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The Price is Right

One of the most important things (if not the most important thing) when letting a property is to make sure that it is marketed at the right price. We see properties that have been amazingly refurbished that anyone would love to live in, we’ve seen properties that are looking a little tired and could do with a little love, that still make good homes. The difference here is worth. We have seen beautifully presented flats let at rents we never thought would be seen outside of London, whilst we’ve seen tired looking flats we never thought people would like, make great homes for those on a budget. The question is always where on the spectrum a particular property falls.

One of the most frustrating experiences in this job is meeting a landlord to discuss marketing their property, with a full knowledge of the market, and giving them a realistic price to market it at. Only to be told that they think it is worth more, or that they have been told elsewhere it is. We aim to keep our bullshit levels to an absolute minimum and give people fair and accurate valuations. What we see in these scenarios, that is so frustrating is that properties are listed at inflated prices (the landlord sets the price after all) for a period of time, in which we see little interest or multiple viewings, but no firm interest past that. Then after discussions with the landlord, the property is reduced to the price at which it was originally valued. At this price, the property then lets within the first few days of marketing. In this time, we as a business have spent time and money marketing the property and carrying out viewings, in pursuit of an unattainable rent. Only to show that a property marketed at the right price, will let quickly! This often means that landlords are experiencing unnecessary void periods.

This isn’t a rant about landlords, far from it. This is an analysis that there is more to pricing a property than “I saw something on this road online and it went for £x”. When working out a rental price for a property all aspects need to be considered, including condition, size, location, and beyond. Those of us that work in the industry every day see trends and changes quicker than most and our thoughts on property values tend to be accurate.

The main thing to consider with this from a landlord’s perspective is how costly a void period can be (particularly in somewhere like Brighton where rents are high). As an example, if we consider a flat with a value of £800pcm, but the landlord wants £850pcm. If this property is vacant for a month longer, the extra £50 a month would only begin to bring the landlord a profit in month 18 of it being let. It would take 17 months for the extra £50 to recover a month’s void. Obviously, this is reduced with less than a month’s void, but the point here is clear.

We are often asked if tenants would be interested in certain properties. The answer really is that (barring places that are in disrepair, or not fit to be lived in) tenants are interested in all types of property and any property will let. However, as with anything in life,  people will only pay the right price for the product. If your property isn’t the best in the market, be realistic about its worth, or carry out some refurbishments. Keeping the property tenanted is far more valuable than trying to increase the rent past where it should be.

If you’ve got a property you would like valued, get in touch with us and we’ll come and take a look. If on the other hand, you disagree with us, please let us know why!

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