If you’re looking to buy or rent commercial property, it’s tempting to save money by cutting out the middleman, especially in the current climate. Since private sales are on the rise in the residential market to bypass agency fees, it could be safe to say this is also true of the commercial sphere. But in these tough times, you’re still going to be better off using a commercial property agent to locate a suitable property, rather than investing your own time and money. Read on to find out why.
Benefits of using a commercial property agent
Using a commercial property agent to locate suitable premises has a number of benefits as we’ll explain below.
Shows owners and landlords that you’re serious
Enlisting the services of a commercial property agent indicates to owners and landlords you’re serious about finding a commercial property. This especially applies to individuals, start-up companies, and successful overseas companies with no UK presence.
Helps narrow down your search area
It’s not easy to know where to start if you’re new to renting or buying commercial property. By using an agent you gain invaluable knowledge of the UK market and the best locations to search.
In general, if you want a small property in a specific location, a local firm will have more in-depth knowledge of market rents. However, if you want a number of units for retail shops or restaurants, it’s better to go with a larger commercial agency with more knowledge and experience in this area.
Contact database and access to ‘off-market’ opportunities
Once an agent knows your preferred location, size and type of property, price range, and any specific requirements, they can reach out to suitable commercial agents in their contact database. They can also directly approach property owners, companies and investment groups, as well as conduct searches on internet property sites only available to commercial agents.
If they have access to the Land Registry and off-market properties, it will further increase your chances of landing an ideal property. Although you might get lucky and your agent sources what you’re looking for in a few weeks, more often than not it can take months to find the right one.
This is where having an agent really comes into its own. You can get on with your life and wait for them to contact you when anything suitable comes on the market, or they hear about an off-market opportunity.
Assist with measurements and legal documentation
As well as finding a suitable property, an agent can ensure the measurements match up with the title, and that you’re getting exactly what you’re paying for. They will also check that everything is above board with the legal documentation and get all the paperwork signed off in a timely manner.
If an agent is part of a firm of chartered surveyors they can carry out structural surveys, inspections and other professional services, which saves time during the acquisition process.
Agents charge only when a commercial property is found
Typically you won’t pay anything until an agent finds a suitable property, but some agents may charge an extra fee to cover their administration costs or a fee for abortive work.
Commercial property agent fees are varied but are usually based on the following structure:
- Renting. A one-off fee which is a percentage of the rental value, the standard is 10% plus VAT of the agreed annual rent.
- Buying. Generally 1% to 2% plus VAT of the purchase price.
Searching for a commercial property to rent or buy can be time consuming and often frustrating, but having an experienced professional by your side can make the process a lot easier. If you’re considering going it alone, save yourself the hassle and contact a commercial property agent instead.
We highly recommend that you seek the advice of a commercial property agent with experience in negotiating commercial leases. Our commercial property team are well-respected experts in this area and will be happy to answer any queries you may have. Give us a call on 020 8800 4321.
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