Development Due Diligence Checklist

Purchasing and developing raw land presents many great risks. Some may only surface after breaking ground, others may arise from lack of knowledge of the market. To help mitigate these risks, we've created this checklist.

Development Diligence Checklist Template

Among all of the different real estate investing opportunities, purchasing and developing raw land presents the greatest risk. Some unknown factors and issues only surface once you break ground, whereas other complications may arise from improper knowledge of the market, investigations, and due diligence. To help negate these risks, DealRoom professionals have prepared this Development Due Diligence Checklist to help you navigate your next development venture.

Our checklist is:

  • Tailored for auditing and appraising targets land development investments.
  • Requests concentrate on the general, physical, legal, survey, governmental, and financial aspects of the deal
  • Checklists are customizable to meet the specific circumstances of your deal
Download Template
Start Due Diligence With DealRoom
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Development Diligence Checklist Template

Among all of the different real estate investing opportunities, purchasing and developing raw land presents the greatest risk. Some unknown factors and issues only surface once you break ground, whereas other complications may arise from improper knowledge of the market, investigations, and due diligence. To help negate these risks, DealRoom professionals have prepared this Development Due Diligence Checklist to help you navigate your next development venture.

Our checklist is:

  • Tailored for auditing and appraising targets land development investments.
  • Requests concentrate on the general, physical, legal, survey, governmental, and financial aspects of the deal
  • Checklists are customizable to meet the specific circumstances of your deal

Development Due Diligence Checklist

Purchasing and developing raw land presents many great risks. Some may only surface after breaking ground, others may arise from lack of knowledge of the market. To help mitigate these risks, we've created this checklist.

Download Template
Start Due Diligence With DealRoom
Start Integration With DealRoom

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Development Diligence Checklist Template

Among all of the different real estate investing opportunities, purchasing and developing raw land presents the greatest risk. Some unknown factors and issues only surface once you break ground, whereas other complications may arise from improper knowledge of the market, investigations, and due diligence. To help negate these risks, DealRoom professionals have prepared this Development Due Diligence Checklist to help you navigate your next development venture.

Our checklist is:

  • Tailored for auditing and appraising targets land development investments.
  • Requests concentrate on the general, physical, legal, survey, governmental, and financial aspects of the deal
  • Checklists are customizable to meet the specific circumstances of your deal

What Tasks does the 

Development Due Diligence Checklist

 Include

General Information

The General Information tab of Development Due Diligence presents an overview of the investment. Data required includes the site’s address, information about the seller and neighbors, and the site’s history.

ITEMS IN GENERAL INFORMATION DUE DILIGENCE INCLUDE:

  • Site address.
  • Seller information.
  • Seller contact information.
  • Neighbor contact information.
  • History of previous uses of site.
  • Tax liens.
  • Appraisals.
  • Reason property is for sale.
  • Adjacent property owner opinions.

Physical Site

Inspecting and surveying the investment’s physical site will help you spot potential issues and ultimately appraise value. Not all land is accessible to utilities such as sewer, electricity, and natural gas. The difference between “onsite” and “nearby” utilities could potentially cost thousands when trying to connect the property. Information needed here includes details about the utility companies, their contact information, area maps, and mineral, oil, and gas rights.

ITEMS IN PHYSICAL SITE DUE DILIGENCE INCLUDE:

  • Contact utility companies with site details.
  • Plans, maps, and detail about utility services running across the site.
  • Utility constraints.
  • Mineral, oil, and gas rights.
  • Environmental and engineering reports.
  • Square footage.
  • Walk the site and pictures.

Legal

You must execute proper due diligence on licenses, zoning, and the title to ensure that your property complies with local guidelines, environmental protections, and regulations. This can prevent thousands in fines and fees down the road. Information and documents required includes licences, way leave agreements, zoning and title information.

ITEMS IN LEGAL DUE DILIGENCE INCLUDE:

  • Report on title (to be done by solicitor).
  • Deeds and title information.
  • Ownership (including boundaries and possible disputes).
  • Way leave agreements (telecommunications, electrical networks, etc.).
  • Current licences.
  • Easements.
  • Restricted covenants.
  • Listed buildings.
  • Conservation and other designated areas, i.e. state and national parks.
  • Building regulations approvals.
  • Statutory waterways and any associated restrictions.
  • Railways and any associated restrictions.
  • Car parking arrangements.
  • Existing occupants and illegal occupation.
  • Zoning verification.
  • Zoning restrictions.

Site Surveys

Site surveys utilize the principles of mathematics, geometry, and other related sciences to measure and reveal more information about a site. These can draw attention to potential problem areas. Listed below are a variety of different site surveys. Not all of them may be applicable to your deal.

ITEMS IN SITE SURVEY DUE DILIGENCE INCLUDE:

  • Air quality.
  • Asbestos, lead, and other hazardous materials surveys and registers.
  • ALTA/ACSM survey.
  • Boundary survey.
  • Contamination.
  • Construction survey.
  • Ecological.
  • Existing buildings.
  • Location survey.
  • Site planning survey.
  • Soil survey.
  • Subdivision survey.
  • Topographic survey.

Governmental Opinions

Local leaders can have a large impact on the community’s real estate. During the planning phase, it is important to connect with some of these parties to gather support on the project. Different groups include police, local officials, and the zoning department.

