Selling a Property Portfolio

Selling a Property Portfolio

Property Solvers are active buyers of residential, mixed-use and commercial property portfolios across the UK. 

We also run a state-of-the-art auction platform and have a large database of investors waiting to buy…

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Selling a Property Portfolio

Sell Your Portfolio to Property Solvers

Property Solvers is a regulated private home buying company and landlord group with over 35 years of collective experience.

We buy both vacant and occupied commercial property / land portfolios in any condition.

What We Buy:

  • Multiple properties with vacant possession or with tenants in-situ;
  • Property portfolios anywhere across England, Wales and Scotland;
  • Problem buy-to-let properties (tenants in arrears, anti-social behaviour, extensive damage);
  • Properties in need of extensive refurbishment work;
  • Mixed-use, commercial properties and land (through our partner company PS Development Services);
  • No limit in terms of portfolio sizes we would consider;
  • Options for properties in negative equity (high secured/mortgage debt).

As direct buyers, there will be no estate agency, legal or other house sale costs involved.

We’ll be able to get the purchase complete much quicker than selling through an estate agency or auction (although we do offer these alternative options too).

Please check out our extended guide below.

Choosing How to Sell a Property Within a Tenanted Portfolio

Sell Property Portfolio

Sell Property Portfolio Sell Property Portfolio

Trusted Property Buyers

Property Solvers have been buying homes directly from vendors for almost 2 decades.

We are the only property buying company that’s fully regulated and registered with the following bodies:

  • The Property Ombudsman (TPOS)
  • The National Property Buyers Association (NAPB)
  • Trading Standards
  • Anti-Money Laundering Regulations (HM Revenues & Customs)
  • The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
  • National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) PropertyMark

Please call us on 0800 044 3733 (lines are open 24/7) or use our simple form / online chat service.

Trading Standards Approved Property Solvers
Property Solvers Money Laundering Regulator
Property Solvers Property Ombudsman
National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB) Property Solvers
ICO Registered Property Solvers

Sell Your Portfolio Through Our Auction

Selling a Property Portfolio at AuctionProperty Solvers can also help you sell your property portfolio through our online property auction.

Offering a fully-comprehensive service, we can either:

  • Sell the individual properties in a ‘piecemeal’ manner (to secure maximum value);
  • Sell the portfolio in its entirety or perhaps in larger batches to individual landlord buyers (the best way to ensure speed of sale)

Either way, we’ll be able to list the portfolio within very short timeframes and guarantee excellent exposure (see where we advertise).

  • A much safer sale compared to using an estate agent (very low risk of things falling through);
  • Get your property listed and attracting buyers straightaway;
  • Easy use ‘eBay-style’ secure bidding platform (see our example listing). Buyers can bid on your property 24/7 from their PC, laptop or mobile phone;
  • Discounted legal packs (with ‘pay later’ options available);
  • Buy it Now options (to sell even faster!);
  • No risk of your property getting ‘buried’ in the auction catalogue (like traditional auctions);
  • 24-hour enquiry line and buyer viewings available 7-days a week;
  • Sell land, commercial and mixed-use properties much faster.

Selling a Property Portfolio – Guide

Aimed at helping landlords make an informed decision, below we’ve run through the basics when it comes to disposing of a property portfolio.

Why Sell Your Property Portfolio?

There are many reasons why selling a property portfolio makes sense.

The most common we come across is the desire to liquidate accumulated equity.

Perhaps you’re retiring in the near future and wish to enjoy the money ‘locked-in’ the properties after years of ownership.  Or you may wish to exit the property sector and explore other investment avenues.

