As valuable capital assets, London property invariably yields handsome rewards for the astute investor by providing vital building blocks for portfolio expansion and diversification. It is vital, therefore, to regard the selling of a home as a tactical business decision to be undertaken with the aim of reducing costs and increasing the return on investment. The difference between a moderately profitable transaction and a financial windfall is usually down to the timing and levels of preparation that you’re ready to undertake and it’s in these areas that the expertise and advice of an established estate agent becomes an essential resource.
There can be many reasons for selling and some are more time sensitive than others; a career relocation, schools, new addition to the family or even a need or desire to free up capital. Even if there are no time pressures, it helps to set a schedule, so that all the different components of the sale fall into place. Set aside a period for research of, not only the local property market, but also prospective estate agents, conveyance experts and local tradespersons should you need them. Assess the costs involved as well as the time their services will require.
Estate agents who claim that they can sell your property quickly are not necessarily the right people for the job. Agents will be in regular contact with you through what is widely acknowledged to be a pretty intense and stressful period, so it is important you do your homework and choose your agent carefully. You can spot the good ones by their proven experience and willingness to be transparent. Some questions to ask are:
Good agents should be able to market your property readily, as soon as you instruct them. They should also take professional, high quality photographs that show your property in the best light possible, guaranteeing plenty of interest. They’ll also give you tips on getting the rooms ready. Benham and Reeves also provide a video and floorplan, not all agents do, so do ask them what is included, where and how they will be marketing your property to ensure it reaches the maximum audience.
Maintaining a careful balance between attracting buyers and maximising profits should start with a professional and accurate valuation of your property. This serves as a solid base for negotiation and will enable you to budget accurately as you decide how much to spend on getting the property ready for market.
Benham and Reeves offer a free online valuation that can be accessed via our website and this is a good place to start. As you research, you’ll soon recognise that the age, size and location of your home are major factors in any valuation calculation, as is the state of the economy and these are variables that are more or less out of your control. There are, however, some other things that can be done in order to give your property the best chance of attracting the full market price.
Of course, any potential buyer will also be carrying out a survey and that’s where things get a bit more detailed and it’s important to have most of these bases covered. These details are what potential buyers will be looking at:
It should be noted that once you have done your research, a formal valuation should be sought and this is best performed by a qualified agent who will need to visit your property to take a proper look at the size and condition. It is advisable to get the valuation in writing as you may need this if hoping to secure a mortgage loan in principle.Contact us if you would like to arrange a free, no obligation of your property.
So you have a property with great potential, near to vital transport links and full of attractive features. How do you add further value?The next three points focus on cost-effective strategies that can be carried with minimal fuss and bother:
Potential buyers looking for a home in London can be pretty much spoiled for choice, especially when they’re looking at a new build. So it’s wise to ensure you have the competitive edge when selling as there are likely to be other apartments for sale particularly if it’s a large scale property development built over several phases. You don’t have to make major renovations to impress. A selection of stylish and tasteful soft furnishings can transform your property from “Next, please” to “Yes please!”
Some estate agents have close relationships with interior design and furnishings experts and will make helpful suggestions regarding your property. High quality furnishings, accessories and artwork don’t have to cost the earth and their knack of providing eye-catching focal points often prove invaluable.
Services such as:
Once you have instructed an agent, every viewing of your property should be treated as a potential sale. Keep the property in tip-top condition and take notice of any feedback or suggestions that might come your way; either from the agent or a prospective buyer.
Some agents do not need you to be available for every viewing but in some instances, it can be helpful – be guided by your agent.
Don’t leave the choice of a conveyance solicitor to the last minute or to chance. Your estate agent will be able to point you to any number of experienced professionals who will be able to take on the legal heavy lifting that goes with selling a property.
Getting your property ready involves getting your paperwork ready as well. Good solicitors will have all documentation up to date and accessible before you accept any offer. They’ll then keep in touch with your agent as to the progress of the sale and have contracts ready to sign as soon as both parties are ready.
