Who’s involved in the buy-to-let process?
In this article, you’ll get an overview of all the relationships you’ll need to build and maintain as you take your property through to producing its promise.
What is sales progression?
In a nutshell, sales progression is the strategy, process, and method of moving an offer on a buy-to-let property through to completion. The two-word term makes it sound a lot easier than it is.
There’s a myriad of people involved in the process, and keeping on top of the progression of the sale – your purchase – involves maintaining relationships while making round-robin calls to all those involved. It’s a time-consuming, thankless, and frustrating task. The people with whom you need to be in constant contact are busy people themselves, often resulting in multiple calls to get a single answer.
The people that must be pestered
When you’re buying new build or off-plan property as a buy-to-let investment, one of the cogs that you must make sure keeps turning is the developer. You’ll want weekly updates as to progress, perhaps with photographic evidence. An occasional site visit wouldn’t go amiss.
Developers are notorious for their poor communication skills. That’s because they’re concentrating on doing what they do best: building. This is why they hire agents to market their homes for them. The onus will be on you to open and massage the lines of communication. It helps if you develop a close relationship with a senior member of the development team – not an easy task.
The developer’s agent
OK, so we want to let you know something about the developer’s agent. They’re really nice people, pleasant to talk to, and generally really easy to get on with. They’ll help you to invest your money, but at the end of the day they work for one person: the developer. It’s the agent who pays them, based on the commission earned by selling to you. So don’t expect any bad news to be forthcoming. You’ll have to chase and dig deep to get all the facts, all the time.
The mortgage broker
Your mortgage broker is uniquely placed to get you the best mortgage deal available. When you deal with a buy-to-let mortgage broker, you’ll be dealing with someone who has the experience and expertise in the market to make a real difference to your financing. They keep on top of any changes in the market, advise you on new lender policies, and line up all the paperwork and legal documents that lenders need. They know what is needed and when, but sometimes may need a prod as deadlines draw close.
To take full advantage of the benefits of using a buy-to-let mortgage broker, you’ll need to keep in regular contact.
Your solicitor makes sure that all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed. They’ll make certain that the clauses in agreements are favourable, ensure that searches are done on the property, and be able to advise with regards to other matters that may affect you (for example, tax, capital gains, and inheritance tax).
The client (probably you :)
Finally, we come to the client – you. At the epicentre of this circle of people, it’s your responsibility to ensure that the whole process is coordinated. You’ll need to chase up the solicitor for paperwork that the developer needs. It may be that the solicitor is waiting for word from your mortgage broker about finances. You’ll also want to keep in touch with the developer at least weekly to make sure that progress on the build is on schedule, reporting back to your solicitor any problems. This might be where regular contact with the agent will prove invaluable, too.
Then, of course, there’s the flow of documentation that needs to be managed: mortgage forms, solicitor letters, agent communications, developer updates, lender notifications, and so on. If one of these goes astray, it’s your responsibility to chase down and get the cogs turning again.
The slightest hiccup in this process of management and coordination could have a devastating knock-on effect. You’re not so much the client as a juggler, keeping multiple balls in the air simultaneously. Drop one and the whole act could fall apart.
The role of the sales progression manager and team
The Sales Progression Team replaces you at the centre of this maelstrom of activity. It allows you to get on with your life, while all the relationships, telephone calls, paperwork and letters are dealt with on your behalf. You’ll have a single point of contact, and your progression manager will keep you updated regularly as to progress.
This doesn’t mean you won’t be contacted by your mortgage broker or solicitor, for example. There will, on occasion, be times when they need to speak to you – perhaps with regards to confidential information, or when your signature is required. Generally speaking though, instead of spending half of your waking hours on the phone and chasing your tail as you become increasingly frustrated, you can take the buying process in your stride. A once-a-week update phone call or email is far less stressful than a daily routine of call/hold/call back to multiple contacts.When you use a Sales Progression Team, instead of being the juggler, you become the ringmaster. In the next few chapters, we examine some of the key relationships and how the Sales Progression Team work with them on your behalf.
If you have question or want to learn more about this why not chat with the team 01522503717 or email me.
Other Sales Progression Articles By Caroline
Head of Sales Progression
If you have sales progression questions I am happy to provide detail answers to even the most detailed problems you face.
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