the right knowledge and tools, stakeholders can significantly mitigate risks and pave the way for a smooth real estate transaction.

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