New research has revealed that properties across England and Wales are taking a third longer to sell than two years ago.

However, it is London that holds the dubious accolade of having the longest time on the market and prime London dominates the top ten of “Worst places to sell” with average time on the market being 363 days - that’s nearly a year!

So, if you had a rental property that you wished to sell, and intended to sell it with vacant possession, you could end up paying your mortgage and running expenses (assuming you have one) with no rental income for a significant time.

With average prices in London being far higher than elsewhere in the UK, landlords trying to sell could suffer an extended period of financial pain - not to mention that empty properties suffer from other risks, including asset theft, vandalism, increased insurance premiums, and risk of damage from undetected issues such as water leaks.

Meanwhile, with no rent coming in and the mortgage payment going out, the landlord will also have to cover the cost of standing utilities and council tax …. so the costs can really start to mount up.

With the announcement that the Government is consulting on the abolishment of Section 21, lettings agents around the UK are predicting a rush of landlords selling up as many see this latest announcement as the last straw that broke the camel’s back.

The onerous tax regime Section 24 is in its third year of deployment and the Tenants Fee Ban comes into effect on the 1st June 2019, and both of these potentially increase landlords’ costs which in turn, means that margins are being reduced.

So, with this obvious “direction of travel” within the private rented sector, those landlords who were thinking of retiring in a few years time may well bring their plans forwards.

This, combined with on-going Brexit stagnation, does not paint a positive picture for anyone wishing to sell a rental property, particularly in London.

The traditional post-Easter bounce is looking a little flat this year. There is increasing stock on the market and subdued transactions, so the picture is likely to get gloomier before it starts improving.

There are other issues with selling a rental property that need due consideration:

  1. Tenants are entitled to what is known as “quiet enjoyment’ of their rental home, and, even if there is a clause in the tenancy agreement that allows for viewings, they are not obliged to facilitate these. This means that you will have to serve notice on them and wait for them to vacate, before being able to put your property on the market.
  2. Should the tenant allow viewings, tenanted properties often do now “show” well at viewings, as the tenant is not keeping the property clean and tidy or they may have a lot of clutter.
  3. It is not unknown for some tenants, who do not want to leave their rental home, to sabotage viewings by making negative comments about the area or the property to potential buyers!
  4. If a tenant has been in situ for a long time, it may be that the condition of the property has reduced significantly - such as scratched paintwork, stained carpets etc. This means the landlord will have to spend a potentially significant sum of money to bring the property up to a “sell-able” standard to achieve the best possible price. With no guarantee that you will sell the property any time soon, and no rent coming in, many landlords find it sticks in their craw to spend this money, or may not even have the funds to undertake this work at all.

Sell your rental property to a direct property buyer

However, there is an answer of how to sell a rental property without any hassle whatsoever, and that is to sell it with tenants in situ to a professional cash buyer like ourselves.

We will buy any type of property in England and Wales, in any condition, with any type of tenancy.

This means that there is no need to serve notice on your tenants, undertake numerous viewings, and suffer loss of rent if your property takes a long time to sell.

We make a no-obligation offer for your property within 48 hours of you contacting us. We are a family-run business with a significant cash fund, and we pride ourselves on our ethical, transparent, and fair service.

We do not offer you the full market value for your property because of our “cash buyer” status, but we do endeavor to find a solution and price that works for you, particularly if there are other factors that are forcing you to sell a property quickly, such as rent arrears or other debts mounting up.

Once we have agreed a sale price for your property, we can complete in any time frame to suit you - anything from 7 to 28 days is the typical timescales we work to, provided that you have all the necessary documentation to hand, and are pro-active in working with us and our experienced legal team to move the sale forwards to completion. We can even pay your solicitor’s costs if needed.

Your tenants can carry on enjoying living at their rental home, and, on completion of the sale, they will be notified that we are their new landlord.

Contact us

So if you are thinking of selling your rental property in London, or indeed anywhere in England and Wales, please do get in touch with us for a no-obligation offer.

Once in receipt of that, you can then crunch the numbers to find out how much it might cost you to sell the property on the open market with vacant possession, taking into account the average estate agent commission of 1.5% and the costs associated with an empty property that we itemised above.

There is something else you should put a price on when selling a rental investment, and that is your time and peace of mind.

Selling a property on the open market can be a very long and drawn out process with viewings, and many let downs along the way - the sale can even fall out of bed months after it has been agreed - so it can be a very stressful experience.

Selling to a professional property buyer like ourselves cuts out all that extended angst and stress.

We offer guaranteed funds in your bank account on the day of your choosing, leaving you free to move on and enjoy your life without having the uncertainty of selling a property hanging over you.

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