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- July 1, 2017: Vol. 29, Number 7

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Churn, churn, churn? Or is ‘buy and hold’ for the Byrds?

by Roy Schneiderman and Oliver Cowan

A few years ago, driving along a Los Angeles freeway, a colleague suggested someone should examine whether more real estate transactions occur than are really necessary. His hypothesis was there are so many people with a vested interest in transactions occurring — not only the brokers involved, but also attorneys, a host of acquisition (and, to a lesser extent, disposition) consultants, people arranging new financing, accountants, etc. And from a fee perspective, an asset management firm might have an acquisition fee and, in some cases, a disposition fee.

His suggestion was not that some cabal involving service providers is churning real estate assets like stock brokers were sometimes accused of back in the day when people could still make a very good living encouraging customers to buy and sell stocks. Rather, the thought was simply enough people have an interest in transactions that there would be a natural tendency to find reasons to sell (and then reinvest) rather than

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