Selling Your Investment Property in Edinburgh

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Our handy guide for landlords wanting to sell their properties in Edinburgh.

This is an excellent time to be selling your investment property in Edinburgh but what things do you need to think about?

2017 is a year when there are further changes being made affecting the renting of properties and with the property market in Edinburgh at the moment seeing properties selling at way over their valuation, is it any wonder therefore that investors are thinking seriously about selling their investment properties.

Here are some of the questions you should be asking if you, as a landlord, are considering selling your Buy to Let investment property in Edinburgh:

  • What is the current value of my property?
  • What is the Edinburgh property market like at the moment?
  • What type of buyer is going to be interested in my property?
  • How much will it all cost me?
  • How long will it all take?
  • Is it possible to market my property with my tenant still in it?
  • Is it possible to sell my property to another investor with the tenant staying on?
  • Will I have to pay Capital Gains Tax?

What is the current value of my property?

This is an important question and there are two answers to this. The first is, what is the current value of your property for the purposes of the Home Report? And the second is, what price am I likely to achieve on the open market at the moment with that Home Report value?

At Cameron Stephen & Co we offer a free pre-sale valuation service. All we need is to arrange access to your property (and for this you need to agree the appointment with your tenants) and we shall then prepare a report for you giving you our opinion of what we think the Home Report Value will be and what price we think we can achieve for your property in the current Edinburgh Property Market.

What is the Edinburgh Property Market like at the moment?

This is a good question because you need to know current market conditions. It is after all the buyers in the market that will ultimately determine what price you get for your property.

As already mentioned, as part of our pre-sale valuation service, we shall not only give you information on our opinion of the likely Home Report value but we shall also give you comments on the current state of the property market in Edinburgh and what we would hope to achieve for you if you decide to sell your property with Cameron Stephen & Co.

What type of buyer is likely to be interested in my property?

This will depend on the type of property you have and its location in Edinburgh but ideally you will want to attract a mix of investors and first time buyers. Why? Because investors and first time buyers represent by far the largest sector of buyers in Edinburgh at the moment and in the current property market in Edinburgh, they are the buyers who are prepared to pay over Home Report value for properties.

How much will it all cost me?

This is important to find out at the start of the sale process. Estate Agency fees vary and many estate agents are offering special deals or incentives at the moment.

At Cameron Stephen & Co, we offer a great fixed fee for our estate agency service and as part of the free pre-sale valuation report we shall give you full details of our fees and the other sale related costs involved so that you have an accurate idea of what the total costs will be and when they are payable.

And if you are interested in our fixed estate agency fee philosophy click here to read more.

How long will it all take?

It doesn’t take long from your decision to instruct us to market your property too getting it on the market. Typically it will take between a week to 10 days.

However, the time scale will, to a degree, be determined on how cooperative your tenants are. As part of the pre-marketing process, we shall need access to the property for the surveyor to carry out the inspection for the Home Report and for the photographer to take the photos and dimensions for the floor plan.

Also, it may be that as part of our pre-sale valuation report, we shall recommend to you that perhaps carry-out some repairs or that decorating would be preferable prior to the start of marketing. And so the time scale for those might also need to be factored in.

In addition, it is worth checking the terms of the Lease you have with your tenants to see when would be the earliest that you can have the tenants move out of the property and gear the start of marketing around that date. Just to explain, when an offer to purchase your property is received and you wish to accept it, it is usual for any buyer to wish to complete the purchase within a time frame of around 8 weeks. Whilst the settlement date can be negotiated to be longer than this, there would be little point in marketing your property now if the Lease provides that the tenants can only be asked to move out in 6 months time. So, the terms of the Lease will play a part in your decision when to start marketing.

As part of the pre-marketing service we provide, we shall ask you for a copy of the Lease and also consider & discuss with you the best starting date for marketing.

How long will it take for your property to come under offer once it is on the market? That is always impossible to say. However, at the moment many properties in Edinburgh are selling quicker than they have for many years and in many cases this means that it may be as little as a couple of weeks.

Then how long does it take to complete the sale? As mentioned above, typically, most sales complete around 8 weeks from the date the offer is received and accepted.

Is it possible to market with my tenant still in the property?

Yes. There are advantages and disadvantages to this.

The advantages are obviously that if the tenants are still in the property, they will still be paying you rent and you will be able to pay the mortgage.

The disadvantages are that (1) viewing arrangements will be restricted to whatever you can negotiate with your tenants and this can sometimes be problematic; and (2) the tenants might not keep the property in as neat and tidy a condition as would be ideal if showing potential buyers around your property.

At Cameron Stephen & Co. we understand that it is important to you that you do not lose out on rent during the marketing period and so, if that is your preferred way, then we shall do everything we can to ensure that viewings are arranged and carried out as conveniently as possible to your tenants and the potential buyers.

Is it possible to sell the property to another investor with the tenant staying on?

Yes, that is always possible. It takes a little more work to organise the transfer of the tenancy and the deposit, but it is possible.

Will I have to pay Capital Gains Tax?

Yes, you may have to pay CGT.

The Government has a very good website that will be able to answer most of your questions.

And some further comments...

A Private Sale

If you use a renting agency to look after your investment property then it may be worthwhile asking them if they have any landlords looking to buy. Maybe not, but worth asking. If you can get a private sale arranged, then no Home Report is required and you will save on estate agency and marketing costs. Also you will be selling with your tenant in place. So, a private sale can have many advantages for you.

Some renting agencies do charge a finders' fee and so remember to ask about that.

However, selling privately whilst an easy route to take, might not get you the best price for your property. For that, you are best to sell on the open market.

What to do with the tenant?

Most buyers will not be looking for an investment property with a sitting tenant, they will be looking for a home. So, the tenant will need to leave either before the start of marketing but certainly before the sale is completed.

You will need to check the terms of the lease or tenancy agreement and serve notice to quit on your tenant. If you have a letting agent, they will be able to organise this for you.

What can we do for you?

At Cameron Stephen & Co., solicitors and estate agents in Edinburgh, we offer a great fixed fee for estate agency and will also be able to do your conveyancing.

Jayne McAllister is the Property Manager at Cameron Stephen & Co. with many years experience in the Edinburgh market. You can contact Jayne to find out more about our service and the fees and other costs involved by either calling her on 0131 555 1234 or emailing

Passionate about property and providing great service at value for money

Cameron Stephen
Partner with Cameron Stephen & Co solicitors and estate agents Edinburgh
Direct Dial: 0131 555 1296


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