D1 and D2 are the property planning codes for non-residential institutions (educational buildings, medical premises, religious premises) and assembly and leisure buildings (sports and dance halls, cinemas etc) respectively. Because this is a specialist area in the property market, it pays to go for an estate agent with a proven record of delivering success in this area when you are selling. This has to be your primary criterion when considering how to sell a school, how to sell a church or how to sell a day nursery, amongst other D1 and D2 property.
Selling and moving can be a tough business, so dedicated expertise counts for a lot: normal estate agents simply won’t know what to do with these more unusual places. Specialist agencies will have lists of contacts and will have built up relationships over perhaps many years, giving them access to people that others will lack. But a more significant concern is whether you are ready to sell. In the short term, and possibly on a more long term basis, it may make more sense to rent the property out. That way, you have a guaranteed income stream. This may be a preferable idea. If so, the same estate agents should be able to help you. If you are planning to upsize to larger premises but cannot afford them at this point, this is also a way to raise the required capital – though you may need to compromise in the meantime. Alternatively, you can take out a mortgage or bridging loan, and use the rental income to pay this off over its term. If you decide to go down that route, it’s worth securing independent financial advice, since your estate agent is unlikely to be able to provide that service for you, and there would in any case be a conflict of interests.
When thinking of whether to or how to sell a school or how to sell a day nursery – or other educational institutional premises – you may need a number of other services. Valuation may be needed, as will surveying work in some instances. A decent solicitor is essential – again, ideally one who is familiar with the market, since this is not the same as selling residential property or commercial property like office or industrial space. Having these professionals in place before you start makes the question of how to sell a church or other D1/D2 building far less stressful.