The best advice that we can give is… use your free concierge services at SearchSmartly 🙂
Mistake #1 – Signing a contract without having someone viewing the property
Have you ever heard about the 3 MBA 2015s that ended up renting apartments at LBS for 3 months because the flat they signed for was … not a flat.
We have warned you guys! Have at least a trusted friend to physically visit any flat you intend to rent.
Mistake #2 – Trusting the pictures on the estate agency websites/Zoopla/RightMove
Did you know that 67% of the pictures you see on RightMove, Zoopla and estate agency websites are pictures that are 5 to 10 years old? Those pictures do not represent the reality.
Mistake #3 – Accepting a flat visit without any pictures/details about the property
If you have time to kill, it is better spending it at the Windsor. Many estate agents (not all) are incentivized based on the number of visits they make during the day. They also need to report to the landlords how many viewings were conducted against their flats.
Yes, estate agents are mainly paid by landlords, so they serve first the landlords. That is why potential renters are usually called in the industry “applicants” and not customers …
Mistake #4 – Working with a “bespoke” estate agent that nobody knows
Don’t be fooled by fake estate agents. There are some of them in New York, Paris and… London. Yes, you can find some properties on Gumtree but no, don’t hand over money to estate agents you find on Gumtree.
Mistake #5 – Relying on a verbal agreement and sign a reservation contract
Have you noticed that the kitchen needs a lot of cleaning? If you really want the flat, write down in the reservation and/or tenancy agreement contract a condition stipulating that a professional cleaning of the kitchen needs to happen before you move in.
Does the flat come furnished? Understand and list down all the furniture you want to keep in the flat, take pictures and list them down on the reservation and/or tenancy agreement.
When the reservation contract is signed, you have lost most of your negotiation power.