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  • Landlords in Distress

    Advice needed for selling investment property



    Hi there, I’m new to this forum, I’m not 100% sure if this is in the right section but it seems like the best fit for my question, please bear with me as it’s a longish post, but it’s important I put all the info down so people can potentially advise me.

    I’m in a bit of a quandary in that I need to sell my house with sitting tenants.

    Firstly a bit of background, I bought a new build property in Bradford in 2005 with my now ex-partner for 122k with a 10% deposit. In 2007 she left me leaving me with a house I struggled to keep on myself, but I just managed, then as we all know the financial crisis hit and the value of the property collapsed to around 80k, leaving me over 20k in negative equity, so in 2013 I decided to rent the property out and move into rented accommodation myself in Goole (40 miles away) with my new partner who is now my fiancé. We have since had our first (and only child) and really need a bigger home.

    From what I can see the value of the property has gone back up to around 100k, leaving me around 8k equity, just enough to by something suitable where I live now, or something larger for around 140k if I get my fiancé on the mortgage.

    Obviously I can’t just put the house on the market as my tenants will simply leave and no-one else will move into a house with a for sale sign outside, and I cannot afford to leave the house empty and pay the mortgage on it as well as the running costs of where we currently live.

    So my question is what do I do? I could part exchange for another new build if I get my partner on a joint mortgage, but I think that would involve us mortgaging ourselves to the hilt on yet another house that will drop in value as soon as we bought it so I’m not hugely keen on that idea.

    Another option is to move back in but that would involve my partner doing an 80 mile round trip a day commute in a 10 year old car, so this option is an absolute last resort. I really don’t want to have to do that.

    It seems like my only hope at this stage is to sell the house with the sitting tenants (who have been excellent and have astro-turfed the back garden at their expense) to another landlord/investor, keeping them in their home and releasing me from this nightmare, so does anyone on here have any experience of doing this or know of any reputable websites or companies that could help facilitate this?

    Basically my life has been on hold for nearly eleven years now and I need shot of this property as it’s got to the point where it’s seriously impacting on our lives and future, so any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

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    Sell it with the tenants in situ.

    I've made a few purchases recently with the same situation. I actually prefer this option as it means I am cash flow positive as soon as I complete

    It might alienate you from a market that wants vacant possession, but give it a go for a month or so and see what happens


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    This is the most desirable option for me. Do you know of any reputable websites or companies that specialise in this?

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    I'm afraid not. I bought all mine after seeing them advertised on Rightmove.

    After reading your other comments, I would be inclined to agree with Vanessa that if you're selling to an investor then they would want a discount. Especially if there are other similar properties in the development that haven't sold in a number of years.

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    There must be something I can do. I've been in this situation for nearly 11 years now, my life effectively on hold. I'm not sure how much more of it I can take.

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    While I feel for your situation, no-one is going to take it off your hands to do you a favour. For an investor to buy it from you, they will want a discount.

    Otherwise you will need to put it on the open market and let the market decide the price. However, added to this you also want the best of both worlds - you want the tenants to continue paying your rent/mortgage right up to the point of exchange of contracts, and then hope they leave.

    Are you prepared for the fact that you secure a sale, the tenants leave, and then the sale falls through? I don't want to unnecessarily worry you, but this is maybe another reason why you should sell it to an investor at a discount, at least you can then move on with your life

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    That's the problem though, I owe 92-93k on it, so I can't even sell it at a discount. I never thought buying a house would cause me stress like this that lasts half my adult life and counting.

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    I think in light of the comments today maybe I should part exchange for a new build after all. I've seen some in price range near me. I just want a home for my small family that's all.

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    I think you should speak to a local estate agent and get it properly valued and also see if they have any landlords on their books who might be interested.  You might ask the tenants if they are interested in buying too since it seems they are prepared to invest in the property.  In your shoes I'd avoid buying another new build as they often drop in value before going up again.

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    Hi Toby,

    Welcome to the tribe. Smile

    I don't think your position is as difficult as you think it is.

    You have two options of how to dispose of this property:

    1.  Sell it as vacant possession

    You can incentivise the tenants to keep the property clean and tidy and to facilitate viewings.

    Once you have an offer accepted, you can then serve notice on the tenants and hopefully avoid a void period.

    If you go this route, you will likely be able to achieve the market value.

    2.  Sell it as tenanted

    If you go this route, you will be selling to another landlord/investor, and they will almost certainly be looking for a discount.

    I have a couple of friends who are professional property buyers, and they would consider buying it for cash on a quick sale basis, but would only look to pay around 85% market value.

    Let me know if you would like them to contact you about this, but from what you have said, Option 1 is the better one for you.

    This thread may also assist:

    6 ways of selling an investment property 

    Good luck and hope that helps?

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    Thank you for the replies.

    @Alison King - I've already informed my letting agent of my situation/intentions but they haven't got back to me with anything yet.

    @Vanessa Warwick - I don't see how I could sell it as vacant possession - surely the tenants would just leave straight away? I know I would. There's similar properties on the estate that have been on the market for over three years. I just don't see how I can do that. Option 2 seems like the only choice I have, but I'd need to get full market value. Surely someone would take it on as a long term investment with good tenants in situ?

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