The ins and outs of finalising a commercial property sale

By Greg Bell

So it's time to sell your commercial property on the Gold Coast – maybe greener pastures await in your next investment, or you're selling up to fund your upcoming retirement. Over the course of your investing career, you may never have sold a commercial space before, and it has some differences to selling a residential property.

It's uncommon to have a commercial property auction, so expect a private treaty sale. It might take more time, but once you've accepted a bid it's only about signing the contract and finalising any business tax payments. Here's what you should expect when selling your commercial property:

No cooling-off period

In a residential sale in Queensland (assuming it's not an auction purchase) there could be a cooling-off period of up to five days where the buyer can pull out of a sale after agreeing terms. In a commercial or business sale, there is no cooling-off period.

That means if you're keen for a quick sale, you can accept any reasonable offer that comes in. Once that happens, all you have to do is sign the contract and everything is good to go.

Pay any GST you owe

If the property you're selling is a part of a business, or you're registered to pay GST for any operations regarding that land, you'll need to pay GST on the sale price of your commercial space. It only applies if you're registered i.e. if you aren't currently registered for GST (because you legally don't have to be) then you don't have to pay GST.

In the case you have to pay GST and you're selling a commercial property with a business that is going to continue operating, you can apply for the Going Concern Exemption. This means you supply the buyer with everything required to continue running or leasing the business on the property. It means you don't have to pay any GST, so could be a significant saving.

Disclose what you intend to remove from the property

When you leave the commercial property, you may intend to remove some of the fittings from the space. This could include light fittings, cables, screens and anything else you may want to keep or sell separately. You must agree to the removal of these items with the buyer before signing the contract, otherwise they might be agreeing to the sale on the proviso that some of these items be left behind.

Selling a commercial property on the Gold Coast takes some time to organise, but once you get an offer on the table you've basically finished the process. For help with your commercial sale, get in touch with Ray White Commercial Gold Coast today.

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