One of the first things a tenant will ask a letting agent when offered a property is “How long has it been available?” – and with good reason. Moving house is a huge event and it takes courage to commit to undertake such a decision – often with very little support other than pure instinct.
One of the most persuasive and apparently reliable indications as to the suitability of a property is to check out whether other people have expressed an interest. There is great comfort in knowing that you are not the only one who is expressing interest.
Once people hear that others have expressed an interest, then everyone seems to want the property, as the power of “social proof” kicks in. This competition can often stimulate a quick let at a high rent, and usually occurs when a property is attractively priced in relation to other properties available to let.
Of course the opposite is also true. When the rent asked is overly ambitious, the excitement that should surround a property that is new on the market is reduced, and it can begin to go stale. This is when nobody wants to rent it and the property is seen to be repeatedly advertised. When tenants find out that it is no longer new on the market they think “Well nobody else wanted it – perhaps we are making a mistake.” And every month that passes without a tenant represents over 8% of your annual revenue from your investment!
So our advice would be to position your property as one of the best available in its price range from day one. This will prompt interest and encourage multiple offers from qualified tenants. Under your agent’s advice, you should then have a choice of tenant, resulting in a fast, reliable, let at the highest price the market will pay.