Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? Find answers to your Frequently Asked Questions below…

SteepSteel is a national cell tower lease marketplace that grants property owners, wireless agreement owners, wireless carriers, tower companies and real estate or legal professionals alike access to a comprehensive and competitive market where wireless agreement owners can compare offers in a competitive bidding environment from qualified buyers to maximize the value of their asset at sale, and interested buyers can shop a wide range of tower listings and submit competitive offers in an expeditious and cost-effective manner.

SteepSteel consolidates a sporadic and disorganized cell tower market into a “one stop” selling and buying experience, finally making the wireless agreement industry what it always should have been but never was …until now.

SteepSteel also provides a host of wireless telecommunications agreement and infrastructure related services – in addition to auctions and listings – such that everyone from individual lease holders to large cities will find a solution for their needs.

Whether it be management, site or network development, SteepSteel can provide a solution. We coordinate and work in conjunction with some of the top electrical and telecommunications engineering firms in the nation to deliver even the largest of projects to our public and private clients on time, and on budget.

SteepSteel’s professionals have decades of experience in the wireless agreement and infrastructure markets, and believe the services and opportunities offered through SteepSteel fill gaps in the wireless telecommunications market space that have been absent for far too long.

All prospective bidders will be pre-qualified through SteepSteel’s proprietary screening process before being authorized to submit a bid during a SteepSteel Auction Event.

This pre-qualification process ensures that every bidder is both qualified and capable of completing the wireless agreement/property transaction in question and that every seller is authorized and holds the lien-free title often required to close.

All interested bidders must register no later than 96 hours before an Auction Event listing time to ensure their ability to bid in the Auction Event. Unless otherwise approved by SteepSteel, all previously registered bidders must update auction registration information every thirty days, and at least 48 hours prior to an Auction Event to ensure their ability to bid in each given Auction Event.

Please send us an email for more details.

For the benefit of sellers and buyers, SteepSteel spends a great deal of time evaluating each individual Auction Event application in order to provide accurate information to prospective buyers. A five (5) day window between the posting each Auction Event and the start of the Auction Event allows SteepSteel to complete the bidder pre-qualification process, and levels the playing field by allowing all bidders an equal opportunity to evaluate Auction Event applications prior to placing a bid. SteepSteel believes this arrangement benefits both sellers and prospective bidders.

All listings are subject to sale prior to advertised Auction Event time and date. As such, we encourage all interested bidding parties to register early to receive advance notifications about possible “offline” sales.

Members of the SteepSteel team know how the wireless agreement and infrastructure industry works. SteepSteel’s team of experienced professionals have decades of experience in the wireless agreement and infrastructure industry, and have been involved in countless wireless agreement purchase and sale transactions.

In many cases (prior to SteepSteel), consultants representing sellers of a wireless agreement contacted a few prospective buyers to gauge their interest in a particular wireless agreement, and invited those expressing interest to submit an offer to purchase the wireless agreement in question. This process unfortunately had inherent limitations, and placed buyers and sellers at a disadvantage.

In particular, government agencies  & districts have historically been victims of their own methods, which usually included a Request for Bid (“RFB”), a Request for Proposal (“RFP”) or something similar to be prepared and published to the community.  Unfortunately, these RFPs and RFBs for the sale, management, or consultation of wireless agreements and other wireless assets can be very complex, and as such are often drafted incorrectly by staff, garnering little in the way of interested bidders or consultants, and ultimately failing to achieve the stated objective.

SteepSteel revolutionizes this process, by potentially increasing the number prospective buyers that view and submit offers exponentially on an individual listing, equalizing the playing field for buyers, and creating a streamlined process that drastically increases the efficiency with which transactions are consummated. This process saves buyers and sellers time, energy and money, with the added benefit of unprecedented transaction clarity.

Typically, once SteepSteel receives an Auction application, SteepSteel works with the seller to obtain all information necessary to enable future prospective bidders to complete preliminary due diligence before the tentatively scheduled Auction Event. Once the listing information is complete and verified by SteepSteel, SteepSteel then works with each seller to establish particulars such as the Auction reserve price; acceptable terms, conditions and exclusions; desired Auction period, and the desired time to close.

