You can search for off-market shopping centers in any U.S. county with Reonomy. Find retail and other commercial assets that are likely to sell, access owner contact details, and get in touch quickly.
Despite the undisputed threat of online shopping, brick-and-mortar retail properties are still in demand among both individual and institutional commercial real estate investors.
The asset class has simply seen a wave of repurposing in two ways:
- First, properties are being filled with more sustainable store types.
- Second, shopping centers are being converted into different asset use-types altogether.
In either case, the success of any shopping center is very situationally dependent, making it crucial to choose investment properties in prime retail locations.
In this article, we’ll look at how you can dissect any market to find shopping centers for sale based on your exact search criteria.
Find Shopping Centers for Sale
Retail property assets come in all shapes and sizes, however shopping centers specifically have established themselves as a staple in suburban America.
Nevertheless not all of these properties are equal from an investment standpoint and prospective buyers should carefully evaluate factors such as area demographics, traffic conditions, and the age and tenant mix of any center they are considering.
In the following section we will review some of the most popular commercial listings platforms featuring retail properties and shopping centers for sale in order to help you learn how to look for good investment options.
Commercial Real Estate Platforms Featuring Retail Listings
In order to discover the best deals, it is wise to utilize as many sources as possible so we recommend that you use at least a few of the following websites in your search.
One of the pioneer platforms in the industry, LoopNet has become the favorite online listing service of brokers, investors, and other commercial real estate professionals over the last 25 years.
Its huge database of 500,000 listings features all major types of real estate, as well as special categories such as shopping centers, restaurants, health care facilities, and sports and entertainment venues.
A sister platform to LoopNet, Showcase is another great resource for locating real estate investment opportunities across the United States.
The website includes office, industrial, retail, and multi family listings, however it does not have a specialized category for shopping centers.
Instead, you can conduct a general search for retail properties, and then browse the results list for multi-tenant facilities that fit your requirements.
Ten-X Commercial is more than a traditional commercial real estate listing service. It also brings innovative technologies to the industry, such as matching investors and properties, and facilitating complete transactions online.
The platform’s “retail for sale” category includes free-standing buildings, shopping centers, and strip malls.
CREXi features for sale and for lease listings for all types of commercial real estate, including retail, industrial, office, and multi family.
It also has several special categories such as medical, assisted living, student housing, and self storage, though shopping centers is not one of them.
You can however utilize the keyword filter to find strip malls and shopping centers for sale as we demonstrate a little later in this article.
A commercial real estate marketplace powered by Catylist, Commercial Exchange offers verified listings in categories such as retail, office, industrial, land, and multi family.
The retail category features numerous subcategories including strip, lifestyle, and outlet centers, regional malls, big box, restaurants, gas stations, and more.
The Commercial Investment Multiple Listing Service, or CIMLS, has over $500 billion in available property and more than 370,000 registered members.
While the platform’s user interface feels somewhat dated, it offers a robust search tool with various filters and numerous property categories such as shopping centers, hotels, health care facilities, storage, land, farms, and even forests.
For Sale by Owner Shopping Center Listings
Some of the platforms we discussed in the previous section may also feature for sale by owner listings, however they are typically used by brokerages promoting properties for their clients.
If you prefer to bypass the realtors altogether, you should check out the following websites.
Buildings by Owner
Investors interested in working directly with sellers can find listings for all property types including retail, office, multi family, industrial, and other specialty real estate.
Craigslist is one of the most popular online classifieds marketplaces providing services in all major U.S. cities. It features listings for everything from jobs and professional services to cars and other items for sale.
The website also has a “real estate for sale” category, and in many locales you may be able to find listings for retail buildings and smaller shopping centers, typically offered by individual sellers or local realties.
Example Online Searches for Shopping Centers for Sale
If you are new to the online search for real estate for sale, the examples in this section will teach you how to find listings that match your target investment requirements.
