PROPERTY: Your Essential 5-Point Checklist for Buying Business PropertyÂ
Recent Western Cape Business News
Buying your first business property is an exciting venture – congratulations on taking that next step!
Whether you are buying or renting property space for your business, office or factory, it’s important to make sure that you are armed with everything you need for a smooth transaction.
The only thing bridging the gap between a good and a bad property sale is this: information.
Our 5-point checklist below will help you make sure your property purchase goes down without a hitch:
1. Do your research
Perhaps the most important phase of all: doing your homework.
Thorough research should be conducted into the area where the building is located, as well as the infrastructure surrounding it. As the business owner, you should also take a good look at the building structure to make sure your business will be able to maximise the space and location fully.
Some key questions you may want to ask include:
• How much office space will you need?
• What sort of facilities will you require?
• Is the building accessible from major motorways?
• Is there sufficient parking available for both staff and clients?
• Which area is the safest and most accessible to public transport routes?
• Will the premises allow you to scale for growth, should your business need to expand?
• Are the premises in good condition, or will you need to budget for property renovations?
If you ask the right questions you will be able to make the right decisions. Leave no stone unturned in your search for the perfect property for your business.
2. Determine your finances
Affordability is a big issue that should always be kept in mind before you decide on a business property. Whether you are renting or buying, it is essential that your finances are in order.
Ask your accountant (preferably one with experience in real estate transactions) to weigh in on what your business can afford. Don’t spend money that you don’t have – this could ultimately sink your business.
Be sure to have the following in order before you approach the bank:
• High quality financial statements
• A plan for any tax implications (your accountant can help you with this)
• A good understanding of upfront and ongoing costs that may arise
3. Ask the experts
It is always wise to enlist the help of a reputable commercial property specialist.
This should be someone with a proven track record, with several years in the commercial property industry, and great recommendations from other well-established businesses.
The benefits of working with a commercial property expert are significant:
• They will save you money: with the help of an expert, you reduce the risk of purchasing the wrong property, saving you a lot of money in the long term.
• They will save you time: a specialist will do all the groundwork, which means you don’t have to waste your time searching for potential premises yourself.
• They will ease your stress: knowing that an experienced person is handling the search is one less thing for you to worry about.
• They know the industry: a commercial property expert will be privy to useful industry information that will give you access to the best property options in your area.
• They have the knowledge: an experienced specialist will be armed with all the information to make a sound purchase decision.
Essentially, working with a commercial property specialist will ease the pressure of a property search, freeing you up to do what you do best: run your business.
4. Plan your move
Now that your financing is in order and you’ve found the perfect premises for your business, it’s time to plan for moving day.
Your planning should cover a variety of things, including:
• Obtaining quotes from local moving service providers
• Planning your office layout down to the last detail
• Running credit checks on contractors who will be providing services, for your peace of mind
• Choosing the right builders with experience, timeliness and knowledge of your industry
• Preparing for any down-time well in advance: notify your clients, service providers and staff so that they can plan accordingly.
If you plan your move down to the last detail, this will help you anticipate any curveballs and give all parties involved peace of mind.
5. Establish your compliance
Possibly one of the most important items to be checked off your list before you move: compliance.
If you don’t have the proper compliance certificates in place, you will compromise your insurance cover if injury or damage takes place on the property. It is in your best interest to get these in place sooner, rather than later, as you don’t want this to hold up your sale process.
This may include a:
• Water and plumbing certificate
• Electrical certificate
• Beetle certificate
• Gas certificate
• Electrified fence certificate
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