It has been a tough 12 months for landlords. A difficult political climate, new restrictive legislation and less than favourable changes to tax have pushed many into deciding to quit the sector and sell up.
UK sales and lettings experts, Belvoir, provide top tips for landlords who wish to sell a rental property - quickly.
Selling a rental property with a tenant in situ can be a challenge. Tenants are entitled to live their lives as they wish, and although you can ask them not to smoke in a property, or cause damage, you cannot dictate how they live their lives, or insist they keep it permanently tidy. Unfortunately an untidy property makes it more difficult to take photographs and conduct viewings to show a property off to its best advantage.
Some landlords successfully incentivise tenants by offering the last month's rent free in return for certain conditions, such as being flexible with viewings and ensuring that the property is kept very tidy. Every viewing counts, and an incentive of this type can work well. It also has the advantage of costing the landlord nothing if the tenant does not fully participate.
2: Great outdoors
A garden is a great selling point. If everything internally is good with your rental property, but the garden is a mess consider getting a subcontractor in to neaten everything up before it is put on the market. Don't accept that potential buyers can see the potential in a space, as nowadays people expect a certain standard. A nice neat garden is a massive tick in the box and a property that could be number one on someone's list could easily be discounted if the garden is a mess.
3: Freshen up
If a property has been rented for several years it may be worth giving notice to the tenant and only marketing it after the tenant has vacated. This allows the owner two to three weeks to paint inside and undertake any jobs that will give the place a lift. If the tenant had decorated to his or her own taste, it is always advisable to repaint in neutral colours such as magnolia or cream.
4: Kerb appeal
Statistics show that buyers tend to make their minds up about a property as they are walking up the path and within four paces of being inside the front door. For this reason, make sure the drive is clear of any weeds, tidy up any pots, sort out broken fences etc and if your tenant is in situ ask them to keep the hallway clean and tidy – free from children's shoes and other family paraphernalia.
5: Consider your market
When it comes to buying investment properties, landlords are interested in yields. If you are keen to sell your property quickly then you could sell it with the tenant in place, but if you sell on the open market you could achieve 10-15K more.
6: Spread the word!
The Belvoir network currently manages over 33,000 properties in the UK and offices across the country probably have a database of about 200,000 landlords. At Belvoir Wrexham we have 2,200 landlords on our database, some of who are based all over the country, but we can also ask other Belvoir offices in the network to notify landlords on their database systems of investment properties. Landlords who want to sell to other landlords, can get incredible exposure for their properties through Belvoir!