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The monthly magazine providing news analysis and professional research for the discerning private investor/landlord

Be Prepared

The Motto of the Scout Movement - Veteran property auction trader David Humphreys offers his latest analysis

Scout Law could easily be applied to property investors given that the 1st Law says, A Scout 'is to be trusted', the last, No 7 reads 'has self-respect and respect for others' and, if you are not prepared, you could find it difficult to keep Laws 2-6, probably even lose your livelihood into the bargain.

I say 'Be Prepared' because, unlike virtually every other type of investment, with the possible exception of classic cars if you are going to be a successful hands-on property investor, quite literally, you need to assemble a bagful of toys before you venture out to view your first property. This is even more the case if you are going to make buying at auction central to your strategy because, unlike buying through estate agents, you generally can't view tomorrow if you have forgotten a vital toy, hence the bag, in fact you may not be able to view again, at all.

Other reasons why you need to be both prepared with a bagful of toys for auction properties are the timescales, which are generally much shorter than via agency purchases, and yet you need to find both the bargains and the lemons, bad apples and rotten eggs that can be in any auction. You only have the 28 days between catalogue publication and auction day to do it; to sort the good from the bad and find those investing nuggets.

Buy a 'lemon, bad apple or rotten egg' and it remains yours to develop a taste for. Those nice 'no quibble, money-back guarantees' don't apply to properties bought in auctions, and there isn't a '7-day cooling off period'.

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