Other reasons we often come across include:

  • The Section 24 legislation (now fully in force) has placed unprecedented financial pressure on portfolio landlords who own properties in their own names;
  • Connected to the above, increased regulation and other overheads have made buy-to-let less profitable than it once was;
  • The growth of the institutional build to rent sector
  • Some landlords no longer want the stresses of labour-intensive nature of managing rental properties, particularly houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) or other multi-let properties;
  • Mortgage / secured finance terms may be coming to an end and it can make more sense to liquidate as opposed refinancing;
  • In some areas, it’s become difficult to increase rents meaning ongoing income returns are too low to be worthwhile.  Landlords that are renting to Local Housing Allowance (LHA) tenants
  • Many landlords are liquidating their portfolios to mitigate future inheritance tax obligations;
  • The growing spectre of inflation could result in rising interest rates which, in turn, could result in cashflow issues;
  • Evicting tenants has become increasingly difficult, particularly if it comes to going through the courts;
  • The properties may need extensive renovation work which the landlord doesn’t have the time, will or inclination to do him/herself.

There are a range of reasons why landlords sell their property portfolios...

What Constitutes a Property Portfolio?

Generally speaking, a property portfolio typically consists of 3 or more properties.

The main reason a group of properties gets classed as a portfolio when selling is the fact that they are disposed of as a whole.

This would require a buyer or buying company to acquire all the properties and agree on a single price.

Should You Just Sell The Properties Individually?

This really depends on your own objectives and how quickly you need to sell.

Despite the extended timeframe, some landlords prefer to vacate each property they own and refurbish. For example, if you did this annually you will benefit from Capital Gains Tax relief (which will double if you have a spouse).

Extracted from our selling tenanted property post, the calculator allows you to weigh up the cost differences between disposing with tenants vs. refurbishing and then selling:

Sell House with Sitting Tenants

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Refurbing then Selling Property

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Selling a property in this ‘piecemeal’ fashion is best via the open market (typically through an estate agency).

Others just choose to simply vacate as quickly as possible and sell the properties on the open market.

In such circumstances, these properties are sold more as a project.  First-time buyers, for instance, who are willing to do the work and put their own stamp on the home are often keen.

Selling the properties within your portfolio individually can sometimes make sense. However, be aware of the extra costs and timeframes to sell...

Consider the Size and Makeup of Your Portfolio…

Another important factor to consider is how many properties you have in your portfolio.

We would suggest that anything over 4 or 5 should be sold together as a ‘whole’.

You’re likely to save a great deal of money in auction / estate agency fees and conveyancing costs, not to mention the burdens and stress that come with selling each property.

If your portfolio consists of houses of multiple occupation, mixed-use, cluster studio flats or other forms of multi-let accommodation, it often makes more sense to sell to a landlord buyer.  The alternative is to engage in costly repurposing for the owner-occupier marketplace which in most cases does not make financial sense.

Selling a Property Portfolio – Your Options

Sell Your Property Portfolio Through an Estate Agency

Ultimately, using a good estate agent will maximise the price you’ll achieve.

With 1 in 3 house sales falling through, it’s important to look for an estate agent that has experience in handling all kinds of situations – especially if you’re selling with a tenant.

However, in addition to the multiple fees (as mentioned above), another downside is that you’ll inevitably have to wait months to not only vacate each property but also list it for sale, find a buyer, go through the conveyancing / survey processes and finally complete the sale.

You can see the average timeframes in your local area here.

Sell Your Property Portfolio Through an Estate Agency

Sell Your Property Portfolio Through Auction

Another common option for portfolio landlords is to sell via auction.

The advantage is that you’ll be able to sell with or without tenants as auction buyers are often landlords themselves.  The sales will be relatively faster and there is minimal chance of fall throughs.  Check our full guide to selling at auction here.

In terms of fees, Property Solvers Online Auctions charge the same as many estates would (1.5% + VAT).

However, we also have discounted rates for portfolio sellers and can also run a modern method auction which stretches out the completion time to widen the buyer pool.

We also manage the largest UK Property Investors Group on LinkedIn (38,000+ members) and have an ever-growing database of active investors (via our Property Investors Profiling Form).

Sell Your Property Portfolio Through Auction

Selling Your Portfolio to a Quick Home Buying Company

Sell house fast companies have grown in prominence across the UK over the last couple of decades.

