If you are looking to sell or let your commercial property, there are a number of things you should do before it goes on the market to ensure that:-
- you attract a buyer or tenant quickly
- you get the price/rent you want
- the sale or rental agreement goes through as smoothly as possible
The selling process for commercial properties can be challenging, with documentation such as environmental reports, certifications, etc. required before a sale can go through. Long delays in getting the required documentation could potentially see a buyer pull out.
If you have everything you need ready to go pre-sale, it will help the process go smoothly, keeping the prospective buyer on side and less likely to pull out of the sale.
While finding a tenant for your commercial property will typically not be as fraught as when selling it, there are still things you will need to do beforehand, to ensure your tenant moves in quickly.
Here are our 5 top tips on getting your property ready for a sale or for letting. We appreciate that all business premises are different (e.g. a car servicing centre compared to an insurance office) but the pointers mentioned are all relevant.
1.Find a specialist commercial property solicitor
They will inform you of all the necessary documentation you will need to have ready for when you get a buyer. For sales, they will also advise you on what you may need to do in order to comply with various statutory provisions and laws affecting the property such as having an asbestos survey, getting a commercial EPC certificate etc.
2. Take an independent view of what your property looks like
First impressions are vitally important. Walk around the outside of your building, as well as any grounds, car parks etc and make a note of areas that could be improved upon. Does the building need a lick of paint? Are all the windows and doors well maintained? Are there potholes in the car park?
Basically, does your property have kerb appeal?
Remove cigarette butts, freshen up the landscaping and so on then try and view your property as someone else would, picking up on any areas that need attention. Even the simple act of painting the main door could make a difference.
Then do the same inside. Does the inside of your property need a little updating? What are the staff toilets like? Do they look tired with taps covered in lime scale? How about the staff kitchen? and so on.
Spending money in order to freshen up your building may also increase the perceived value by a buyer – thereby improving your chance of getting a quicker sale at the price you want.
3. Look at the layout
While we will provide the square footage as part of our selling particulars, sometimes you need to give prospective buyers a little help so they can see how every part of the property can be used.
Is the space in your building being used as effectively as possible? Do you have a basement full of old files and broken office equipment for example? Then clear out what is not needed and tidy up the rest. You can then promote the room as an extra office/staff lounge/something else.
4. Clear desk policy
If possible (and depending on the type of business you run of course) implement a clear desk policy. Stacks of files, used coffee cups and half dead plants on desks and windowsills creates a feeling of clutter and a lack of space.
If storage is a problem, then invest in some sleek cabinets or cupboards where work materials can be put away.
Once your property is on the market, make sure you and your staff keep the premises as clutter free as is possible.
When dealing with prospective buyers, be friendly and try and answer their questions as best you can. Let them know that you have the relevant documentation ready and that you meet your compliance requirements so they can see you are as keen as they are to ensure a swift process.
We hope this brief guide has proved some food for thought. If you have any questions or queries at all relating to getting prepared for the sale of your commercial property, please feel free to contact us.