Retailers selling stores are being warned to stay vigilant against “unscrupulous estate agents”, after owners reported major markups on shops.
Several store owners criticised recent listings for two off-licences in London. One site in north London was priced at £200,000 leasehold with a weekly turnover of less than £3,000. Another from the same agent had a £150,000 leasehold with only around £2,000 weekly turnover.
One independent retailer told Better Retailing they had seen more estate agents list stores with “unrealistic markups” to take advantage of the rise in demand across the sector.
One commercial property expert warned that “unscrupulous estate agents” were common on the market. They told Better Retailing: “They try giving retailers an unrealistic market price. Retailers will keep paying them money as part of the listing agreement, but the property won’t actually get sold.
“Store owners should do their research. Ask for a portfolio of convenience stores an estate agent has sold. It’s quite telling if they can’t do this, or don’t have much experience.”
The expert also advised retailers to check if an estate agent has professional accreditation.