The good ones have significant capital to deploy and are actively looking for residential and commercial property portfolios to acquire.

The main advantage is that you’ll be able to dispose of the property portfolio much quicker than both through an estate agent or an auction house.

Most reputable We Buy Any House companies (like ourselves) will be able to complete sales within 28 days.

There will also be no legal, estate agency or auction fees to pay.  You will need to check that they are definitely in a cash buying position.

The trade-off is that the offer is typically likely to be in the region of 75% of the market value of the portfolio.

With Property Solvers, we may be able to discuss a ‘best of both worlds’ option where you may not have to take a discount and we could auction part of the portfolio.

Selling Your Portfolio to a Quick Home Buying Company

Selling Using a Property Sourcing Company or Private Buyers

Sourcing has emerged as a niche sector within the property investment community over the last 15 years or so.

Property Sources themselves are often independent agents or property investors. Indeed, some are often ex estate agents or may have a sourcing operation as a side business to their own property investment activities.

Their work involves seeking out investment properties and building relationships with sellers like you.  There are also a handful of specialist landlord-to-landlord sales companies out there.

They then take a finders fee from the buyer for brokering the ‘off market’ transaction.

These days there are courses, mentorship programmes, online networking groups / Facebook groups dedicated to helping people develop careers in this space.

It’s often suggested as a starting point for amateur property investors to ‘learn the ropes’ (passing on property sales to property investors).

Selling Your Property Portfolio Using a Sourcing Company or Private Buyers

The Risks

Unfortunately, together with the fact that property sourcing as a business activity is unregulated, there are a lot of scams that have spawned out of the property sourcing sector.

For instance, the sourcer may be liaising with an inexperienced investor who does not have the right credentials nor the capital to purchase the portfolio.  We’ve also witnessed sourcers taking holding deposits and absconding leaving all parties involved high and dry.

If you’re thinking about going down this route, ensure the sourcer is fully regulated – primarily with the Property Ombudsman (TPOS).

The more professional sourcers are also members of the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB) and registered with Trading Standards, the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulatory body and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Registration with an organisation like the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) (PropertyMark) also provides an extra level of kudos.

Creative Approaches to Property Portfolio Sales

Some buyers may discuss alternative ways of disposing the properties tailored to your situation.

For example, you may want to consider exchanging contracts with a delayed completion or signing the lease options.

These are quite wide topics, more commonly used in commercial property transactions, but can work if your mortgage debt is particularly high or you are in negative equity.

There may also be tax benefits to doing this and you can still let go of your responsibilities with the properties.

Nonetheless, it’s crucial that you seek good legal and financial/accountancy advice before proceeding.

Dealing with Tenants When Selling a Property Portfolio

Sitting or Regular Tenants

Naturally, buyers will want to engage in due diligence on the portfolio.

As a minimum, you should be in a position to provide the following on each property:

  • Confirmation that rent is paid in a timely manner;
  • Confirmation if there are Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreements in place or if the tenancy is periodic (i.e. ‘rolling’);
  • Evidence of rental arrears and the associated situation behind them and any eviction processes underway;
  • Condition of the properties;
  • No signs of anti-social behavior;
  • Previous credit checks and references of the tenants in situ;
  • Confirmation that you, as the landlord, complied with the following:
    • Provided an up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate (EPC);
    • Provided an updated landlords gas / electrical safety certificate (and make sure checks were done);
    • Handed over the most recent version of the Government’s How to Rent guide;
    • Paid the deposit into the correct government scheme;
    • Made sure you have maintained the property well and responded to requests made by the tenant(s).

Checklist When Selling Your Property Portfolio

Note that if the Assured Tenancy Agreement (AST) is expired and the tenant is still living at the property, the tenancy is classed as a periodic tenancy (or rolling contract).

If you’re asking them to leave the property, you’re likely to face fewer challenges compared with an unexpired AST.

However, we always advise to respect your tenants and not leave them ‘in the lurch’ – especially if they have respectful of your property and always paid on time.

