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Can you dictate to an Estate Agent who buys your house?

(36 Posts)
Mrsdavidcaruso Mon 24-Mar-14 11:51:15

I have a friend who wants to sell his Mums house, his Mum died last week leaving no debts, he is comfortably off with his own large house so
will not need to sell for a profit.

The current value looking at zoopla for a two bed Victorian house with an extension and a 100ft garden in his area is around the 150k mark and in his area these little houses tend to sell within weeks at that price.

However he wants to sell it at the 100k mark to enable a young couple to buy it who may not be able to afford a family home or as an alternative to a ticky tacky box with no garden he is worried that if he goes to an ES they will try and talk him out of it and he is no good at confrontations and also he does not want it to be sold to a BLT landlord who will make a profit or an non Islander who may want it as a holiday home.

I think his best bet is to find through contacts a someone who wanted it let them have a private viewing and then put it on with an estate agent and the person can then view it again through the ES and make an offer which he will accept as this is what we did when we bought our house from a family friend at 90k below market value.

If he cant find a couple (or a single person) like that can he put it with an estate agent with these provisos and would he be allowed to get information about potential buyers before accepting an offer.

He knows that even if he sold to people who fit his criteria they have the right to sell it on for a profit and to who they like, but he is happy with that, as at least it would give someone a chance of climbing up the ladder by having a larger deposit for a larger family home should they need to.

Does anyone have any advise

mercibucket Mon 24-Mar-14 11:56:20

how about he sells it at market value and donates the extra to a charity?

i would imagine the estate agent will line up some friends of theirs with a suitably sad story if required

GummiBear74 Mon 24-Mar-14 11:59:09

If he finds a buyer who likes it independently, why then list it with an estate agent at all? Their only function is to find a buyer, so if he already has one, he could sell privately and save the fees. It's the conveyancing that you need the professionals (i.e. solicitors) for.

To answer your original question, he decides who buys, it's totally up to him, but as estate agents usually get a % of the sale value, of course they want to sell it for as much as possible. On the other hand, they'd probably prefer a proportion of a lower sale price to nothing at all!

LoopyDoopyDoo Mon 24-Mar-14 11:59:46

How lovely smile

Cringechilli Mon 24-Mar-14 12:07:13

Estate agents are notorious for being rather slippery. I expect an agent would buy it themselves at that price or find friends who "fit the bill" on paper.

I once lived in a place of similar houses, all 2 beds about 100 of them. An estate agent ended up owning about 30 of them! He had managed to underprice enough of them to make people think that's what they were actually worth! We sold ours for a proper price with a different agent. The slippery agent valued it 20k less than we actually got for it.

I agree with the poster who suggested selling it for market value and giving the "excess" to charity.

Mrsdavidcaruso Mon 24-Mar-14 12:19:39

Yes but if he sells it at market value someone who can only get a mortgage for 100k is not going to be able to buy it and that's what he wants someone who would only be able to afford a flat or a small house otherwise.

I understand about ES practises 3 weeks after our offer was accepted we were having tea with the seller after doing a bit of measuring up and she told us the ES was still marketing her property despite being told not to and she was getting phone from them saying they had a potential buyer with a better offer.

Maybe a private sale would be better if that will allow him to vet the buyers before accepting an offer

Mrsdavidcaruso Mon 24-Mar-14 12:20:40

sorry phone calls from them - Mods can we have an edit button please

Kif Mon 24-Mar-14 12:24:42

Private sale - and take advice from people with standing in the community as to who would be good recipients (eg ask the local vicar, a few childminders, the sure start ladies etc if they know anyone who is looking to buy an affordable family home. But don't mention the underpricing - just say that you have sentimental reasons for only wanting to show it to people who want to make it into a long term home. ).

It's probably prohibitively expensive - but you might be able to to do jiggery pokey with the leasehold in order to make it unatractive for BTL.

specialsubject Mon 24-Mar-14 12:36:48

he can sell to whom he likes, and can give it away if he so desires. What he cannot do is stop the next owners making a profit on it, which most people who want to put food on the table like to do.

why bother with an agent? Stick a sign up or create a website, explaining what he wants to do, and spread the word.

a solicitor would probably be a good idea to deal with the transaction.

Mrsdavidcaruso Mon 24-Mar-14 12:40:28

Hi Kif I think its freehold my Mum and Dad live in the same type of house in the next road and theirs is so were the ones we were looking at ourselves of the same type a couple of years ago - but I will get him to check.

Living on an Island I'm a sure he can find someone who fits the bill - I think a private sale is the best way to go.