ITEMS IN GOVERNMENTAL OPINIONS DUE DILIGENCE INCLUDE:

  • Planning and zoning department.
  • Engineering department.
  • Police department.
  • Public works.
  • Water and sewer departments.

Financial

As in any transaction, you need to ensure that the seller has a clean record and sound financial practices. To investigate this, you will need their transaction history and terms of the sales. Additionally, financial due diligence includes utility verification and fee schedules and impact feeds.

ITEMS IN FINANCIAL DUE DILIGENCE INCLUDE:

  • Seller's transaction history.
  • Terms of seller's previous transactions.
  • Seller's debt on property.
  • Utility verification and fee schedules.
  • Impact fees.

FAQ

What Is Due Diligence?

Due diligence is a critical aspect of any deal that begins very early in the process and can continue right up until closing. During due diligence, the potential buyer asks questions and requests documentation from the seller that helps the buyer understand the target company and its business. These requests are usually general to start and become more specific as the buyer develops a greater understanding of the target. Buyers use the information provided by the seller to evaluate the opportunities and risks associated with the potential transaction. It is important for sellers to stay organized throughout the process. Buyers often submit thorough, detailed request lists that require input from numerous members of the seller’s deal team.

What is a due diligence checklist?

As the name implies, a due diligence request list is a list of questions and requests for information and documentation that a buyer submits to a seller in order to learn about the target company, its business and its operations. The initial diligence request list tends to be broad and typically includes an extensive list of questions covering a wide range of subjects. This allows the buyer to gain a broad understanding of the target company and identify key issues that can be investigated and considered more closely. Because every deal is different, due diligence request lists have to be tailored to meet the needs of the buyer and address the unique circumstances of your transaction.
However, there is a variety of fundamental requests that are relevant in most deals. These are the types of requests that our templates are designed to address.

What Questions Does the Master Due Diligence Questionnaire Include?

As the name implies, a due diligence request list is a list of questions and requests for information and documentation that a buyer submits to a seller in order to learn about the target company, its business and its operations. The initial diligence request list tends to be broad and typically includes an extensive list of questions covering a wide range of subjects. This allows the buyer to gain a broad understanding of the target company and identify key issues that can be investigated and considered more closely. Because every deal is different, due diligence request lists have to be tailored to meet the needs of the buyer and address the unique circumstances of your transaction.
However, there is a variety of fundamental requests that are relevant in most deals. These are the types of requests that our templates are designed to address.

Key considerations when using our m&a due diligence template

Our templates are drafted to provide an inclusive and wide-ranging list of initial due diligence requests. However, the templates, as well as the information contained therein, are not legal advice. They are not complete, and they are not specific to your transaction. The templates are designed to elicit general information from the seller that will provide the buyer with a broad overview of the target and it’s business and operations. You should review any template before using it, and it may need to be modified to ensure that it is suitable and relevant to your circumstances. Information provided by the seller will likely trigger additional questions that focus on specific aspects of the target’s business and issues identified during the due diligence process.

Are the requests in the template comprehensive?

No. Our Due Diligence Checklist is drafted to include typical requests that are relevant in most transactions. However, every deal and every target company is unique. Before utilizing any template, it is important that you review it with the help of your legal and other professional advisors to ensure that the requests are complete and tailored to the specific circumstances of your deal.

How to use the template with Dealroom

  • Start 14-day Free Trial of DealRoom and sign-up
  • Select a Master Due Diligence Template while creating a new room
  • Start assigning, adding to, and completing due diligence requests with needed documents by uploading them into the built-in virtual data room. The Requests tab is automatically populated with the requests from the due diligence template.

Can I change requests in this checklist or add new?

Every M&A process is different. Downloaders are urged to make these checklists their own by changing the providing information to better fit their needs.

Does this questionnaire provide all the necessary integration information?

This checklist was created by and for M&A professionals. It includes a comprehensive starting point for the integration process. However, every deal is different and may require additional requirements and tasks.

How to use this template with DealRoom?

  • Start 14-day Free Trial of DealRoom and sign-up
  • Select an Integration Template while creating a new workspace
  • Start planning, assigning, adding to, and completing integration tasks. The Requests tab is automatically populated with the tasks from the integration template.

Key considerations when using our m&a due diligence template

Our templates are drafted to provide an inclusive and wide-ranging list of initial due diligence requests. However, the templates, as well as the information contained therein, are not legal advice. They are not complete, and they are not specific to your transaction. The templates are designed to elicit general information from the seller that will provide the buyer with a broad overview of the target and it’s business and operations. You should review any template before using it, and it may need to be modified to ensure that it is suitable and relevant to your circumstances. Information provided by the seller will likely trigger additional questions that focus on specific aspects of the target’s business and issues identified during the due diligence process.

Are the requests in the template comprehensive?

No. Our Due Diligence Checklist is drafted to include typical requests that are relevant in most transactions. However, every deal and every target company is unique. Before utilizing any template, it is important that you review it with the help of your legal and other professional advisors to ensure that the requests are complete and tailored to the specific circumstances of your deal.

How to use the template with Dealroom

  • Start 14-day Free Trial of DealRoom and sign-up
  • Select a Master Due Diligence Template while creating a new room
  • Start assigning, adding to, and completing due diligence requests with needed documents by uploading them into the built-in virtual data room. The Requests tab is automatically populated with the requests from the due diligence template.

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