4) "Selling A Portfolio Yourself Without Using An Estate Agent" is an option many portfolio owners are now choosing. Read this report to learn how - - - - -
Sell your investment Property Portfolio
Selling a SINGLE investment property without the help of an estate agent is an option that many landlords are choosing to do each year. So you may be wondering if it’s also possible to sell your ENTIRE investment property portfolio without using an estate agent?
We'll examine this question in depth in the detailed report below - where you'll also learn:
8 minute read
Selling your investment property portfolio without using a traditional high street estate agent is a definite possibility for you. Because in these days of the internet - there's never been so many options available for you to sell - without ever needing an estate agent.
Go back just a few years (before the internet) and you'd struggle to sell your portfolio (or indeed just a single property) without using a high street estate agent.
That's because it would be difficult to market your portfolio to prospective buyers in your local area. Let alone try to market your portfolio to investors based in other parts of the UK - or even in other parts of the world.
But thanks to the internet that's all changed - and you can now sell your portfolio yourself - and save thousands.
Private house sales no estate agent process
There are 2 approaches to selling the properties in your portfolio.
- (A) ONLINE DIY - Selling via an online estate agent - but do ALL the estate agent work yourself. This option is the cheaper option and allows you to fully control enquiries and the sales process.
- (B) ONLINE ESTATE AGENT - Selling via an online estate agent - and let the Online Estate Agent do most or all of the work for you. This option is dearer than the DIY option, but cheaper than using a traditional high street estate agent.
A) Online DIY
Here you can advertise via an online estate agent - but perform all of the estate agent work yourself. What you're getting from this type of online estate agent is access to advertise on house selling websites such as Rightmove, Prime Location, Zoopla etc. And they will also (optionally) take sales enquiries for you.
An example of a website to look at here is Visum. Visum will allow you to advertise your properties via the leading websites (as listed above). They're not a typical estate agent - more of a third party interface giving you access to advertise on the leading websites via their account.
Besides Visum - here's a few more FREE property selling websites for you to consider:
Private house sales websites - fREE property listings
TO RECAP - Ensure that you list your properties on Visum - AND also list your properties on the 3 websites above.
B) Online Estate Agent
Here you can advertise via an online estate agent - but let the estate agent do the estate agent work for you. So to all intents and purposes this is the same as using a high street estate agent - but an online version.
Some very well known examples of online estate agents are Housesimple, Purplebricks, Yopa (there's many more). These online estate agents have a range of packages to cover the 10 step process - to sell your investment property portfolio (listed lower down). And they'll also give you access to the leading websites via their account.
Why you can't advertise directly on Rightmove, Prime Location, Zoopla?
The simple answer is NO you can't directly advertise on these major house selling website. That's because these sites aren't available for the general public to advertise on.
What I mean here is you can't simply ring up Rightmove and say "can I advertise my house on your website please" because they'll say "NO".
That's because Rightmove only deals with estate agents (high street and online) - and not with the general public. And to get an account with Rightmove costs thousands of pounds. So it wouldn't be cost-effective for you to get an account - even if they'd allow you to have one.
These estate agents can give you access to advertise via their accounts. And they can justify the high costs of having these accounts because they're selling lots of properties every day.
selling your investment property portfolio?
Selling your portfolio is the same as selling an individual house/flat except you'll need to repeat the process many times over depending on the number of properties in your portfolio.
So we'd probably advise that this is only a credible way of selling your portfolio if it isn't too large.
And because your portfolio is a RENTAL portfolio ie it has tenants and is income producing, you'll need to think about who might want to buy your properties from you.
Our advice here would be to analyse the 2 potential markets you can sell to:
2 potential markets you can sell to
Here you're looking to sell your rental properties to fellow investors who want to continue renting out after they've purchased from you. And they'll probably be looking to continue with your existing tenants. However be aware that investors like a bargain and don't like paying full market price!!
1) Owner Occupiers
Here you're looking to sell your rental properties to owner occupiers. So that will mean (at some stage) evicting the tenants who are currently renting - to allow the new buyers to move in as owner occupiers.
You need to do some research as which of the above markets you're wanting to sell to - investors OR owner occupiers OR both?
why size matters when selling a property portfolio by yourself
We're looking here at selling your portfolio by (possibly) splitting it into separate properties. And then selling each property individually.
