Key stages - commercial property purchase

There are a number of stages involved in a commercial property purchase for both vendors and purchasers, below is a brief and indicative guide about what is involved at each stage on behalf of the parties. The outline below is for a typical purchase but not all transactions follow this set approach. If you need advice in relation to a commercial property transaction our solicitors have years of experience acting for vendors and buyers, call us on 0203 816 9303 for a free, no obligation initial chat with one of our legal advisors.

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Stage one - Heads of terms

Vendor

  • Appoint professional advisors (agents, valuers, solicitors)
  • Analyse property details and assess how to address any issues
  • Consider restrictions/limitations to sale. For example, third party consent, banking issues
  • Purchase Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

Purchaser

  • Appoint professional advisors
  • Assess funding options

Stage 2 - Pre-contract

Vendor

  • Carry out searches - optional. Having the searches in place will allow greater control when working out the time limits for exchanging contracts. Searches typically take 3- 8 weeks depending on the location and nature of the property
  • Make available the pre-contract/storage legal pack, including: reply to enquiries, prepare title documents, draft contract, EPC and other related documents to the property being sold
  • Obtain title deeds from mortgage holder and indicative redemption statement.
  • Negotiation of contract

Purchaser

  • Investigate title and reply to enquiries
  • Conduct surveys
  • Preparation of reports
  • Negotiation of contract
  • Carry out searches if vendor has not supplied them
  • Reporting to mortgagee on investigation

Stage 3 - Exchange of contracts

Vendor

  • Committed to the sale

Purchaser

  • Deposit paid and committed to purchase
  • Arrange insurance if appropriate

Stage 4 - Pre-completion

Vendor

  • Completion statement prepared including mortgage redemption figures
  • Prepare replies to requisition on title
  • Signing of completion documents

Purchaser

  • Carry out pre-completion priority searches
  • Transfer of completion monies
  • Carry out land registry searches
  • Completion statement prepared
  • Request mortgage advance and ensure balance of purchase price is deposited with purchaser's solicitor

Stage 5 - completion

Vendor

  • Mortgage discharged
  • Send completion documents to the purchaser
  • Balance of purchase money sent to the vendor

Purchaser

  • Completion monies paid to vendor's solicitor
  • Buyer now has responsibility
  • Ensure insurance is in place

Stage 6 - Post-completion

Purchaser

  • Stamp Duty Land Tax
  • Land Registry application
  • Deeds
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