Dust off those docs!
Spring is in the air – traditionally a time for clearing out the cobwebs and the residential market to move up a gear. A spring clean - or legal health check - could also be valuable for investors and other property owners with properties they may be considering selling or letting in the near future.
Owners often only discover that they have an issue with their properties when they come to sell or let, and the purchaser or tenant’s solicitor highlights something that blindsides the owner. Result? The transaction takes much longer than it should under normal circumstances, or doesn’t proceed at all.
In a depressed market where the buyer really is in charge, it behoves a prudent seller to run a quick “health check” on their properties to make sure that their sale or letting(s) won’t come off the rails or result in a sizeable reduction in the price or rent. As ever, a poor valuation can damage the prospects for even the most attractive property. Investors have no real need to buy properties that are not totally “apple pie”; there are plenty of other opportunities out there, especially since the recession led to an increase in distress sales, insolvencies and mortgagees in possession. Lenders are applying stricter criteria than ever, and any adverse issues can be justification for pulling or cutting funding.
In a tough market you need to stand out from the crowd and make sure your house is in order. Having finally secured that sale you don’t need the shock of your buyer telling you the property isn’t worth what you think it is, all because of something that could have been addressed prior to marketing. Get any troublesome matters on your title tidied up, deal with any issues with your tenants, and present as attractive a prospect to buyers as you can.
To quote Sir Alan Sugar, in tough economic times you have to do a bit extra: taking advice from surveyors or solicitors to ensure that your property has a clean bill of health might not be the first thing you would choose to do, but it could save you a lot in the long run, and avoid a major headache and wasted costs if the sale you really need to go through falls down. Even if your property is in good order, at least you can rest easy in the knowledge that there isn’t a nasty shock in store for you.
If you’re interested in a property health-check, please contact Daniel Bridgland
Published: 4 Apr 2012