How to get a premium price for your rental property

LSL Property Services surveyed 3000 tenants and have found the special features that tenants would most like to have in their rental properties. These are interesting for landlords as it’s these things that could attract tenants prepared to pay a premium price.

Pets are so frequently a perceived issue from a landlord’s perspective. 28% of tenants surveyed said they would be willing to pay an average of £24 extra a month if they could have their four-legged family live with them too. With regular inspections, fully documented professional inventories and the correct check in/out procedures, Robert Williams Sales & Lettings has minimised the likelihood of pet-related problems, with several 100 properties managed that do allow pets.

From fur babies to technology, high-speed internet is seen as a priority. On average, tenants would pay £19 per month more for properties with it.

Of least interest to the tenants surveyed, was a concierge service (3%) and somewhere to store their bikes (4%). Exercise was important to 41% of tenants who would pay £20 extra for use of a communal gym. Even a communal garden was popular with an extra £10 on average would be paid by 32% of tenants. A communal games or recreation room would be welcomed by 27% of tenants too.

On the other end of the scale, a concierge service would garner the least interest, with just 3% prepared to pay an additional £20. Slightly above, 4% of renters would spend £12 a month to have storage space specifically for their bikes.

Moreover, tenants also revealed the communal facilities they would be willing to pay more for when renting, with a gym being a top priority, illustrated by the fact that 41% of renters are prepared to pay an additional £20 on average every month to conveniently exercise and stay fit on-site.

Oliver Williams, Lettings Manager, says, “I certainly know the importance to tenants of being able to rent with their pets. Storing bicycles and access to a garden are also a key features I get asked for regularly. The tenants looking for these specific requirements are willing on average to pay a premium to have the right things for their lifestyle. It also means they are likely to stay in the property longer and care for it well.”

ASK THE EXPERT

 

Q.        I only put my house on the market a few days ago and I’ve already had an offer. I am tempted to wait for a better one, but my agent is advising me to accept. What should I do?

 

A.         This really all comes down to the question of how much you trust your agent. If you chose them purely because they were the cheapest, or because they obligingly gave you a higher valuation than anyone else, then I can readily understand why you may now be having doubts about the quality of their advice. Agents who routinely overvalue in order to gain the instruction are not being strictly honest with their clients at the very outset of the relationship – while when it comes to lower fees, it’s worth remembering that you generally get what you pay for in life!

If, on the other hand, you chose your agent wisely – either on the basis of their professional reputation or through personal recommendation -- then I would strongly suggest that you trust their advice. After all, they are the experts on the local property market. Naturally, like any vendor, you want to get the very best possible price for your most valuable asset, so it’s tempting to believe that there are always higher offers just around the corner. Nevertheless, you know what they say about a bird in the hand!

Of course, you can always try hedging your bets by accepting this first offer while keeping your home on the market. After all, under the English system nothing is legally binding on either party until exchange of contracts. But I would be very cautious about doing so, not least because your agent would be obliged to inform your buyers of the fact, in writing – and you could end up losing them.

Indeed, all things considered, I would say that you are really quite fortunate to have received a reasonable offer so quickly. And on a positive note, the fact that you already have a firm offer under your belt means that you now have a much clearer idea of how much you can afford to spend on your next purchase.

In the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the Government have instated a raft of new changes in order to protect residents. 

Does this affect me?

Yes it will, if you manage an individual flat and even more importantly, if you manage blocks of flats.  

If you manage individual flats and don't have responsiblity for the common areas, contact the block managers and confirm the flat doors conform to current building standards. They must provide a minimum of 30 minutes fire resistance along with smoke leakage restriction.   

The guidance suggests a risk assessment should be provided which confirms that an evaluation has been undertaken and any remedial works recommended completed.

If you need any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at Robert Williams on 01392 204800.

It is important as agents, landlords and property managers that risk assessments are collated. In the event of any further tragic incidents, these will provide evidence of due diligence.

The full details are available here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/707440/Advice_for_building_owners_on_assurance_and_replacing_of_flat_entrance_fire_doors.pdf

 

 

If you were told tomorrow you needed open heart surgery, you would want to ask a few questions to your surgeon.

  • What are the risks?
  • How experienced are you – how many of these operations have you done and how long have you been doing them for?
  • What is the success rate?
  • And probably a few more!

What’s that got to do with property?

None of the team here, in all our combined years’ experience, can remember being asked more than a handful of times:

  • What are the risks? (There are many when moving home.)
  • What is your experience? (How many sales have you managed through to completion and how long have you been doing that for?)
  • What is your success rate? (% of asking price achieved, time to find a buyer, sale agreed to exchange success rate)

Why don’t people ask these questions when they are clearly extremely important to achieve a minimal stress, successful sale?

All people seem to focus on is lowest fees and highest valuations, regardless of the consequences and choose an agent based on one, or both, of those figures.

As Perry Power says: “Yet 75% of the population don’t trust estate agents… maybe that’s because 75% of the population choose the wrong estate because they aren’t choosing based on enough research or the right questions and then they’re being left with the guy (or woman) who was a car salesman yesterday, never negotiated anything in his/her life and moonlights as a part time Local Property Expert while doing nails and eye lashes in the evening. (disclaimer: There are LOTS of AMAZING estate agents out there).

Smoothly handling property sales (and negotiating the best outcome for a client) requires skill, practice, expertise, commitment and experience. Not £900 and a login area to get your house on rightmove.co.uk.”

The most important take away is that something may seem cheap but what hidden costs are there? Increased risk, poor experience and poor success rates. You wouldn’t take that option with your health, why do it with your home?

Q. Help! It turns out that my ‘cash buyer’ actually has a property to sell. How can this sort of thing happen, and what can I do?

A. Actually you’d be surprised just how easily this sort of thing can happen - and how frequently.

People often describe themselves as cash buyers when in reality they’re not. Sometimes, this may be a deliberate ploy to try and hoodwink the seller into accepting a particular offer. More often however, it’s simple ignorance, for example, some people will claim to be cash buyers when what they really mean is that they won’t need to borrow any additional money to fund the purchase - once they have sold their existing property! Others may indeed have the cash – but it may be tied up in savings accounts that require anything up to 6 months’ notice or more before it can be accessed. The same often applies to people who claim to have sufficient funds to put down a large deposit.

A genuine, non-dependent cash buyer is just that: someone with sufficient funds ready and waiting to make the purchase - without having to sell anything else first. If the money is held in an account that requires an extended period of notice before it can be released, then this notice needs to be given straight away – and you will have to decide for yourself whether you are willing to wait for that length of time.

Establishing the true financial position of would-be buyers is an integral part of the agent’s role - any reputable, professional agent would have asked all the right questions at the outset. The fact that this has happened to you therefore suggests to me either that your agent didn’t do a very thorough job, or that you tried to sell your property yourself, without using an agent. Either way, you’re perfectly at liberty – should it be what you want to do given the current market - to cancel your acceptance of this person’s offer and put your home back on the market.

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