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Commercial property selling guide

Commerical Selling Guide

Our commercial property selling guide provides professional advice and information about how to prepare your property for sale - including key factors to consider, hidden costs and how to ensure a smooth sales transaction.

1. Accurate valuation

We offer a free, no obligation market appraisal and advise you on how to let your property quickly and at the best possible price. Our valuations are based off current market conditions and demands and take local, key factors into account such as parking, local amenities, transport links etc. Contact Frost commercial or complete our online rental valuation request form.

2. Appoint an estate agent

By appointing The Frost Partnership commercial estate agency to represent you and your property for sale can make a significant difference to likely sale proceeds.

  • Trust. The Frost Partnership has been operating in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Middlesex since 1990 but the Frost name in property goes back over 100 years to 1906; our testimonials reflect our success and valued reputation in the area.
  • Expertise. We are qualified members of accredited trade bodies such as National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), qualified to provide expert professional services and advice. Read more about our credentials.
  • Exposure. Our network of offices across Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Middlesex provides your property with greater local exposure.

3. Marketing your property

Once you have appointed The Frost Partnership to represent and market your commercial property, we will act quickly to prepare the property particulars and take photographs in preparation for marketing your property.

  •  ‘For Sale’ signboards. A signboard outside commercial property is still proven to be one of the best ways to increase local awareness and attention.
  • Your property is instantly sent to active buyers looking for commercial properties like yours through our Property Alerts service.
  • Your property will be featured on our website, and our website is advertised via national and international media publications and property web portals worldwide.
  • We carry out networking, direct marketing and public relation events locally and internationally

The Frost family has specialised in selling land and property since 1906. Our network of estate agencies across Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Middlesex instantly exposes your property to the widest range of buyers and investors.

Read more about our commercial sales and acquisitions service
Contact our commercial team on 01494 680909

4. Prepare for selling your property

In order to secure a quick or smooth sale it could be advantageous to have all the additional information about the property for sale available and ready for prospective buyers. This can make your property look more attractive, easier to purchase and save buyers considerable time and money. For example do you have:

  • Planning permission, use classes and lawful use certificates
  • Commercial Energy Performance Certificate (seller's responsibility to provide)
  • Business rates and reliefs available (if available)
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax – this is the buyer’s cost
  • Utility services details
  • Surveys and local searches including;
    • Topographical survey (If appropriate)
    • Asbestos survey
    • Ordnance survey
    • Environmental report
    • Site/ground investigation report

5. Commercial property class and planning

It is worth providing your commercial estate agent with information relating to any planning permission and lawful use certificates that your commercial property already has, as it may well result in your commercial property being more attractive to a wider range of potential buyers.

Commercial properties are divided into different categories and use class types limiting the business that can operate in the property. While some class types can be altered without the need to apply for conversion or change of use / planning permission – for example A2 types can change from being Financial and Professional Services when the properties have a display window at ground level - to A1 types, shops. Whereas, A2 financial and professional businesses require planning permission in order to change the use to A3 restaurant and cafes.

Table 1: Commercial property and use class.

Table 2: Commercial property use class types that can be changed to accommodate other use class types without the need for planning permission.

6. Provide an Energy Performance Certificate

Your property’s EPC must be made available to potential buyers and it is a legal requirement for the seller to provide a commercial EPC to the commercial agent prior to marketing a property for sale. If your EPC is over 10 years old you need to arrange a new EPC. Please contact The Frost Partnership to arrange your EPC.

EPCs inform potential buyers about the energy performance of the property. Energy ratings vary from ‘A’ representing the most energy sufficient to ‘G’ the least energy efficient. A higher EPC rating could play a big role in making your commercial property more attractive to potential buyers.

If your commercial property falls into one of the following categories, you will not be required to supply a commercial EPC:

  • Agricultural buildings or buildings with low energy demand
  • Temporary premises that will be removed within two years
  • Places of worship
  • Premises that have a total floor area of less than 50 square meters

Read more about Energy Performance Certificates.

7. Receiving an offer to buy

As soon as an offer is received we will contact you to communicate the full details of the offer along with any special conditions to help you decide whether or not to accept. There is no obligation to accept the first offer you receive. However, once you have decided to accept the offer, a draft Sale Agreement will be prepared for you and the purchaser to approve the following aspects of the contract.

  • Details of the transaction
  • The nature of the agreement
  • The sale price and the payment method
  • The proposed timeline of the process

8. Appoint a solicitor

We highly recommended that you seek professional advice from a solicitor who specialises in commercial property law to represent you and guide you through the contracts and handle the administrative side of transferring ownership once you have agreed to sell your commercial property.