Northernlurker Mon 24-Mar-14 12:41:42

I agree - he needs a private sale and effectively he needs potential buyers to be referred with enough info about themselves so he can be sure he's selling to established locals. That's a truly lovely thing to do. He needs to keep it quiet though or he'll get a lot of applications and grief. Possibly the easiest thing would be to try and rent it to a young family then offer them the option to buy if he feels they are the right people.

noddyholder Mon 24-Mar-14 12:41:54

The estate agent or one of his 'friends' will buy it under the guise of ftb and then sell it on and pocket the 50k

Pinkje Mon 24-Mar-14 12:42:43

Are there any inheritance tax issues or capital gains if he is deemed to have sold at less than market value? I guess his solicitor can advise though.

It is a lovely gesture just not sure how practical it is.

Mrsdavidcaruso Mon 24-Mar-14 12:44:58

special he is quite happy for someone to use as a starter home and then sell on and buy something better as long as the original purchasers can be helped even in the short term but they are lovely houses they really are with two double bedrooms so even if someone had a couple of kids they could stay there for some time.

SilasGreenback Mon 24-Mar-14 12:46:34

Could he set up some sort of shared ownership - with a peppercorn rent for his 1/3? He could do it with the understanding that after a period of time (say 5-10 years) they own the house outright. That would stop the fast buck people.

FairPhyllis Mon 24-Mar-14 12:49:14

My parents have sold all of their houses through private sales - this is the way to do it if he wants to sell it as a family home. A private sale should be easy in an island community - word of mouth and putting an ad up in a supermarket/newsagents.

Be aware though that even if he finds the nice young couple he wants they might well do btl, sell off part of the land for development or sell for a profit. He can't control what happens after the sale.

zzzzz Mon 24-Mar-14 12:52:18

He'd be better off selling it at market value and investing the money in a houseing association or donating it.

If he sells it at 50k under asking price the "young couple" would be barking mad not to sell it on at full price and reduce their mortgage by 50k.

wannaBe Mon 24-Mar-14 13:01:27

I think he is being naïve tbh.

While the idea of wanting to sell to someone who can only afford a say £100k property is admirable, there is no actual way of establishing whether he is selling it to someone who genuinely only has/earns that much. Putting a house on the market (be that privately or through an EA) for 50K below the value of others in the street is going to bring out the world and its dog to want to buy it, and realistically he is not going to be able to vet them. Family with children - yes he can establish that, but financial state he cannot legally demand to know because of data protection/FSA rules which as a private seller he would not have any control over...

Plus if it's a small community I would be mindful of how someone moving into a street where their house went for a 3rd less than others in the street and thus potentially compromises other house prices will be welcomed (or not) by the neighbours. (as people will start to off r much less on other houses for sale in that street on account of the fact that a house went for 50k less iyswim).

I know he has the right intentions but there are just too many pitfalls IMO.

titchy Mon 24-Mar-14 13:24:22

Agree way too many pitfalls - stamp duty would also be payable on the actual value rather than the sold price.

Couldn't he sell to a Housing Association?

Or sell at market rate and donate £50k to Shelter?

TheOneWithTheNicestSmile Mon 24-Mar-14 13:29:51

Silas's idea is good if it's doable

Pinkcustardpurplecustard Mon 24-Mar-14 13:45:23

Sell privately and get a friend to do the viewings

specialsubject Mon 24-Mar-14 13:56:48

I like zzzz's idea.

if he sells it under its value, someone else will make a lot of money. So if he wants control over where that money goes, he sells it at market value and donates the difference.

given that it will be a big sum, and that it is on an island that may have different tax laws, some professional advice on the plan would be a good idea.

ThunderboltKid Mon 24-Mar-14 14:02:01

Speak to a solicitor. He can put a covenant on it ensuring that it is used as affordable housing, or only to a local family, or low income family etc.

It's quite a common covenant now as lots of affordable homes have one.

ThunderboltKid Mon 24-Mar-14 14:02:57

Should also explain, this will allow it to be marketed by an estate agent, but also means future sellers have to sell similarly.

Vickiyumyum Mon 24-Mar-14 14:08:27

I'd sell at the market value and then donate money to a charity that help young homeless families/couples. Too many opportunists with selling at 2/3 of the market value. A lovely gesture but one that could leave a bitter taste and abused.

Alternatively he could rent it out, accepting young families on housing benefit/partial housing benefit. Make it a requirement that they must be working but can receive housing benefit top up? This is more likely to help someone in need than offering the property for sale. People genuinely in need of housing than someone who could raise £100k mortgage.

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