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How To Sell a Church Building?

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According to Wikipedia, most churches were built between the 11th and 14th centuries as Christianity grew in Western Europe.

Wealthy landlords donated land for church buildings, which was earmarked specifically for religious buildings.  This explains why the majority of church buildings are either listed or come with restrictive covenants.

Listed buildings are expensive to maintain and heat.  Thieves steal led metal used for roofing. If you are thinking of selling a church building, we would be happy to help.


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Selling a Church

As attendance figures drop in congregation, it is no longer viable to hold weekly worship services, and the church is inevitably closed.

An empty church with a leaky roof can result in wet rot, damp and subsidence.

Vacant churches become derelict or appear abandoned so how do you sell it?

Planning Gain

Planning gain can add substantial value to a church building. However, there are upfront costs such as professional fees of architect, planning fees and various reports that must be produced.

Even if you don’t have planning permission, you can sell the building as it is – to us.

Should you fix building problems with a Church before selling it?

If you have a team of volunteer builders, it is worth fixing any damp, subsidence and removing Japanese Knotweed from the church grounds.

You’ll have to pay for asbestos removal by specialists.  Concerns may be raised over a graveyard and potentially relocating human remains.

However, any buyer would require warranties, and this may be tricky as builders will have carried out work in goodwill with no paperwork. This only applies if you try to sell your church via a commercial property agent.


How to sell a church building
Asbestos survey is require by law when you try to sell any commercial building.

Will we have to pay Capital Gains Tax when selling a church?

Charities are religious organisations are often exempt from Capital Gains Tax. It is best to check your position with a trusted accountant or contact HMRC if you are in doubt.

Options for selling your church building

The Church of England has a prescribed process for the disposal of buildings.  As your church is independent, these are options available to you:

  1. Auctioning your church building;
  2. Sell via a commercial property agent;
  3. Sell to a cash buyer.

Auctioning church building

As church buildings are unusual and difficult to value, a property auction may provide an open and transparent way to dispose of a church.  However, you will need to consider:

  • Upfront costs – legal fees, asbestos surveys and auction entry fees.
  • Set a very low guide price to get buyers excited.
  • The sale can take up to 3 months to conclude.
  • Although the vast majority of auction sales result in completion, there’s no guarantee that a sale will be achieved.

Sell via a commercial property agent

Commercial agents are good at selling unusual commercial buildings, such as places of worship; however, their buyers will require a mortgage.

These are some of pros & cons:

  • You’ll achieve close to market value.
  • It can take up to 1 year to agree a sale.
  • Conveyancing can take another 4 months if all goes well.
  • The risk is that the surveyor may flag issues with the building.
  • The buyer may be unable to raise finance to buy the property ‘as is’.

Sell to a cash buyer

If you are looking for a reliable cash buyer, we can help.

We can help you achieve a maximum sale price using our skills & expertise via an Assisted Sale.

Or you can sell the church to us for cash.

auction hammer

Property Saviour Price Promise

  • The price we’ll offer is the price that you will receive with no hidden deductions.
  • Be careful with ‘cash buyers’ who require a valuation needed for a mortgage or bridging loan.
  • These valuations or surveys result in delays and price reductions later on.
  • We are cash buyers.  There are no surveys.
  • We always provide proof of funds with every formal offer issued.

We'll Pay £1,500 Towards Your Legal Fees

  • No long exclusivity agreement to sign because we are the buyers.
  • You are welcome to use your own solicitor. 
  • If you don’t have one, we can ask our solicitors for recommendations.
  • We share our solicitor’s details and issue a Memorandum of Sale. 

Sell With Certainty & Speed

  • Our approach is transparent and ethical, which is why sellers trust us.
  • 100% Discretion guaranteed. 
  • If you have another buyer, you can put us in a contracts race to see who completes first.
  • Complete in 10 days or at a timescale that works for you.  You are in control.

Sell with certainty & speed

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