A guide for commercial vendors

Considering selling your commercial property?  It’s important that before you consider putting the property on the market you obtain all relevant information from your solicitors including Title Reports and any covenant information which may be relevant.  Davis Brown – a firm of Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents in Fitzrovia are here to help you with the process.  We are regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors so you can take full advantage of our professional expertise.  Here’s a guide that we at Davis Brown have put together to make things easier for you.

You will need to ensure that your property complies with all relevant Health & Safety Regulations (ensuring gas, electrical and asbestos reports are up to date).  You will also require an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate).  This is a legal requirement that Landlords must provide before the property can be put on the market to let/sell and ensure you have Building Insurance. Our estate agents in W1 can discuss the various options that you need to consider when selling your property.  Do you sell the property “as is”?  Is it worth looking at obtaining full planning consent or outline planning consent for a “change of use”, are there outstanding maintenance or repair works that will affect your properties valuation?  Finally, do you wish to sell the property on the open market or have a “best bids” date for purchasers to submit either “Informal Tenders” or “Sealed Bids”?

Davis Brown will be able to advise you on the market value of your property and explain the different ways of selling and marketing your property to try to obtain the maximum value.

Selling Costs:

As well as your agent’s fees, there are additional costs to consider before putting your property on the market:

  • Solicitors Fees – these can vary from a fixed fee to charging you for their conveyance services, especially if it is not a “clean” sale. Call to discuss before putting the property on the market
  • Mortgage Redemption or Arrangement Fees – check with your mortgage lender
  • Capital Gains Tax – consult your financial advisor or solicitor to establish what, if any, taxes are applicable

Property Value:

This is very dependent on market trends and market forces, our commercial property team at Davis Brown can check the following for you:

  • Property Prices – ask them to provide comparable evidence
  • Market Trends
  • Availability of Similar Properties
  • Property Condition and Features

Agents Responsibilities:

Before you agree a fee with your agent, confirm what their responsibilities are in selling your property.  Most agents should offer the following;

  • Marketing Particulars (will there be an additional fee for a professional brochure/dedicated website?)
  • Bringing your Property to the Market – most agents should market your property free of charge on their website, online and offline marketing portals, window display etc. however, check if there are additional fees for advertising your property in professional publications and if so, ensure you are aware of these costs in advance.
  • Undertake all viewings
  • Collate and submit all offers to you in a timely fashion
  • Monitor and assist in all aspects of the sale from accepting an offer through to completion

Remember, Davis Brown as the Agent work for you, not the purchaser.

Preparing your Commercial Property for Sale:

If you are selling a vacant property, try to present the premises with a view to appealing to the widest audience.  Ensure that there are no “red flags” (unfinished maintenance works etc) which may give the purchaser reason to lower their offer.  Ensure the property is clean and tidy and highlight any original features.

It is difficult to manage the “look” of your property if it is tenanted.  Speak to the current tenants and work with them to show your property off to the highest standard possible.  Ensure that your agent has a good relationship with the current tenants to assist in making the viewing dates as convenient as possible for all parties.

Accepting an Offer:

Decide if you wish to accept offers on the “open market” and have no time scale for submitting an offer, or if you would prefer to set a “deadline date” where all offers must be made by a certain time/date by way of an “Informal Tender” or “Sealed Bids”. Davis Brown will be happy to assist you.

Ensure all offers are put in writing.  Request information on any conditions that are subject to the offer (i.e. subject to survey).  Ask for proof of funding from the purchaser together with their solicitor details and a realistic time scale when you can expect exchange and complete the sale.  Ensure that your solicitor is able to work within the time scale that the purchaser has put forward.

Accepted Offer:

Once you have accepted an offer, request your agent to send Heads of Terms to all relevant parties and their solicitors.  Once Heads of Terms have been agreed and solicitors instructed, the property will then be put “Under Offer”.  Ensure your solicitor has all information to hand to send the purchaser’s solicitor a full legal pack.  Ensure your agent keeps in touch with all relevant parties and updates you with progress.

Exchange of Contracts:

An exchange of contracts takes place once both parties have agreed and signed the contract and the deposit monies have been transferred to your solicitors (this is normally 10% of the purchase price).  As a general guide, allow 4 weeks from receipt of all legal documentation between solicitors and exchange of contracts.  Check with your solicitor with regard to any insurances that may be required on the property between the exchange and completion date.


Completion will take place once all remaining monies have been transferred to your solicitors.  As a general guide, from exchange to completion allow 2 to 6 weeks.  Your solicitor will inform you when completion has taken place and it is at that time your agent will release the keys to the purchaser and take any relevant meter readings.

Once you have completed, ensure that you have informed your insurance company, paid any outstanding taxes and contacted the local authority with regard to your business rates.

For more information, please contact Davis Brown – your Estate Agents and Chartered Surveyors based in W1 – who will be happy to help you every step of the way.


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