How to prep a commercial property for sale or lease
Many landlords don’t feel it is necessary to do anything to a commercial property before they have a tenant. Sellers often don’t want to spend any money on a building that they plan to sell. While it is more difficult in commercial buildings to guess what the next user of a building will want, it is extremely important that the buyer or tenant has a good first impression when they see the building. There is a lot that can be done to get a building ready, and it doesn’t have to break the bank.
The least expensive thing to do is a thorough cleaning of the space. It is important that buildings look well maintained on the exterior and clean on the interior. Carpets should be shampooed if there is excessive dirt. Floors should be free of leaves, debris and garbage. Windows should be washed and the space should be dusted. If a building looks like it has been vacant for a long time, buyers often wonder what is wrong with the building that no one has wanted it.
A fresh coat of paint can be an enormous benefit as well. Especially if there have been shelves or pictures hanging on walls that were removed by the previous occupant leaving marks and holes. Anything that is broken or outdated such as bathroom fixtures, windows, floor covering or entryways should be replaced and updated if it is not a major capital expense.
If there is existing furniture or fixtures in the space, make sure they help make the space look better. A desk from 1970 probably isn’t going to be a selling point to the next user, but newer modular office furniture might be. If there is clutter in the space, make sure this is removed so that everything looks neat and presentable.
While home staging is becoming more prevalent in the residential market, it is not often done in commercial properties. In certain situations, such as atypical floor plans, it makes sense to show what can be done with the space. Floor plans are helpful, but if you can help create space using furniture or light, to better showcase a building, it can make all the difference to the tenant or buyer.
While many of these things do not add significant value to the property, they will help cut the marketing time into a much shorter period. I’ve seen many buildings sit vacant for years, and then as soon as the owner renovates the space, they get leased in a couple months. As always, we are available to answer any questions you have on your property if you’re getting ready to sell or lease it.
We would like to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season!
-Dan Stiebel, CCIM