Before your property can be marketed, you will be required to complete a property information questionnaire. This will ask you to include relevant information relating to any issues you may have regarding your property boundaries or any dispute with neighbours; whether you have appropriate approvals for any building works or freeholder consent for things like loft conversions or extensions. You will also be asked to mention any known defects. It is recommended that you be as transparent as possible from the outset as answers that are vague or incomplete are most likely to come up during the conveyancing process which could delay things and cost you more money in the long run. It could also impact the outcome of your sale.
I rented my flat from Benham and Reeves agent and the people who worked there are very friendly and polite especially Veronica Souza and Brett
Professional, fast and helpful team
I was assisted by Brett and Veronica. They were very professional and fast for every request and need. This was very important for me because I moved from Italy with my children and everything was new for me to settle. Many thanks for your kind and effective assistance!
Good service Prompt and responsive
Benham are the go-to place for letting in W8
I’ve used Benham and Reeves to let my apartment for nearly 20 years. Their Letting service is excellent and their local knowledge and reputation leads to a ready supply of first class tenants. The Management Service is very efficient for both tenant and landlord; the quality of maintenance and staff are first rate—I have complete confidence in them. The record keeping is prompt and accurate. I would not hesitate to recommend their services.
Very responsive and professional
Excellent service - always immediately responsive and helpful
I would highly recommend this agency to anyone seeking a rental in London. They were extremely helpful regarding our various questions both relating to the accomodation and to London in general. Requests were dealt with immediately and efficiently and often the personnel went over and beyond what would be expected. Overall, all personnel I had the opportunity to exchange with were excellent professionals.
Very friendly and diligent
Very clear, professional and friendly communication. Easy to get in touch with and happy to follow up. Brett was our negotiator and Veronica our administrator. They are very diligent and synchronised.
Outstanding service by Philip
Philip has been wonderful in our house hunting in London. He listened to our needs and had been so patient in finding that right one. The whole process took a year and he was never discouraged. Instead, he was always very accommodating and positive. Now, we have finally moved into our new place. We highly recommend Philip to anyone who is looking for their dream home. In fact, we have already referred some friends to him. Thank you Philip and we appreciate all your help!
Dedicated service and customer centric
Always provide timely support and coordination
I am very pleased with their services. I am an overseas landlord and they have exceeded my expectations for a number of years. Quality service indeed.
Excellent service as always.
We are pleased with the service thus far, and would not hesitate to recommend B&R to friends and family. Thank you team!
Benham and Reeves
I have been a client of Benham and Reeves for nearly 20 years, and in that time I have found them to be very professional in everything they do and have served my needs exceptionally well. Abbas and his team have taken very good care of my property, and all the work that goes along with being a landlord over seas. They know their job, and the market inside out. I would have no hesitation in recommending Abbas and the team at Benham and Reeves for any potential property lettings.
Excellent and professional services
Philip provides professional services and advice on property acquisition. Very friendly and helpful.
Very good person, very eager. And work seriously, willing to meet the requirements of the customer.
I like B&R in several aspects. Our flat in Aldgate East is always tenanted - B&R easily finds tenants. They have a good network and know how the market stands so can recommend the right rental price. I am also happy with the admin/financial platform in place. Abbas is the one who contacts me on finance matters. I have been a client for almost 20 years and am very happy with your service.
I am happy with the responsiveness of the agents. They have been answering the emails always in a timely manner. I was a bit upset I had to insist 1 month on getting a new sink (initial one broke as it was not a sink). That was not great. But they are always there when I have a question and have helped me to discuss issues with water and gas meter with Landlord. The team is polite and nice, I am glad they are here.
I have been working with Benham and Reeves for a few years now. They have been managing a few of our properties and I’m very happy with them. They are very professional, efficient and thorough. I would recommend them to anyone looking for a good property manager.
I just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you for providing me with an excellent service. You proactively sought out properties that met my investment criteria which led me to purchasing an ideal property. I appreciated your friendly and professional manner and felt I could really trust your judgement, which is something I did not feel with other estate agents. I would highly recommend using your company and will hopefully be purchasing another property through you soon.
