Case Study – Sale of a Short Lease Flat – Estate Agency+ Service

Short Lease Term SaleWe were recently instructed by a client who had tried to sell her leasehold flat with a short lease term remaining through other estate agents. She had 56 years remaining on the lease, which meant it was difficult to sell to most owner-occupier or investor buyers who needed a mortgage to buy the property, as most mortgage lenders will require a longer lease term.

She had initially placed the leasehold flat on the market through a traditional high-street estate agent, then later, with an online-only estate agent.

The traditional high-street estate agent had severely overvalued the property, especially given the short lease term remaining, which resulted in the property remaining on the market for quite some time, unsold.

On the other hand, the online estate agent, with little local knowledge, had undervalued the property and thus, placed the property on the market for a considerably low asking price. Whilst the low asking price did attract a number of potential buyers, the short lease term left on the lease meant many of the buyers (who required a mortgage) could not buy the property.

Both of these resulted in our client not selling the property for quite some time and after considerable delays and two abortive conveyancing transactions which resulted in wasted legal costs, our client had still not sold her leasehold flat.

The seller was getting desperate. That’s when she approached us to discuss our Estate Agency+ service.

What is Our Estate Agency+ Service?

Our Estate Agency+ service is a bespoke solution, designed specifically for clients with problematic properties that have been on the market for some time but unsold.

On short lease term properties, through our Estate Agency+ service, we take on the hassle and costs of dealing with extending the lease term with the landlord and at the same time find a buyer who we carefully screen to ensure that the sale will go through much more smoothly and quickly. We appoint our team of solicitors to work on the lease term extension process and thus by controlling this aspect of the transaction and also screening buyers carefully, we can ensure problematic properties with the short lease terms are sold quickly.

With this particular client, she was under considerable pressure because she had various debts that she needed to clear. Her mum also had a terminal medical condition for which she was trying to seek medical care abroad. Our client needed to sell the property in order to clear her debts and pay for her mum’s travel costs. She had previously let the property as an investment but because the prospective buyers introduced by first the traditional high-street estate agent and later the online estate agents wanted the property with vacant possession, i.e. empty and with no tenant in place on completion, our client had not renewed the tenancy or re-let the property, after the previous tenants left. This meant she was not receiving any income from the property for at least two months which unfortunately because of our client’s financial situation also meant that she was not meeting her mortgage payments which has started to pile up. The mortgage arrears placed our client under further stress as she was now facing a potential repossession of the property.

Under our Estate Agency+ service, we dealt with the lease extension and sold the property swiftly to one of our registered and qualified short lease term investor buyers for the full market value, all at no cost to our client.

If you are interested in any of the above, please get in touch for a no-obligation and no-cost chat.

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