Once this process is complete, SteepSteel will make the listing available for preliminary review on SteepSteel.com. In most instances, and depending on a seller’s preference, SteepSteel will pre-market an Auction Event with limited lease and location information for between ten (10) and sixty (60) days prior to the expected Auction Event start date. During this period, SteepSteel will conduct the pre-qualification process for prospective bidders, and provide additional information about the listing to prospective bidders once pre-approved and with a seller’s permission to do so.

Depending on the seller’s needs and desires, in most cases the Auction Event will last between one (1) day and ten (10) days. All SteepSteel auction events are subject to prior sale or offline sale based on the terms and conditions established by each individual seller. Once an Auction  Event closes, SteepSteel will share the results with the seller, and if seller agrees to move forward with the transaction, SteepSteel will contact the winning bidder and proceed to facilitate the closing of the transaction on the terms and conditions previously agreed to by the buyer and seller.

Most transactions close between 45 and 60 days after opening escrow, which will usually include any due diligence period. The time needed to close any specific transaction can vary depending on the specifics of the site.

For more information, please visit the SteepSteel Auctions page

The fees or charges due for listing, auction or other consulting services offered by SteepSteel depends on a variety of factors such as the nature of the cell tower site or lease in question, the number of sites or leases a seller desires to market, and/or the nature, type, and scope of services a seller desires.

Seller’s desiring to market their listing through a SteepSteel Auction Event will typically pay SteepSteel a percentage of the final sale or transaction price, but flat fee arrangements are also available. The amount of the fees depends on whether the seller elects to have SteepSteel perform an evaluation of the wireless agreement value, conduct negotiations with the selected buyer, or simply facilitate and manage the Auction Event.

Seller’s retaining SteepSteel for comprehensive consulting services (such as cell tower site/agreement review and valuation, negotiation, transaction document review, prospective buyer identification, and ongoing site/agreement management services) will typically be changed a percentage of the final lease, sale, or transaction price.

All such charges, costs, and terms and conditions of the services performed by SteepSteel are negotiable, and can be tailored to meet a seller’s specific needs.

The number of prospective buyers that submit bids or offers on any specific listing can range significantly, from a less than ten to dozens or more. The volume of buyer interest will depend on a variety of factors. Seller’s will have the ultimate discretion as to whether to accept a bid or offer to acquire their cell site or lease, and if a seller is not satisfied with the amount of interest expressed in their listing they have no obligation to complete the transaction and will not incur any costs, except as otherwise expressly agreed with SteepSteel.

Yes, there are what we like to call different “bundles of rights” that may be sold.

Most often the sale of a wireless agreement is accomplished by “assignment of lease rights or lease cashflows” along with a “grant of easement”.

The terms of any wireless agreement sale can vary according to what both parties can agree to, but most wireless agreements are sold with terms ranging from thirty years to perpetuity (a.k.a. forever).

The answer here will be qualified, as SteepSteel is not in the business of providing tax advice. It is always recommended that people considering the sale of any wireless lease transaction seek the advice of a licensed and qualified CPA, EA, or tax attorney prior to doing so. Nothing that follows in this section or on this website should be construed as tax advice.

That said, there appear to be two distinct interpretations of the sale of wireless leases, the first of which is for term (usually 30-50 year) sales which will typically be considered taxable at ordinary income rates as the sale of the cashflows are considered by most taxing authorities to be an acceleration of income.

The second of which is for leases sold for a period of ninety-nine years or more, which will typically be considered taxable at capital gains rates and the sale – potentially also qualifying for a 1031 exchange – will be treated by most taxing authorities as the same as a fee simple real estate transaction.

Notwithstanding the above, property basis may also play a role in whether or not there is a taxable event at all when a wireless lease is sold.

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Whether you want to learn more about the various types of wireless telecommunications agreements, are interested in purchasing or selling a cell tower lease, or if you have questions about cell tower lease management – we’re here for you!
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