Over recent years, it seems that the topic of leasehold has never been out of the press with news of spiralling ground rents and money-grabbing freeholders. A 2017 report by the Home Owners Alliance found that it was the number one concern for homeowners in the UK.
As a result, a lot of buyers can end up being put off buying a leasehold property, so when it comes to selling, there are a few things you can do (other than making your home sale-ready) to try and make the process run as smoothly as possible.
Do your homework and get everything in order
Potential buyers of a leasehold property are going to want to know all the facts, so prepare a file or information sheet for them that outlines all the information they need. Be sure to include ground rent costs, any other management, insurance or maintenance charges and the number of years left on the lease. Any surprises further down the line may result in delays or even your buyer pulling out.
Beware of fees
Every leasehold is different and fees can vary (unfortunately in some cases, wildly). To avoid any nasty surprises it may be time well spent getting in touch with all the necessary parties to find what fees, if any, you might expect. That could include contacting the freeholder and/or the managing agent as well as your chosen solicitor or conveyancer. Remember, solicitor fees differ, so it’s always worth shopping around too.
Check how many years are left on the lease
When looking at how many years are left on your lease, the magic number is 80. A lot of buyers could be put off buying a leasehold property which has less than 80 years left so it may be worth looking into extending your lease or even trying to buy your share of the freehold. The costs involved in doing this are indeed one of the areas of controversy, however there’s some valuable advice and some guide calculations on Moneysavingexpert.com. Even if the costs are high, you may be able to add value to your property.
Selling (and buying) a leasehold property is not without its pitfalls and unfortunately, due to the additional number of parties involved, delays and frustrating hold-ups are much more likely. However, with some careful planning and a bit of research, you might be able to avoid a few headaches!
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