We used LoopNet and CREXi, however most of the platforms we reviewed in this article have similar search utilities so you should be able to easily navigate any of them after reviewing the examples below.
Searching With LoopNet
Looking for shopping centers for sale with LoopNet is pretty simple as the platform already includes a separate category for this type of properties.
To begin your search, expand the “Enter a property type” dropdown menu and select “Shopping Center.”
Then, type in the city or state of your choice in the text field labeled “Enter a location” and hit the Search button.
On the next screen, you will see the results of your search labeled on a map and also shown in a scrollable list. If you hover over any of the property markers on the map, a small tile with the property’s address, sale price, and a photo will be displayed.
You can use the map to explore the area around the available properties by zooming, panning, or utilizing the aerial view option. The Draw tool allows you to outline a specific area of interest in any shape and only see available listings within that perimeter.
The list on the right of the map includes additional details about the properties in your search. You can see a larger photo, the address, sale price, and a few highlights about the shopping center for sale.
If your initial search produced too many results, you can narrow down the listings in several ways.
You can use the Price and Building Size filters located directly on the toolbar above the results. Various additional options, including an extensive list of shopping center subcategories, can be accessed by clicking on the More Filters button.
Alternatively, you can specify these additional requirements before you run your search by clicking on the Advanced Search link on the home page.
The toolbar has several additional options that can come in handy. You can change the location and property type of your search without returning to the home page.
Additionally, if you click on the Sort button you can reorder the existing results by date, price, cap rate, etc.
Lastly, you can save your customized search in order to avoid having to re-enter all your specific requirements next time you visit the site.
Additional in-depth information about each shopping center for sale in your search results can be accessed by clicking on the property tiles. The detail pages contain multiple building and aerial photos, property highlights, site plans, area demographics, traffic counts, existing tenant details, and more.
Here you will also find the contact information of the seller or their listing broker.
Searching With CREXi
In this example, we will illustrate the steps of conducting a search in a platform, which does not have a default category for shopping centers for sale.
Just like most other listing services, CREXi’s search utility is conveniently located on its home page.
Begin by ensuring the “For Sale” tab is selected – it will appear in white. Next, use the “All Types” dropdown menu to select “Retail” as the type of real estate you are interested in, and enter the location of your choice in the “Search by Location, Broker or Description” field.
The results of this search include all commercial retail properties currently listed for sale in the location you entered. They are presented in a list format along with a map.
You can scroll through the list to view photos and some basic details of the properties. Alternatively, you can explore the map by zooming, panning, switching to satellite view, or using the draw tool to focus on a specific area.
Another useful option is the sorting dropdown menu located at the top of the results list. You can reorder the properties in numerous ways, including by square footage, price, cap rate, relevance, and more.
In order to trim down these results and only show shopping centers for sale, which was the original search intent, you need to click on the All Filters button and type “shopping center” in the Keywords text field.
The Filters overlay contains many additional options to help you refine your results. For example, you can enter specific requirements for price, cap rate, square footage, and occupancy rate, or choose options for building class, lease type, and tenancy status.
It is worth noting that the price range and cap rate filters (as two of the most popular options) are also available directly on the toolbar located above the results list.
Once you apply the filters of your choice, the results list will be refined. Be aware that if you enter requirements that are too specific, you may end up with zero matches, so it is wise to use the filters sparingly.
If you would like to learn more about a specific property in your results list, just click on its photo.
This will take you to a detailed page for the shopping center, featuring a photo gallery, numerous facts and figures, and investment highlights. In addition to downloading marketing materials, you can submit an LOI directly through the site.
If you intend to continue looking for shopping centers for sale (or any other specific type of real estate) on a regular basis, it may be wise to use the “Save Search” option in order to save the requirements you’ve already entered and streamline the search process in the future.
Be aware however, that in order to do so, you will need to create a free account and log in.
Alternatively to using the platforms discussed here, you may want to consider running your entire search through Reonomy, where you can quickly identify properties likely to sell in the near future, then get directly in touch with their owners.