A Satisfied Buyer!
I was happy with your service particularly in keeping the sale alive when the vendor was losing faith. My agent (Sofia) was invaluable in overcoming the various hurdles and concluding the sale successfully. Thank you from a satisfied buyer!
Lockdown has prompted many people to reassess what they want from their property purchase. Some Londoners are looking to move to a new part of the Capital, while others are looking for more space. Whatever the location, flexibility is more important than ever and a home now has to be multi-functional and able to quickly adapt to its owners’ changing needs – whether this is for working from home, home-schooling or simply having some outside space to enjoy. Demand for residential properties in London remains good, driven by many people’s need to move to a new home that can adapt to these new circumstances. Affordability remains a key issue for many though so the price bracket up to £500,000 is still the busiest, accounting for the majority of transactions. Both domestic and overseas buyers driving demand for properties Domestic buyers are driving much of this demand, but overseas buyers are also active, encouraged by the continuing weakness of the pound, Stamp Duty savings and the desire to purchase before the additional Stamp Duty Land Tax surcharge of 2% for overseas buyers comes into force in April 2021. We continue to see enquiries increase from Hong Kong buyers wishing to move to London following the UK government’s plans to grant Hong Kong BN(O) visas which launches in January 2021, allowing Hong Kong nationals to work and study in the UK for five years and eventually seek British citizenship. These buyers are looking for a safe haven for their money, but also a home if they plan to move here permanently. At the moment, North West London appears to be very popular, mainly because there are strong Chinese communities already in this part of London. Some buyers are also looking to ‘try before they buy’ and are considering renting for one year and so we have been working with our lettings branches to accommodate those requests. The award-winning Beaufort Park property development in Colindale is a great option for individuals and small families. You can rent or buy here at affordable prices and anyone interested should contact us for further details. Millbrook Park in upmarket Mill Hill, NW7, is another project attracting a lot of interest from overseas investors. Our Hong Kong office will be showcasing this outstanding scheme for its launch on November 21 & 22 at the Mandarin Oriental and will welcome any local investors who want to come along and meet us. To make an appointment can book here Buyers reassess their priorities For many of us, our homes have become a real sanctuary this year and this is unlikely to change. Finding the right home is more important than ever and this applies whether the buyer is a homeowner themselves or an investor who is looking to buy a property that offers renters a home that meets their needs. Much has been talked about the way some Londoners are considering moving to the suburbs or beyond, looking for a different, perhaps quieter lifestyle. But there are still many professionals, often singles or couples, who love the buzz of living in central London and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. These professionals have good jobs in the City or central London and may work long hours, either from home or in the office. Increasingly they want to commute to work on foot, or perhaps by bike, but not on public transport. They may wish to push their budget by buying a property with an extra bedroom where they can work comfortably from home. They will almost certainly want some outside space, a balcony or a terrace, and they would like to be close to a park or other green space. The convenience of having shops and other amenities within easy reach is high on many wish lists now as many prefer a lifestyle where everything they need is nearby, without the need to travel too far. Developments such as Nine Elms Point in Vauxhall, Beaufort Park in Colindale and Imperial Wharf in Fulham all meet these criteria and, being situated amidst beautiful, landscaped gardens, they offer buyers a great quality of life. So these are the types of development that we are finding popular with buyers and renters at the moment. Beating the Stamp Duty holiday deadline We expect the market to get busier as we approach the Stamp Duty holiday deadline next Spring and already some clients are reporting to us that they have been told to expect longer than usual delays for conveyancing, carrying out building surveys and local authority searches, due to the increased demand from buyers. In some cases, buyers are waiting 20 weeks to complete – the average is usually 12 weeks. So my advice to anyone thinking about buying a property soon, is to plan well ahead and ensure you can exchange before the March 31 deadline. Contact our sales office to discuss any requirements you might have.