The prospect of having to move your business is a potentially disruptive and daunting one, but if planned effectively, and with the right advice, there’s no reason it can’t be a straight forward, smooth process.

But what should you expect when buying or moving into a new property?

Here’s our 10-stage guide, taking you step by step through what you can expect from an office move.

Stage 1 – Detailed brief

This would be the time to agree timescales and any business-critical dates which might prevent or inhibit your move.

Working with you, we would get an in-depth project brief to establish the criteria driving your property move.

This helps us identify suitable options quickly and effectively, including any ‘off-market’ options and upcoming opportunities not yet available on the open market.

Stage 2 – Option analysis

Having undertaken a thorough search of the market using your criteria, we would supply a list of relevant and available property options.

This would include information about location and basic amenities, and would contain high level cost assessments such as rent, rates and service charges, as well as the terms upon which the property is available.

Stage 3 – Space assessment

Every square foot or square metre costs your business so it’s vital to make sure your property solution is cost effective.

Based on your brief, we would carry out an occupational space assessment, which might include anything from staff analysis, proximity to public transport and changes in business requirements, to working practices and corporate image.

If appropriate we would work with you, and other professional advisers such as workplace environment consultants and legal teams, to determine your optimum solution.

Stage 4 – Property inspection

Having selected properties from the shortlist, we would organise property inspection tours, providing advice and recommendations in relation to the condition of the properties, and their appropriateness in relation to your brief, and the terms available.

Stage 5 – Analysis of alternatives

Sometimes a financial analysis for shortlisted options is prepared, to compare options effectively.

This would cover all property outgoings and any pre-agreed assumptions about the fitting out of the property and occupation.

Depending on the size of the move, a Project Manager is also appointed to ensure you achieve your aims in terms of timelines, quality of fitout and finance.

Stage 6 – Negotiation

Once you’ve decided on a property, we progress negotiations on your behalf to secure the best possible and most flexible terms, fully protecting your position to mitigate future liabilities.

The negotiation is bespoke - whether it’s to renew a lease in your existing building, or a move to a new property.

Stage 7 – Approval

Having carried out an overview of the terms agreed, the risks and benefits of each property and a comparative cash flow analysis for each property, we would put forward our recommendations based on your criteria.

Stage 8 – Heads of Terms

Once you have agreed on the property and the terms, we would produce something called a Heads of Terms document which would form the basis of instruction for each party’s solicitors.

This lists the agreed terms and conditions of the proposed property transaction, and would provide solicitors with the information needed to complete the deal in a timely manner.

Stage 9 – Legals

Working closely with your advisers, we would provide commercial input into the legal negotiations, helping to make sure the final document reflects the terms negotiated on your behalf.

Stage 10 – Due Diligence and completion

Using experts from across Vail Williams, we would work with you and your professional consultants, to ensure a thorough and effective due diligence process. This helps to ensure completion in a timely and cost-effective way.

Relocating your business doesn’t have to be complex. By retaining specialist advisers, you can achieve a great outcome not just for you, but for your staff and business too.

For more information about the acquisition services provided by Vail Williams, don’t hesitate to get in touch.