So we'd definitely say SIZE MATTERS - here's 2 portfolio examples to illustrate:
Portfolio A - contains 5 properties
This portfolio isn't too large so can easily be sold to any of the following 4 groups:
- Single investor wanting a 5 property portfolio.
- Five different investors each wanting 1 investment property.
- Five owner occupiers each wanting to buy 1 property.
- A combination of 2) and 3).
Portfolio B - contains 37 properties
This portfolio is very large and so is:
- Probably best aimed at a single investor who wants buy the entire portfolio.
- The size of this portfolio is too large for selling individually - as the amount of work involved would be too great.
So portfolio A would be suitable for selling privately without using an estate agent where as portfolio B would be considered too large.
Capital Gains Tax
A quick mention at this time for Capital Gains Tax (CGT) - which is the tax you'll need to pay the government on any profits made. Profit is based on the price you're selling at - minus the price you bought at.
You can minimise or sometimes eliminate this tax completely by selling your portfolio over a number of years - rather than selling all properties at the same time.
Your accountant and/or Independent Financial Advisor can advise you on how best to achieve this depending on your individual situation.
Here at Property Portfolio Sales we can buy your portfolio AND ensure your capital gains taxes are reduced to an absolute minimum.
10 step process - to sell your investment property portfolio
There are 10 steps to follow to sell your portfolio by yourself. And as mentioned earlier you can choose to do all of the work yourself – or enlist some help from an Online Estate Agent.
Here’s the steps:
- Make your property(ies) sellable
- Advertise for the correct price.
- Write a description for your property listing
- Pictures & floorplans
- List your property(ies)
- Arrange and do viewings
- Take offers and negotiate a selling price
- Accept an offer
- instruct a solicitor
- Deal with the sale through to completion.
Here’s the 10 steps now in greater detail:
1) Make your property(ies) saleable
If your rental property is empty (possibly between tenants) then it's easier to access the house to make it look great. However if you have tenants, then this won't be so easy and you're somewhat at the mercy of your tenants as to how the property can be presented for sale.
Here's some things you can do - first impressions count so give the house curb appeal by:
- Weeding the garden
- Repairing and painting the outside
- Putting up hanging baskets
- Ensuring the outside is looking its best to encourage people to book a viewing.
- Neutralising the decoration and remove your personal taste. You might love that shocking pink wall, but not everyone will.
- Tidying up clutter and removing personal effects such as photographs
- Removing bulky furniture to make it appear as spacious as possible. Concentrate on living room, kitchen, bathroom.
- Giving it a lifestyle and make it look welcoming.
TIP - It's sometimes said that there's no need to spend any money at all sprucing up a house for sale - because the new buyers will want to stamp their own personality. So it's a waste of money doing anything.
In our opinion this isn't true - and IT IS WORTH spending the time and money to ensure a property is presented as well as possible for sale.
That's because many buyers (investors and home owners) are looking for a property that is ready to move into without spending lots of money on it. They have little interest in doing DIY and will simply BUY A DIFFERENT PROPERTY if yours looks unloved.
2) Advertise for the correct price
It's important to advertise your property at the correct price. Getting the correct price is easier than you might think so follow the advice below and you're sure to get lots of interest.
NB Set the asking price too low and you're losing money. Set it too high and it won't sell. It really is that simple.
Follow this advice to work out your property's market price:
- Talk to 3 high street estate agents and ask them to value your property. They'll probably come up with 3 different prices - so consider the average price as a good guide.
- Look at how much similar houses have recently sold for in your street, area, town. Look at the conditions of these properties by reviewing their online pictures. This will give you a great indication of how much to advertise for. And this is also how estate agents determine asking prices. I personally look at SOLD PRICES on Rightmove as my main tool for this type of research.
- Estate agents want to win the right to sell your property so they sometimes suggest an asking price that's more than a property is worth. Then weeks, months later they suggest you "reduce the price", and then "reduce some more" until it sells. Don't play these estate agent games!! Don't overprice your property. Get the price right from the outset by researching the price yourself.
TIP - One often overlooked reason to NOT overprice your property is that a mortgage company will only give your buyer a mortgage for the REAL price your property is worth.
