Commercial property: the sales process

There are many stages to selling commercial property Getty Images/iStockphoto

There are many stages to selling commercial property Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Selling a commercial property can seem daunting at first. Simon Nicolaides, who recently joined Steeles Law's experienced commercial property team, sets out to summarise the process.

Sam Nicolaides, is part of the commercial property team at Steeles Law

Sam Nicolaides, is part of the commercial property team at Steeles Law - Credit: Archant

1 As the solicitor for the seller, we start by sending the buyer's solicitor a draft contract, copies of the Land Registry property documents and other information about the property, such as details of planning permission, Energy Performance Certificates, and maintenance records for installations.

2 In order to be able to sell the property, you have to pay in full (redeem) any mortgage on completion. We will therefore check with your lender to make sure that the sale proceeds will be enough to redeem the mortgage.

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3 The buyer's solicitor will review the documents, undertake searches on the property, and raise enquiries. These enquiries may be a result of the buyer's investigations or lender's requirements. Many of these enquiries are standard, and are called Commercial Property Standard Enquiries (CPSEs). We will take your instructions and reply on your behalf.

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4 The main transactional documents are the Contract and Transfer. When these have been agreed, we will send them to you to sign and send back to us in readiness for the next stages.

5 When both parties are ready, the solicitors will "exchange contracts". The solicitors will agree, usually by phone, to bring the contract into effect and set the date for completion. The buyer will also pay a deposit, which we will usually hold in our client account until completion.

6 Once contracts have been exchanged, you are bound to complete on the agreed completion date or else you will have to pay heavy damages. You can, however, pull out of the transaction without penalty at any time until contracts have been exchanged.

7 On completion, the buyer will pay the balance of the purchase price to us. With these funds, we will pay any sum required to redeem your mortgage to your lender and then send the balance of the sale proceeds to you. The Transfer will be dated in order to legally pass title to the buyer.

8 Once the sale has completed, the buyer's solicitor will submit an application to the Land Registry to register the buyer as the owner of the property.

When buying or selling commercial property, Steeles Law's property lawyers are on hand to help. For further information please contact Simon and the team at or 01603 598000.

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