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.
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!
Excellent and professional services
Philip provides professional services and advice on property acquisition. Very friendly and helpful.
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!
As real estate in the UK begins its recovery after subsequent lockdowns, there is more positivity around and confidence is returning to the market. Since the beginning of March, shortly after the UK Government announced a detailed roadmap for getting back to normal, our Hong Kong office saw a surge of interest, with London property investment the primary focus. When I joined Benham and Reeves Hong Kong office earlier in 2021, following the positive roll-out of vaccines in the UK, investors could see a clear way forward. And at the beginning of March, we started to see a real uptake in property sales which was a clear demonstration of the confidence that international buyers have in the wider UK economy. London property, in particular, remains at the top of the list (as ever), and we’ve also seen a surge of enquiries because of the BNO Visa scheme which provides a route to British Citizenship. Understanding what motivates Hong Kong investors is key I started my career in international residential property back in 2008 when the world was facing the global financial crisis. At that time, I had the advantage of working under the mentorship of a few London property experts whose vast experience and connections were combined with the right property propositions, made available to Asian investors, and I gained a lot of knowledge of what makes a good investment. My policy has always been to provide a customised, one-stop service to investors, from providing research and background advice on property purchase, through to leasing and management services and resale when the right opportunity arises. I have a strong base of clients who are recurring investors in the London market as they have experienced good capital appreciation and rental returns which London historically offers. I believe my experience is especially beneficial for new buyers, those looking for an overseas investment, investing in the UK market for the first time. With my property expertise, I have always ‘walked the talk’ and was a pioneer investor in the North- London regeneration project at Woodberry Down where I have seen capital values increased a staggering 96% since first launch in 2012, so I think I bought very well. Looking back, if I had that time again, I would also have bought a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment in Berkeley London’s Dickens Yard development in Ealing which was also recommended to me back in 2012 – the year when London hosted the Olympics - but Ealing was not top of my radar at that time. The area has also seen huge growth, almost doubling its value too and provides a good rental income with its continued success. Now there is Filmworks and other schemes coming to the area and the location has been totally transformed.