Managing Director of central London
ESTATE AGENCY KAY & CO

Q.I am contemplating putting my flat on the market, but have been told that the summer is not the best time as many people are away and the market is quieter. What do you think?

A.While this is true and many people do wait until September, there are a number of advantages to acting now. Firstly, the market does not come to a complete standstill, people do still buy during the summer months and those who do are generally more serious. There is a good chance that those looking now will go straight through to sale. Secondly, there is generally less on the market now, so there is competition. This increases your chances of getting the offer price.

Q.I have tenants in my property at the moment, but want to sell. Should I serve notice on them and only put the property on the market when I have a vacant property to show? Ideally, I would like to keep the rental income coming in, but I understand viewings can be tricky when tenants are in situ?

A.It is always a difficult call to make. In an ideal world, you want the property to be vacant or lived in by the owner when it is shown for sales viewings as there is never any guarantee that the tenant will leave it in a tidy condition prior to viewings. Furthermore, unless you are within the prescribed period toward the end of the tenancy, they are perfectly entitled to point blank refuse you access. That said, I understand your concerns about retaining rental income. I think you should advise the tenant that (a) you are thinking of selling the property and rather than serve notice you are happy for them to stay on provided they allow access at either 24 hours notice or alternatively on specific days at specific times or (b) that you are prepared to reduce the rent slightly on the proviso that they facilitate viewings for the purpose of sale.