Buying and selling commercial property

Why (or when) someone would need this service?

(a) An investor may

(i) buy property subject to a lease (or leases) to derive income from it or

(ii) sell property to realise capital

(b) A business may buy property to trade from or sell it because the business has

closed or merged or because they are relocating.

How does the process work/what are the steps?

The seller (or more usually the sales agent) writes to the solicitors for the parties to let them know what terms for the sale have been agreed. The Seller’s solicitors draft the contract, provide background documentation and reply to all enquiries. The buyer’s solicitors report to their client and carry out searches. A formal contract is entered into between the parties and at that stage a date is agreed for completion. A deposit is payable on exchange of contracts and on completion the balance of the payment is made at which point the property is registered at the Land Registry in the name of the buyer. Assignment of leasehold property may require the freeholder’s consent.

How long does it take?

A typical transaction should complete within four / six weeks.

Is it expensive ? How do the costs work?

Where it is clear at the outset what work is involved in the transaction we ordinarily agree a fixed fee on a sliding scale according to the value of the property. Our aim is to be entirely transparent about how we calculate our charges. Sometimes there is an element of the transaction which is uncertain, for example an unresolved planning issue. In such circumstances we may charge for that element on an hourly basis.

In addition to our own charges there are out-of-pocket expenses for matters such as searches and we would ordinarily require all money to be paid on completion so as to enable payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax where applicable.

What are the things people should consider before calling?

It would help to have details of the property, the agent involved and if possible the name of the other party and their solicitors. We would also ask for the purchase price and the proposed dates for completion.

Why are Grant Saw the best people for the job?

You will have a named solicitor acting for you who will take a pro-active approach to progressing the matter to completion. Unlike many smaller firms we have a dedicated commercial team dealing exclusively with commercial property and commercial matters.

Buying and selling commercial property tips

Engage a surveyor at an early stage and if you are able to do so have a full structural survey report undertaken on the property prior to exchange of contracts.

Buying and selling commercial property myth busting

What myths are there are around this area?

That by buying freehold property you avoid all the pitfalls which might be contained within a lease. In fact, there are a number of matters which may be recorded against title or disclosed by searches which could substantially affect the value of the property.