If you want a job doing well then do it yourself, right? So the saying goes, but is it true when it comes to property? If you’ve invested a significant amount of money in bricks and mortar, then what should you do when it comes to looking after these properties in order to get a return on your investment?
Essentially, it boils down to running them for yourself or calling on the services of a letting agent to do this for you. But how do you know which is best? Here are some considerations to bear in mind when weighing up which is best for you…
Going with a letting agent will, clearly, result in a cost for you. Which? estimates that this could be as much as 15% of the rent you take. If you want as much of the money as possible to come to your pocket there could be savings to be made by going it alone. However, you shouldn’t view the fees in isolation. It’s important to weigh up what it buys you.
First of all, as Property Hawk points out, there’s a time issue. It’s likely that you’ll have a job or a business to run and that means that you won’t be able to spend too much of your time managing your properties. Letting agents can help to ensure that your property portfolio doesn’t eat into too much of your free time.
Not only that but you do also, of course, get a few key services provided by the letting agent.
Consider the fact that they will:
- Market your property and find you a tenant
- Collect the rent on your behalf and chase any late payments
- Manage them on your behalf, including arranging for any maintenance work that will need to be carried out
- Act as a point of contact
The third point might be particularly useful for you. Estate agents will have a contacts book with trusted tradesman who they can call upon for any jobs that you might need to have carried out. It might also be a great help to let someone else manage the marketing of the property on your behalf, taking on the necessary legwork of getting it listed and arranging for viewings etc.
What you’re comfortable with
Your circumstances will dictate which is the best route to take. Don’t consider it just as a straight financial choice, make sure you weigh up the cost of the services that an agent could provide and whether you have the time to be able to do them for yourself.
Also, bear in mind that opting for an agent doesn’t mean that you have to bow out of the process entirely. You can easily draft them in to do the things you don’t want to do while rolling your sleeves up to do a thorough inventory.
Like Simple Landlords notes, this is an important document that details the state of the property before a tenant takes it on. You might well want to have an input into this so that you’re confident in what you sign away. Likewise, you might well know a tradesman who you’d trust to do odd jobs around the home.
Strike the right balance, with or without an estate agent, to manage your properties in the best way.
Featured image by Dominic Alves