There are so many ‘experts’ offering buy to let advice and introductions to below market deals it is hardly surprising why so many investors get it wrong in this fast growing market. There are lots of businesses and individuals claiming to be ‘specialists’ offering advice but interestingly many will have no ongoing relationship with you after the property has been acquired.
Terry Lucking of Belvoir Lettings Agency Cambridge recommends investors to take advice from a qualified source only. Terry believes anyone or business benefiting from the sale or introduction of a property to an investor is not able to offer unbiased advice as they are being influenced by other factors and not putting your interests first.
Terry urges you to spend time considering your investment carefully and who you are going to appoint to manage your responsibilities. Be prepared to invest many hours interviewing possible letting agents. “What are your fees?” Although most often the first question asked by investors the fees charged is not the most important question you should be asking. All letting agents charge similar fees and most will be willing to negotiate. The amount you might save between one agent and another will be insignificant when a situation occurs that is badly managed or the agent stops trading without a protected client account.
Would you buy a holiday from a travel agent who is not a member of ABTA? Terry recommends you only instruct a letting agent who is a member of ARLA.
The process Terry goes through with his clients covers these points and many more:
• Is the property attractive to the eye?
• Location – make sure you are not relying on just one or two sources of tenant supply i.e. hospital or college; should a major change occur you may struggle to let
• Target tenant market you are happy with
• Type of property (new or used) – avoid solid wall houses unless you are good at property maintenance (trying to prevent unnecessary expenses)
• Funds needed for improvements and presentation – they are always more than you budget! The dwelling needs to be the best in the area if you want to let quickly!
• Cash or mortgaged – do you want immediate income on your investment or capital growth?
• Asset protection and wealth advice – how you exit the investment should be decided before you buy it – tax avoidance is legal and requires planning ahead
• Who will select suitable properties and broker?
• Negotiate with the vendors to allow viewing access during the purchase period
• Agree a condition statement that the vendors will leave the property in at completion
• Have the electricity and heating tested before instructing lawyers
• Start to advertise for letting during the purchase period
• Arrange insurance through your agent – the agent has their hands tied if you don’t allow them to manage the insurance and the inevitable claims
• Who will check condition of your purchase at completion? – vendors are always in a rush to disappear and you can guarantee there will be a few nasty surprises
For more information contact Belvoir Lettings one of the leading letting agents in Cambridge managing close to 1000 properties.
Terry Lucking offers free advice and free property visits to all investors who are considering buying. For more information or to ask Terry a question send an email to email@example.com