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You’ve spent your time amassing a portfolio of properties, and now it’s time to initiate the exit strategy. As an investor, there could be lots of reasons that you want to offload your portfolio, or even part of it, whether that be to free up some capital or enjoy your retirement without worrying about tenants.
Before we start digging into this topic, selling your portfolio isn’t like selling a single house, especially if you have a lot of properties. It can often be a lot more complicated and expensive, depending on the route that you go down, so in this article, we’ll touch on everything you should consider, some of the problems facing how to sell your portfolio and anything else you should consider.
You can use the table of contents below to navigate to the section you are interested in:
A property portfolio is a collection of properties that are owned for investment purposes, which is either by a company or an individual. Investors often seek financial freedom, and a single property is not often enough to achieve this goal, so they continue to grow and seek more property purchases to invest in – and therefore they naturally grow a property portfolio.
This is the aim of the majority of Buy To Let investors, as it diversifies risk when you have a vacant property and also increases cash flow.
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Selling a single property is hard and time-consuming enough, now imagine amplifying that by however many properties you have in your portfolio and not to mention, you might have tenants which can further complicate things and limit who you can sell to.
Selling a property portfolio is obviously harder than selling just a single property. There’s a lot more to consider, and if you have tenants, it might limit your pool of potential sales options. To give you a straight answer on exactly how hard it might be is impossible without knowing the size of your property portfolio.
If you have a decently sized portfolio, then it might be worth selling it in little blocks over the space of a few years. This could be to do with tax reasons, but also that you’re more likely to find landlords wanting to buy smaller sets of properties, than a large portfolio.
When selling a property portfolio you have a couple of options or approaches that you can take, each one of them has different pros and cons.
The open market
One of the options you have, just like any other property seller, is to divide up your portfolio and sell it on the open market. This is fine, but if you have a lot of properties this can be a long, time-consuming, and expensive process, having to fill out all the documents for each property and pay estate agent(s) to sell them.
If you have tenants the open market might also be a tricky place to get a sale, the majority of people looking at the likes of Rightmove, Zoopla, and OnTheMarket are looking for a property that they can move into. Due to this reason, it’s not always a favourable method of sale for landlords, there are a few other options that could be more suitable.
Sell to a landlord
The other option you have is selling to a landlord directly, or a want to be a landlord. There are companies that specialise in the landlord to landlord sales, they will be able to help you find willing landlords who may be looking to buy your portfolio or at least a portion of it.
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Cash buying company
That’s us! A further option you have to explore is to use a cash house buyer. We’ll be straight up, unfortunately, we won’t offer you full market value for your portfolio, but we do make up for it. When you sell to us you get a quick, easy and stress-free sale – we’ll handle absolutely everything for you, and when you have multiple properties, this is a significant benefit. As well as that, a large part of the reduced price is made up in the fact you don’t have to pay estate agents, and we cover the solicitor's costs.
There are a few things you should be aware of when you use a cash buyer, so before jumping in and getting quotes with any of them, make sure:
Going to auction
One of the other options you have is to auction off your property. Auctions are actually a really good place for buy to lets as they more often than not attract landlords who are looking to get a great deal. In order to get the most out of the auction, you need to understand what reserve price you should set per property and if the auction will have the kind of buyers that you need – especially if you’re planning on offloading a large portion of the portfolio.
It's worth speaking to a variety of different auction houses and understanding which one may be the most beneficial for you. The downside to auctions is that you’ll have to pay an auctioneer's fee, much like an estate agent, and you may not get a price you are completely satisfied with.
Like we’ve talked about, selling a property portfolio isn’t as straightforward as just selling just a single property. There are a couple of things you should consider when you’re looking to sell a portfolio, which you might not have to consider with a more typical sale, like:
The number of houses you have
This matters a lot! If it’s just a two or three-property portfolio, you’re probably better off if you have the time and money just selling through a traditional method like an estate agent. Selling a large portfolio can be challenging though, and limit your options, particularly if you have tenants, then it might not be as straight cut and you’ll have to look at some of the other alternatives we’ve mentioned before.
Do you want to sell it all at once?
Again, this kind of ties into the number of houses you have, but if you have several, do you want to offload them all at once, or in phases? There are benefits and shortcomings to both sides, if you plan on offloading it all at once, you’ll get all the equity out quickly – but you might have to pay more in tax and take a reduced offer. Whereas if you offload it in parts, it obviously will take longer to free up the equity and probably take more time and effort on the sales side, but you can reduce the amount you pay in tax if you spread it over a few years and you can achieve a higher overall value.
Time vs profit
This leads us nicely into the next section, the biggest thing it comes down to when selling your property portfolio is how much time you want to put in. The more time and effort you put in to selling and offloading your property portfolio, the more you will ultimately make. On the flip side, you can sacrifice some of your profit and offload the portfolio to a company like ourselves, selling it in no time at all.
It really depends on how you value your time!
Selling a property portfolio can be time consuming, but not with us! We handle everything.
A lot of property investors we meet go the wrong way about valuing their portfolios. They will value it as a business asset, trying to sell it based on the profit it is making as an overall collective. The problem with that is a property often doesn’t work in that way, people might view the properties in a different way – not necessarily renting them all out, there’s also the whole aspects of tenants and their agreements.
With property, the way it tends to work is you’ll sell them for the property's market value, in which you can get a RICs survey to better understand – although if you have a big portfolio, this could be a costly exercise. What you also have to consider, is the chances are, another investor or sell house fast company won’t want to pay full price, why would they? You need to make it more appealing, otherwise, investors would just pick and choose their portfolio from the open market.
There are a couple of ways that you can evaluate how much your property portfolio is worth, but in the end, it boils down to how much someone is willing to pay for it as a package. It’s always worth getting an idea of what the overall value of the portfolio is, and there are a few ways you could go about this:
Research the market yourself
The thing that you should always do is work out how much you actually think your portfolio is worth. Look at each property on its own individual merit and look at the comparables in the area to try and determine the value of the properties & as a whole. You’ll then also need to apply a percentage discount in order to make it attractive enough for other landlords or investors.
Get RICs surveys
Another option, but there will be a cost associated with it, but an increased accuracy of the valuation, is to do a RICs survey on your properties. This will give you an accurate value, from a neutral surveyor's point of view – and it also tells you of any issues the property may have. Again, you’ll also have to offer a decent discount to make it appealing.
Talk to us, we’ll provide you with a valuation for free
Another option you have, you could talk to us. There’s absolutely no obligation to sell, and we’ll provide you with a valuation and ultimately offer on your portfolio, quickly. You can sell to us, and we’ll aim to buy the whole portfolio within 7 days – or you could use the offer as a basis to move forward and have a figure that you expect to achieve.
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|Your options||Average sale length||Typical cost to you|
|The Property Buying Company||2-3 weeks||£0.00|
|Other House Buying Companies||2-10 weeks||£1000|
|Property Auction||6-10 weeks||£2500-£5000|
|Online Estate Agents||16-52 weeks||£1000(upfront)-£5000|
|Estate Agents||16-52 weeks||£5000|
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