Thursday, 30 July 2015

Is cash king in the world of property investment in Warrington?

Many property investors are struggling right now in Warrington - trying to find the bargains out there in a rising market is an increasing difficult task, made all the harder by some of the obstacles being thrown up in front of them by estate agents who are not playing by the rules and restricting market access to cash buyers, but why would this be?

Go back a step and imagine yourself as a vendor – the estate agent you appoint to sell your property has a legal obligation to act in your best interest, and to pass on any and all offers to you for your own consideration, albeit they will be able to advise you of the relative strengths or weaknesses of individual offers such as the length of chain they bring, are the buyers financially qualified and how quickly then can proceed to completion. But what if, and we are hearing more and more reports of this, the estate agent is actually working in their own best interests first and foremost, by not passing on ALL offers because they can make more commission by trying to sell your house to a family who require many more of their (fee earning) services, such as a mortgage, life insurance, indemnity insurance, a home survey, buildings insurance and so on? Sometimes the highest price offered is not the best deal on the table when you consider all of the intangible elements involved such as timeframes, external complications and the overall ease of the transaction.

We are finding that many cash investors are hitting a ‘glass wall’ which they cannot pass through, as they are not in need of the extras that many agents need to sell to hit their targets, and as a result they are actively being prevented from having their offer passed forward to the vendor. If this has happened to you, I would suggest putting your offer in writing direct to the vendor and let them and the agent sort out the resulting conflict, after all, it is also the vendor that is being inconvenienced by such action.

There are a few agents around who actively market properties for sale to potential landlords & investors, so at least some of them are being proactive in serving such a market, and they also understand that those buyers approach any deal differently to a retail buyer looking for a home of their own. What an investment buyer would need to be aware of is that estate agents selling a property often over exaggerate the potential rental income in order to make the figures appear more attractive to investors, and one way we can help combat this is to assess the potential purchase and give our fair and unbiased assessment of its potential to meet your investment criteria.

Another area to examine carefully is the ongoing cost from any managing letting agent, as costs can and do vary by quite some margin – we are talking about your fees as a landlord and the fees charged to tenants at the beginning and throughout the life of the tenancy, because although you won’t be paying the tenant fees, it could have a considerable impact on your ability to let and re-let a property if tenants feel they are being over charged for the right to apply, or worse still being forced to pay to re-apply for a tenancy renewal of what they consider to be their home. It is action such as this which leads to ‘churn’ or the turnover of tenants on a regular and costly basis.

So how should you combat this and make sure you as an investor are treated equally? Well you can first of all insist upon being present whilst the agent contacts the vendor, and then remind them of their obligation to put forward your every offer. Tell them that if they won’t, you will submit it in writing yourself (you can find their address on the land registry website for a few pounds). You can also seek out those agents willing to work with cash rich buyers, and for agents undecided about which side of the fence to fall onto you can educate them as to the value of your proposed deal, in terms of the uncomplicated position and speed you can bring to the transaction, and who wouldn't want that?

Here at Hamlet Warrington, we don't just take on new properties and let them out, we go back a stage or two and look to work with potential investors at the start of their journey and stay with them right through to letting & managing their new property, and we can help guide investors through the minefields and show them the tricks to get the best property in the first place (including accompanied viewings if you wish), because once you do this, the rest should be child’s play.

The cost for all this? Absolutely nothing. The value to you though – immeasurable.

To find out how valuable a partner we could be, visit us now at our offices on 
6 Bankside, Crosfield Street, Warrington, WA1 1UP, or you can email me 
Manoj Patel on

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