Should You Be Concerned About Selling a Portfolio with Tenants In Situ?

As long as you can provide this information, there should not be any issues when it comes to selling with tenants.

Indeed, some landlords may prefer it as there is a ready stream of regular income.

You will also receive income and cover your own overheads right up to the point of sale of the property portfolio.

You’ll also be avoiding a lot of the hassles that come with evicting tenants, particularly if they do not want to leave.

The relationship, for example, could turn sour and it’s been known for tenants to stop paying and refusing to leave.  Eviction via the courts is definitely something to avoid.

Communicating with Your Tenants Regarding Your Property Portfolio Sale

Although there is no legal obligation to advise your tenants that you wish to sell, we genuinely recommend it.

Some will be concerned when they learn to hear that their landlord is selling, especially if they wish to remain in the property.

Others (perhaps those residing in multiple occupancy units) may be used to regularly moving home.

Either way, it’s worth writing to the tenants to explain that you are selling.

Invite them to contact you or your property manager directly to address any concerns.   Most will want to know if they will be allowed to remain and who the new landlord will be.

Others may be happy to move out or even interested in buying the property from you.  If this is the case, be sure to check their eligibility to mortgage finance and whether they have a sufficient deposit amount before moving forward.

Communicating with Your Tenants Regarding Your Property Portfolio Sale

Would You Have to Take a Hit on the Price?

Much will depend on your own objectives but, as with many bulk purchases, most buyers will want to negotiate some kind of discount on the fair market value of your properties.

How much often depends on how quickly you’re looking to sell the properties.

For instance, if you’re spreading the sales over a longer period – perhaps to different buyers – then you can expect to achieve a higher gross amount. As discussed above, there will be extra financial implications of doing this plus time and opportunity cost factors to consider.

On the other hand, selling the properties collectively may see you accepting a below market value price in return for speed and efficiency.

Nonetheless, as a landlord yourself, you would understand that investors will look at the acquisition as a business and make a judgment call on the key financial metrics of your portfolio to form the basis of an offer.

Tax Efficient Disposal of Your Property Portfolio

With such a large asset liquidation, you can be certain that HM Revenues & Customs will want their share of tax.

Much will depend on how your rental properties are held.

If you own them in your own name, in addition to remainder income tax obligations, the main liability when selling is Capital Gains tax.  Some landlords choose to sell one property every year in order to take advantage of the annual allowance (doubled if the property is owned in joint names).

If the properties are held in a company structure, you will sell the shares which will have its own tax implications (test).

Note that there may be other tax implications if your affairs are slightly more complex, say you have trusts or other businesses involved.

Tax Efficient Disposal of Your Property Portfolio

Conclusion

Selling a property portfolio does not need to be complicated.

In terms of moving forward, we would suggest having the following prepared before speaking with buyers;

  • How many properties you wish to sell within your portfolio (i.e. some or all);
  • A rough idea of how quickly you would like to sell the portfolio;
  • Full addresses and information on any associated leases;
  • A clear understanding of any secured debt you have against the properties (and who the borrowing is with);
  • Information regarding any Early Redemption Charges (ERCs) and/or mortgage or secured loan exit fees;
  • Information on how the portfolio is legally held. If the properties are held through a limited company, the conveyancing process will be different;
  • Confirmation of rent receivables and any vacant properties (bank statements are fine);
  • Information regarding rental arrears;
  • Any evidence you could provide of market rents (and how yours compare);
  • A realistic idea of the property values (we recommend using HM Land Registry data).  Feel free to request as many of our bespoke house valuation reports as you need;
  • Information on rental yields of the individual properties within the portfolio;
  • The condition and state of repair of each property within the portfolio;
  • An idea of whether you will be undertaking any work yourself on the properties prior to selling;
  • Then it’s time to weigh up the different sales options to decide which would work best for you.
Get in Touch with Property Solvers if You're Exploring the Sale of Your Portfolio