is one of the most stressful moments that most people experience and your property is often the most valuable asset that you own. Why then compromise on the service you expect. As independent estate and letting agents we are able to offer advice base on extensive experience within the industry on all aspects of the business. With over 25 years local experience and knowledge you can instruct us with confidence to deal with your property matters, safe in the knowledge that it will be dealt with efficiently and professionally. Valuation is an art, built up over many years using this knowledge and experience to price a property accurately.
So how do you choose an agent
that suits you, here are a few pointers that may help, remember this person is effectively spending your money – so choose wisely
The old adage ‘that you get what you pay for’ is also true; it is often a misconceived idea that the Agent offering the lowest fee is the one for you. To truly achieve the best selling figure on your most valuable asset it needs marketing and advertising extensively to maximise the number of prospective purchasers that your property is presented to. We use our expertise to offer advice on a marketing price and strategy which reflects your needs and provides a realistic appraisal of potential expectations on your property. It is not enough to peruse the local newspaper and value your property in such a casual way. All properties – even if they look the same from the outside differ, sometimes dramatically, on the inside, an experienced agent will have sold many similar properties to yours, but he will recognise the subtle differences, using this knowledge he can offer a realistic appraisal of your home. Remember most Estate Agents are looking at sometimes hundreds of properties during the course of a year, whereas most people only see a few. These are all very important aspects, which you need to consider when you are choosing a professional to sell your property for you, the other thing is are you convinced that the agent offering the lowest fee will work as hard to achieve that Additional money that might be so important to your future plans ? When you eventually come to discussing an offer, it often comes down to experience of the negotiator reading the situation to determine the maximum limit which an applicant will be prepared to go to. Most deals are struck by both the vendor and purchaser reaching an acceptable compromise, have you allowed a sufficient margin for negotiation, and are you being realistic with your expectations.
If you are considering letting your property, or purchasing a ‘buy to let’ then here are a few points to consider, and a few mis-conceptions about the Lettings market and Industry.
Most Agents will offer some kind of rent collectionservice which generally means exactly that, however there are differences, consider how your money is paid to you, and of utmost importance how long does it take for monies paid by the tenant to be credited to your bank account. We all generally have outgoings of a periodic nature on our properties, and if your rental monies are sitting in a client account – it is costing you money !. At MTPM we offer an extremely quick turnaround on monies received, i.e. Standing Order payment is actually sitting in your account only 6 days from our receipt! How do we do this – by BACS (Bank automated credit system) payments which credit directly to your Bank Account, no waiting for the post, then travelling to the Bank waiting in a queue, and then waiting another 4 days for the cheque to clear. By using modern methods of payment such as this state of the art computer systems, the most up to date software we are able to keep our management costs to a minimum, which results in a better and more efficient service to our clients. Another important and often overlooked matter, is if the Agent can offer client money protection insurance, and is a member of recognised professional bodies. We atMTPM are member firms of the NAEA and ARLA, and as a matter of course carry full client money protection insurance. There are often hidden fees within the agency agreement, such as Inventory charges (by the page), withdrawal fees, or agreement renewal fees, again watch for this, it all reduces your profits. You can also opt for a full
Managementpackage which generally means that any repairs are authorised by the Agent and the deducted from your account, you pay a slightly higher fee for this service, and it can be useful of you spend periods abroad, knowing that your property is being looked after properly. Any expenditure on the property for professional fees etc is an allowable expense for income tax purposes, therefore a Managing Agents service can be quite cost effective.
One of the most important and often overlooked areas is the choice of prospective tenant, without a
Tenant the property produces no income, so finding a suitable tenant in a reasonable time is essential. However most
property varies enormously from a small office, warehouse, shop premises or light industrial units. Because of the variance of property it is not easy to provide an overall view. However there are some popular misconceptions about Commercial property, which can tend to put people off. One of these and it was quoted extensively in the early 1990’s recession was that an original tenant was being charged rent for a property which was vacated many years previously, yes this did happen and it was seen as such a serious issue that the Government changed the Law to provide legislation to stop this type of practice happening, if you are dealing with an older lease that holds this provision – then either ask for a new lease or an amendment to the existing lease. Most Landlords are very reasonable, remember they want you to succeed in your business, and will generally be quite keen to resolve such issues. Another one is the length of lease – again most Landlords are quite happy to be flexible on lease terms, a frequently used term now is break clause, quite simply it means that you sign up for say a six year lease, but YOU have the option of terminating the lease on a pre-determined date if you wish, say after 18 months or 3 years. This has the advantage of letting you ‘dip your toes’ in the water to test your new business idea, and if it isn’t quite what you expected you can walk away from it after exercising the break clause, now that’s quite reasonable isn’t it !
Almost all business premises pay business rates, this is a rateable value, which is set by the local valuation office and then used by the Council to collect the rates. Generally a multiplier is used and if a rateable value is say £3000 and the business rate for that year is 44p in the pound then the rates payable would be 3000 x 0.44 = £1320 pa.
All commercial premises are generally valued by the square foot or square meter and a multiplier is used to arrive at the rent. Take a shop in the high street, versus the corner shop situated in a secondary location away form the main road. You would expect to pay more for the high street shop because
a)more passing car trade which equals free advertising!
b)more footfall or people looking into your shop window
c)other retailers attracting potential clients to the area
d)possibly better Taxi pick up points and access to Buses etc
This does not mean to say that the corner shop is inferior – look at the advantages
a)much lower rental outgoings
b)higher customer loyalty
c)better parking facilities
d)potential for longer opening hours
So you always need to consider things on their merits, most small businesses are successful because of the enthusiasm of the people running them, and remember there is nothing like being your own boss.