There is an apparent misunderstanding in your question. When you look for residential property, whether it is for investment, or rental or a small 4unit or less apartment investment you can rely on an agent for "finding" the property. However, when you look for investment properties, strip centers, office buildings, commercial buildings, you need to find an agent who is experienced in those property types. Unfortunately the licensing is the same so ask them to list for verification the properties that they have closed on in the past three years. A professional will have that information available, a "poser" will tell you it is an unwarranted request.
Whether you are purchasing residential income property or investment property you should use the services of a CPA and an attorney. There are a lot of hidden legal, tax, and financial implications in not only what your purchase but how you purchase it, how the offer is drawn up, how the closing papers are drawn, and how title is held. Having seen the brokerage business and the paperwork change over the past 28 years the paperwork has become so seemingly simple that any agent can fill it out. While this certainly is true, it doesn't make sense to not use the professionals who can keep you out of hot water and make sure you limit your risks in both the transaction and in the ownership.
Feb 2, 2010