9. Exchange of contracts

Once both the seller and buyer are satisfied with the contract, surveys and inspections and the required funds have been transferred and accepted by the seller – you can consider the property sold.

Table 1: Commercial property and use class

Publically available information from the Open Government License (Updated 17 Oct 2011)

A1: Shops Shops, retail warehouses, hairdressers, undertakers, travel and ticket agencies, post office (not sorting offices), pet shops, sandwich bars, showrooms, domestic hire shops, dry cleaners, funeral directors and Internet cafes
A2: Financial and Professional Services Financial Services such as banks and building societies, professional services (other than health)
A3: Restaurants and Cafes For the sale of food and drink for consumption on the premises – restaurants, snack bars and cafes
A4: Drinking Establishments Public houses, Wine bars or Other drinking establishments (but not night clubs).
A5: Hot Food Takeaways For the sale of hot food for consumption off the premises
B1: Businesses Offices (other than those fall within A2 use), Research and development of products and processes, Light industry appropriate in a residential area
B2: General Industrial Use for industrial process other than those fall within class B1 (excluding incineration purposes, chemical treatment or landfill or hazardous waste)
B8: Storage or Distribution Including open-air storage.
C1: Hotels Hotels, boarding and guesthouses where no significant element of care is provided (excludes hostels).
C2: Residential Institutions Residential care homes, hospitals, nursing homes, boarding schools, residential colleges and training centres.
C2A: Secure Residential Institutions Use for a provision of secure residential accommodation, including use as a prison, young offenders institution, detention centre, secure training centre, custody centre, short term holding centre, secure hospital, secure local authority accommodation or use as a military barracks.
C3: Dwelling Houses This class is formed of 3 parts:
C3(a) covers use by a single person or a family (a couple whether married or not, a person related to one another with members of the family of one of the couple to be treated as members of the family of the other), an employer and certain domestic employees (such as an au pair, nanny, nurse, governess, servant, chauffeur, gardener, secretary and personal assistant), a carer and the person receiving the care and a foster parent and foster child.
C3(b): up to six people living together as a single household and receiving care e.g. supported housing schemes such as those for people with learning disabilities or mental health problems.
C3(c) allows for groups of people (up to six) living together as a single household. This allows for those groupings that do not fall within the C4 HMO definition, but which fell within the previous C3 use class, to be provided for i.e. a small religious community may fall into this section as could a homeowner who is living with a lodger.
C4: Houses in Multiple Occupation Small shared dwelling houses occupied by between three and six unrelated individuals, as their only or main residence, who share basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom.
D1: Non-Residential Institutions Clinics, health centres, crèches, day nurseries, day centres, schools, art galleries (other than for sale or hire), museums, libraries, halls, places of worship, church halls, law court. Non-residential education and training centres.
D2: Assembly and Leisure Cinemas, music and concert halls, bingo and dance halls (but not night clubs), swimming baths, skating rinks, gymnasiums or area for indoor or outdoor sports and recreations (except for motor sports, or where firearms are used).
Sui Generis Certain uses do not fall within any use class and are considered ‘sui generis’. Such uses include: theatres, houses in multiple occupation, hostels providing no significant element of care, scrap yards. Petrol filling stations and shops selling and/or displaying motor vehicles. Retail warehouse clubs, nightclubs, launderettes, taxi businesses, amusement centres and casinos.

Table 2: Commercial property use class types that can be changed to accommodate other use class types without the need for the landlord to apply for planning permission.

Publically available information from the Open Government License (Updated 17 Oct 2011)

From: To:
A2: Financial and Professional Services (When properties have a display window at ground level) A1: Shops
A3: Restaurant and Cafes

A1: Shops
A2: Financial and Professional Services

A4: Drinking Establishments

A1: Shops
A2: Financial and Professional Services
A3: Restaurants and Cafes

A5: Hot Takeaways

A1: Shops
A2: Financial and Professional Services
A3: Restaurants and Cafes

B1: Businesses (less than 235 sq. m of floor space) B8: Storage and Distribution
B2: General Industrial B1: Businesses
B2: General Industrial (less than 235 sq. m of floor space) B8: Storage and Distribution
B8: Storage and Distribution (less than 235 sq. m of floor space) B1: Businesses
C4: Houses in Multiple Location C3: Dwelling Houses
Casinos D2: Assembly and Leisure