Buying a Property at Auction – Things to Consider When Viewing

Buying a property at auction can be a fun experience, providing you’ve prepared yourself beforehand. We’re not just talking about getting ready for the auction itself – we’re also referring to finding the right buy-to-let property for sale before you start bidding… and that involves going to view the property first.

Why Bother with Viewing?

Some investors don’t bother with a viewing before they start bidding at a property auction. However, we’d recommend against buying blind, as it could result in huge problems further down the line, not to mention additional expense.

A viewing gives you the chance to get a feel for the property; to check that there’s nothing obviously wrong with it, and to survey the surrounding area. It’s a golden opportunity to make sure that it’s the right investment for you.

House Auction – A Viewing Checklist

Here are a few things you should consider when viewing your auction property:

  • Are there any major issues? It’s a wise idea to invest in a surveyor to check the house out properly. However, there are various checks you can perform yourself. Press a hand against the walls to see if there’s any damp. Likewise, look at the ceilings and around the windows (key areas where damp often develops). Check the pressure of the flush on the toilets. Peer under the sink and bath to see if there are any leaking pipes. Don’t be afraid to have a good nose around – after all, you’ll be investing serious money here, and you want to get it right.
  • What about planning permission? If any improvements have been carried out, did the current owner get planning permission? Also, if you want to add an extension / convert the attic etc. can you get planning permission easily? It’s important to find out for certain, rather than assume.
  • What are the boundaries? Exactly how much land comes with the property, and which parts are you responsible for? Make sure there are no boundary disputes too – as this can be a major hassle to resolve in the future.
  • What’s the surrounding area like? Are the neighbouring houses in good order? Is there a train station close by, or a good local school? Can prospective tenants walk to the shops? Consider the wider picture when you’re viewing.
  • How much will it cost to improve it cosmetically? Does the property just require a lick of paint, or will it need a major cosmetic overhaul? Make sure you factor any costs into your overall budget.
  • Will it appeal to tenants? This is perhaps the most important thing of all to think about. If tenants don’t like the property, they won’t want to move in, and this will adversely affect your ROI. Approach your viewing like a tenant and ascertain what they’ll like / dislike about the house.

The Buy2Let Hub
Looking for buy-to-let properties for sale which offer good rental potential, plus the chance to profit from capital growth? Talk to The Buy2Let Hub. Our team of property investment agents are on hand to find the perfect house or apartment to suit your budget – with a view to developing a successful property portfolio in the future.

Property Seminar Tips: Getting a Bargain Property

As every self-respecting landlord knows, the more you save on your house purchase, the larger your profit margin. As such, you’ll need to know how to haggle successfully and drive the price down.

Not feeling too confident about negotiating costs? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s a common complaint that we hear at our property investment seminars, which is why we’re here to help you with the process. In the meantime, here are some useful tips to get you started.

Getting the Buy-to-Let Property for Sale at a Cheaper Price

  • Never reveal your enthusiasm. The property may well be the best one you’ve seen in ages and might be the ideal addition to your portfolio. However, under no circumstances should you show how keen you are. Downplay your enthusiasm, as psychologically, this sends a message that you can either take it or leave it, which puts you in a stronger negotiating position.
  • Research the market. It’s important to be realistic about the property’s value. Do your research first and find out what similar houses have sold for in the area. You’ll want to make a cheeky offer, but you’ll still need it to be within the realms of acceptable!
  • Find out what interest there is. Ask the estate agent what other interest there’s been in the property. A word of warning, though. Estate agents are skilled salespeople, and they may exaggerate the level of interest in order to encourage you to offer a higher amount. Over time, you’ll probably develop skills in ‘reading’ agents and working out when they’re telling the truth – but at the start, you may want a property investment agent to help you.
  • Find out what’s included. This is a really important part of the buying process. For example, if you presume that the oven comes with the property, only to find out that it’s gone when the sale is completed, then you’ll have to fork out a few hundred pounds (at least) to buy a new one. Get it down in writing too, so there’s no confusion in the future.
  • Go low (and hold your nerve). If you suspect there’s not a lot of interest in the house, don’t be afraid to go in with a low initial offer. It’s likely that it’ll be rejected, but that doesn’t matter. Sit tight, let the seller sweat it out a bit, then come back with a slightly higher offer.
  • Engage the seller. Ask the estate agent to find out what sort of price the seller was hoping to get. This then puts you in a clearer negotiating position – as whatever figure they come back with, you know you’ll be able to push for less.
  • Highlight the benefits of accepting your offer. If you’ve got any ‘USPs’, now is the time to declare them. For example, if you’re a cash buyer, or in a position where you can proceed quickly with the sale. These sorts of things make you seem more appealing than the other prospective buyer who’s put in an offer.

The Buy2Let Hub
Looking for buy-to-let properties for sale which offer good rental potential, plus the chance to profit from capital growth? Talk to The Buy2Let Hub. Our team of property investment agents are on hand to find the perfect house or apartment to suit your budget – with a view to developing a successful property portfolio in the future.