A new lease of life for estate agents

25.02.20 02:05 PM By Rhys Daniels
Agents will know things are a little more complicated when it comes to selling a leasehold house compared to a freehold. For those not in the property business, a leasehold is where you buy the right to live within a building for a set number of years (usually amounting to a great many), rather than actually owning the property itself, whereas freehold is outright ownership.

The issue with selling can come when the leasehold starts to get a little shorter. Many banks and lenders will not give a mortgage on a house that has less than 70 years to run on its leasehold agreement, which means that it can be a real struggle to find a buyer, and then even more of a struggle to get them to follow through with the purchase.

To complicate it further, there are also several types of leases, certain responsibilities leaseholders to agree to, and buyers will have a landlord and often a management company to contend with. Frankly, for a buyer, it’s a bit of a minefield and one that is often avoided if at all possible.

In many parts of the country, though, leasehold properties are commonplace and are particularly popular among young people as they buy their first flat. Leaseholds offer a nice middle ground for people purchasing their first home – somewhere between complete ownership and renting i.e. they still have someone to call when the roof starts leaking. Regardless, due to implicit complications in buying and selling these properties, the process naturally takes a little longer.

View My Chain have demonstrated  that the longer a sale takes to be tied up, the more likely it is it will fall through. Unfortunately, View My Chain’s data also shows that on average it takes 18 days (16%) longer to complete on leasehold properties. Therefore, it doesn’t take a genius to see it is more likely that the sale of a leasehold property will fall through. So we have a problem.

Not if View My Chain has anything to say about it.

Agents can demonstrably mitigate the risks presented through the sale of leasehold properties by utilising View My Chain’s technology. It takes 18 days extra to sell a leasehold house, and View My Chain speeds up completion time by 17 days – it’s not difficult maths, and so it shouldn’t be a difficult decision.