Property sell example
So let's just say your property is worth £100K and you get someone to agree to buy it for £115K. When your buyer tries to get a mortgage their mortgage company will value your property to determine how much they'll lend.
- So let's just say that your buyer has £15K deposit so needs a mortgage for £100K in order to buy the house (£15K + £100K = £115K).
- And let's imagine the mortgage company values your house at £100K (it's true market value). Then they'll offer your buyer a mortgage for just £90K (£15K + £90K = £105K)
- Then the sale may possibly fall through because:
- Your buyer cannot pay the £115K (they only have £105K).
- Your buyer now knows they're paying too much.
- And you risk losing your buyer
- If the buyer still wants to buy then you'll end up dropping the price to the REAL market value anyway (because the buyer now knows it's only worth £100K)
- So why not cut out all of the hassle and sell for the real market value it's actually worth.
FACT - We've never met anyone yet who doesn't think their property is worth 10% more than it's actually worth. So you're not alone in overpricing!!
3) Write a great description for your property listing
You need to write a description for the advertising of your property. And depending on who's selling your property you may need to write this yourself? Or you may be getting help from an online estate agent?
Take some time and look at other listings of other properties that are for sale in your area. Because these are the properties you'll be competing against.
The things you'll need to include are:
- Overlooking the lake
- Near to shops
- Close to train station etc
- Double glazing
- Central heating etc
- Whats in each room, eg radiator, cooker, built in wardrobe, bath etc (get very specific for each room type).
- Room sizes (best in metric)
- Room location eg ground floor, first floor, attic etc.
- EPC certificate (lasts 10 years)
- Lease information etc
If an investment property:
- Details of rent taken
- Any license requirements
- Smoke alarms etc.
The above list isn't meant to be exhaustive. Do some research and make your description "sell the key features of your property". Ask some trusted friends to read your description and get some reliable opinions.
4) Pictures & floor plans
Take great pictures
I'm often SHOCKED by just how BAD a lot of property photographs are. They do nothing to sell the virtues of a property and actually put people off.
And poor pictures aren't limited to people selling their own houses. Often estate agents take terrible pictures too.
A digital SLR camera (DSLR) will take the best pictures/photographs. And items such as a wide angle lense will make your box room look like it's as big as an aircraft hanger.
However you CAN also take great photographs with your average smartphone and you DON'T need expensive equipment.
If you're using an online agent then they should be taking the pictures for you.
However if you're doing it yourself - here's a checklist of how to take good photographs. Take a look around Google as well for further tips and tricks.
Taking pictures check list
Take landscape pictures (never portrait) - this means your picture is wider than it is tall (like a television) - WHY
- Because all the websites your pictures will appear on (eg Rightmove) display pictures in landscape.
- Because it makes your photographs appear so much more professional.
TIDY UP the rooms you'll be photographing. Be TOTALLY RUTHLESS and make everywhere look like a show home
- Clean, tidy, dust vacuum
- Clear worktops
- Remove personal photos
- Dress beds
- Hide large items of furniture
Light up the rooms - ideally with natural light
- Choose a sunny day
- Open curtains
- Switch lights on
Get as much in the frame as possible
- Put the camera in the corner of each room to get as much in the frame as possible.
- Experiment with different angles and camera heights to take the most flattering pictures.
- Make sure you're not appearing in any shots with mirrors / windows.
Edit photos after to enhance them
- I always import my photos into Photoshop to make them look as professional as possible afterwards.
- Instead of photoshop (which is expensive) you can use an online website such as Canva to enhance your photos. NB don't apply any silly filters, effects or borders.
There are companies who will take professional photographs for you if you prefer. Do a search on Google for your area.
- If you're with an online agent then they should be arranging this for you. Some people don't bother with floor plans. Our recommendation is to always get a floor plan done as it will attract so much more interest.
- If you need to arrange your own floor plan then take a look on Google for someone in your local area who can provide this service.
TIP You can get pictures and floor plan done by the same company at the same time.
