Preparing Your Commercial Property For Sale or Lease
Below are some low-cost suggestions to help prepare your property for sale or lease.
If you’ve ever sold a house before, you know the importance of preparing the house in the form of staging. Staging can take the focus off of negative aspects and if staged properly, can be the difference in the purchase decision. The same principles used in staging a residential property can also be applied to commercial properties; they just have to be thought of in a different manner.
I know what you’re thinking, I’m not selling a house, and I don’t need the next Design Star from HGTV to help me sell or lease my property.
Let’s be honest, unlike buying a home, where there is sentimental emotion when purchasing, chances are, what the building looks like has less effect on the actual purchase/lease decision. However, it can’t hurt to make the property appear in top shape. You don’t want garbage on the property or a poorly kept lawn to act as a factor in the final decision.
Just like buying a home, a potential buyer/tenant for commercial real estate doesn’t want to have to worry about minor things such as landscaping or cleaning. They want the property to be “move-in” or purchase-ready.
Below are some low-cost suggestions to help prepare your property for sale/lease. Many of the suggestions will seem like common sense, but you would be surprised at how many of these are often overlooked.
HOW DOES THE BUILDING LOOK TO POTENTIAL BUYERS/TENANTS?
Stand back and view your property as if you were seeing it for the first time. What stands out to you? Those same items will stand out to potential purchasers/tenants.
Make sure the bushes are neatly trimmed, the grass is mowed and the lawn looks healthy.
The sidewalk should be clean and free of weeds and debris. If sections are badly cracked, consider having them repaired.
Parking Area / Driveway
If your parking area or loading dock surface condition is stained or otherwise worn-looking, consider resealing it. If the parking lines appear faded, have them repainted. Remove any obstructions.
Have a cleaning service power wash the building exterior for a fresh look. Don’t forget the windows. Make sure you paint over any graffiti that can be an eyesore.
Replace any cracked or broken glass and as previously mentioned, clean the windows.
The roof may be the single most important aspect of your property. A well-maintained roof will say a lot about the overall condition of the property. Replace any broken or missing shingles or tiles. Repair flashing where needed. If the roof is old and needs to be replaced, consider having the work done before selling the property.
THE BUILDING INTERIOR
Keep the common areas neat, clean, and free of clutter. Make sure everything is in good working order; check the elevators, restrooms, etc.
If space is currently under construction, keep these areas clean. Sweep any dust or debris. Have the workers take a break when you are showing a space to a potential tenant/purchaser.
THE TENANT’S SPACE
Remove any remnants of the previous tenant
If the previous tenant had a company sign on the wall, make sure it is removed. If the previous tenant had specialty fixtures, have them removed. If they had unusual color choices for paint, have the walls repainted. New tenants moving in want to picture how the space will work for them.
If you are looking to sublease or if the current tenants are still in the space, have them temporarily take down personal items. We know employees love their family photos, awards, diplomas, religious items, and other personal treasures, but explain to them that this action is only temporary until the building is sold/leased.
A fresh coat of paint can drastically increase the presentation value of your property. A neutral color scheme is a way to go for selling/leasing. Choose only 3 colors or less to paint your interiors. If you have an open floor plan, paint the main floor all the same color. However, don’t spend too much time repainting as new tenants may have ideas in mind on how they want the space to look.
Clean the blinds on the windows. Clean the interiors of the windows. Also, if your building has a nice view, don’t obstruct the views with closed blinds. Buyers/tenants like to know there is something nice to look at during working hours.
Inspect the carpet for stains or tears. If there is damage, have it replaced. If the floors are hardwood or tile, check for cracks or splits and repair as necessary.
You would think this one is common sense but let me assure you, it’s not always the case! A clean property translates into ‘They must really care about their building.’
Less is best! Rooms that have too much furniture and office fixtures make a room look smaller. Consider the flow of traffic throughout the rooms. Reduce the furniture to create open floor space. But keep in mind that vacant rooms will also make a room appear smaller. Don’t make the space too bare!
Spend money on new light fixtures. There are many low-cost lighting options to select from so no excuses for having dated fixtures. Make sure you replace any burnt-out light bulbs or broken Exit signs.
Fake the Space
Consider renting furniture to fill empty space. Office suites can be easily staged with fixtures, such as desks, simulated computers, and even a mock lunch room. By enhancing the office space, you can create a positive impression which helps prospective tenants visualize the space, so they can plan how they would use the space for their employees.