The continues to be a significant gap between buyers and sellers on pricing. So far, sellers continue to hold onto pre-pandemic pricing, and many buyers are expecting a significant discount to take on extra risk and market uncertainty. Sabal Capital Partners has been in the market bidding on distressed properties, and has seen a significant discrepancy in pricing, however, sellers are starting to face the music on the market adjustment—particularly those under pressure to sell.

"The sentiment is that sellers are still looking at values in a rearview mirror, and buyers are looking at values on a going-forward basis," Pat Jackson, CEO and founder of Sabal Capital Partners, tells "Until you get that kind of acceptance that sellers need to get rid of assets and it is what it is, trades won't start happening. At some point, they will because they won't have a choice, either because of obligations to special servicers or they have liquidity issues. Those kind of things will force a reality check where desires and expectations will be adjusted."

While sellers have an interest in keeping prices high, buyers are looking at the market reality, according to Jackson. This includes understanding current rent collections, rent decreases and the severity and length of the recession. "I am the reality portion of it. We are looking at these assets strictly through the eyes of the investor on a forward-look basis, not what the asset was worth," says Jackson. "That is irrelevant. The uncertainty of when the market will recover adds to the risk that we are taking when we make an investment as to when we can expect a recovery and when values can get back to a normalized basis, and we have to factor that into our bids. Time is a key component to IRR."

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.