5) List your property(ies)
What we're talking about here is gathering together the items we've already discussed and either handing these to your online agent. Or alternatively creating the listing yourself if taking a DIY approach on a website such as Visum
For your property listing you'll need:
- Selling price (from step 2 above)
- Property description (from step 3 above)
- Property pictures and floor plan (from step 4 above)
Additionally you'll need a couple more things:
- A valid EPC certificate - Look online at epcregister to see if your property already has an EPC certificate. You can download your certificate also as you need to provide one by law to sell a property. Certificates last 10 years. If you need to get one done then take a look on Google for someone in your local area who can provide this service.
- Rental properties - EPC certificate rating E or better - As of 1st April 2018, all rental properties (both domestic and non-domestic) which are to have a NEW tenancy must have an EPC with a rating of E or better. Also any changes to existing tenancies NOW means this EPC rating of E applies. Additionally you also will also need to satisfy this E rating for existing tenants where there are no changes to the tenancy as of 1st April 2020 onwards.
6) Arrange and do viewings
You may be using an online agent to do your viewings or you may be doing the viewings yourself. Whichever the situation - here's some advice:
- Make sure the house is presented as well as it possibly can be by removing clutter and tidying up.
- When someone arranges a viewing always double check they're still attending approx 1 hour before the viewing. It's amazing how many people arrange viewings and then don't turn up.
- Turn up on time to your viewing - it's only polite.
- Have any important information to hand.
- If this is a rental property then you need to pre-arrange with your tenants to gain access for the viewing. You can't simply knock on the door and demand to come in without notice. So be on good terms with your tenants.
- Consider your safety when showing properties to strangers and always tell someone what you're doing.
7) Take offers and negotiate a selling price
If you've followed all of the advice then you should be in a great position to take offers on your property.
Offers might mean someone wants to pay the full asking price or it might mean someone is offering a lower price for you to consider.
There isn't any real advice I can offer as you'll have to decide what to do depending on your situation.
8) Accept an offer
Once an offer has been made you need to decide whether to accept or not. Here's some things to consider?
- Given that you know your house is priced correctly - does this offer seem fair?
- Have you had a lot of interest in your property - and so lots of potential buyers? Or is this your one and only buyer?
- What are your buyer's circumstances? Cash buyer? Mortgage in place? Investor? Owner occupier? Stuck in a big selling chain?
- Does your buyer seem credible?
- Do they come across as serious?
- Have they messed you around such as always late for viewings?
- Do you trust them to complete?
- What's your gut feeling about them?
If all's well then you can accept their offer and move on to solicitors
9) Instruct a solicitor
You may already have a trusted solicitor in which case you can instruct them to carry out your sale. Or you may need to ask around for a recommendation on a solicitor to use.
Your buyer also needs to instruct their own solicitor who will represent their interests with the sale.
At this point both you and your buyer are beginning to spend money whilst the legal process is carried out on the sale. So you need to be aware that if you or your buyer pulls out of the sale, then these costs will still have to be paid.
You'll now need to gather together all of the things your solicitor asks you for such as information on:
- What's included in the sale.
- Any certificates such as building work, double glazing (Fensa) etc.
- Electrical/gas certificates.
- Any licenses to prove legal to rent out.
- Existing tenant information such as rent history.
- Etc. (this list will vary a lot depending on each individual property).
If you're selling the property using an online agent then they'll liaise with your solicitor somewhat and keep an eye on the sale. if you're not using an online agent, then you'll need to keep an eye on proceedings yourself.
TIP - Push your solicitor to keep progressing your sale. In my experience solicitors work very slowly as they take on too much work and so complete tasks slowly for their many clients (just my opinion here).
So keep asking regularly and often for updates. Ask get them to commit to deadlines to ensure they deliver on time.
It's the same situation with your buyer's solicitor who will also be progressing things slowly.
10) Deal with the sale through to completion.
If everything's gone to plan then once both solicitors have completed their work, the property will move to exchange of contracts and then completion.
And that's where your sale concludes.
conclusion - sell your investment property portfolio
You should definitely consider selling your investment property portfolio by yourself. Selling in this way gives you the option to do all of the work yourself – or alternatively you can enlist the help of an online estate agent to do a lot of the work for you.
If you elect to handle the process yourself then the costs will be very cheap. However if you do use an online estate agent to handle the majority of the work - then the costs will increase accordingly.
Phil Calladine - portfolio consultant