How Long Does It Take to Find Office Space and Move-In?

The time that it takes to locate and move into an office space varies from one transaction to another. The time frame for finding space and moving in can be affected by such factors as the availability of space, and the amount of build-out required. Tenants either have to be flexible with their space criteria or their move in dates.

Search Time
It can take three days, three years, or even longer to find office space depending on the location, type and amount of space that you are looking for. Those who want an office space in a highly occupied market, in a specific building, or in a building with specific amenities may have to wait months or years for existing leases to expire before they can sign a lease. Tenants who can be more flexible about where to locate their space will be more likely to find space to move into quickly. You also have to allow for unforeseen issues; like once you locate the perfect space and are ready to sign a lease, you find out that another tenant has beat you to the punch.

Negotiating Time
Once a tenant has found an office space, the next step is negotiating the lease terms. This process takes time because there can be many iterations of the lease that will go back and forth between the landlord and the tenant. Attorneys often assist tenants with understanding and negotiating lease terms. Although hiring an attorney is highly recommended, an attorney’s thorough review and recommendations can add a few days or many months to the negotiation process.

Build-Out Time
The build out process can be longest delay for tenant move-in into a new office space. Once build-out terms have been negotiated, the tenant will have to work with an architect to design the build-out, hire general contractors, get permitting approvals, and work through the construction process. This process can be time consuming and expensive…BUT well worth it to have your business space function and portray the image you desire. Tenants who do not want to spend the time or money on building out a space, should focus on finding an office space that is move-in ready or that requires minimal build-out.

Setting Realistic Lease Criteria
Tenants whose space requirements are rigid will likely take longer to find and move into a lease space, whereas tenants with flexible requirements will be able to move-in more quickly. Although being flexible allows businesses to find and move into space sooner, businesses should think long and hard about what they want and need from office space. Signing an office lease is a significant commitment and should not be taken lightly. Businesses have to find a balance between things they want in a leased premises and the amount of time they have to move-in.


Content is provided by SwiftLease leasing agents.

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