How long to sell commercial property?

It depends on numerous factors, but a commercial property agent will aim to sell a commercial property within around 90 days.

From first offering on the market, to transactional completion, typically an agent will aim for a 90 day period, but it ultimately depends on factors such as price, resources, speed and complexity.

A simple retail unit of 1,000sqft will more than likely complete significantly faster than a 100,000sqft logistics centre. Complexity of the sale can delay completion times by huge margins and smaller aspects such as quality solicitors can speed processes up on your behalf.

How long to buy a commercial property?

90 days is typically the time frame it will take to complete the purchase of a commercial property.

As in the reverse, buying a commercial property is usually in the timeframe of 90 days also. Again, the same factors are at play and having time and resources on your side definitely play a major part in how fast you can purchase a commercial property.

A look at the data

Delving deeper into how fast you can sell a commercial property reveals a different picture to what commercial agents target however. A look into Estates Gazette Radius, paints a picture of hefty delays and much longer sale timeframes.

For England, the average time for disposal is 1 year and 1 month. A much bigger timeframe than targeted. However, the timeframe is based on a deal size of roughly 7,000sqft and the extremities of the market really raise the roof on the average time.

For instance, a commercial office for sale of 200sqft can be consistently marketed for over 2 or 3 years and many agents have ‘dead listings’ on their books. These dead listings, when finally sold, bring the average time of disposal significantly higher, thus portraying a longer timeframe than expected by clients.

To really interpret the data, we need to look at per sector and on different sizes of commercial property. Retail has an average disposal time of 9 months and industrial around 7 months. Office is the outlier with roughly 15 months.

In conclusion

The overwhelming majority of commercial properties for sale, do transact within the rough range of 90 days, however the averages are affected my large amounts of data pools and multiple factors playing part in dictating the overall average.

A great course of approach is to speak to commercial property agents locally and ask them what their average sale timeframes are. Good agents will be able to present their averages and highlight anomalies or reasonings for delayed transactions.

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