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Try Before You Buy! Online agency wants purchasers to live at properties

An online agency which is free to list for vendors says it wants prospective buyers to stay in the property they are interested in before making an offer. 

Potential Pads says there would be a financial agreement struck between the buyer and seller; the purchaser would be encouraged to stay for a night, a week, a month or even a year, without the obligation to put in an offer. 

But if they do then make an offer, the buyer will have far more experience of the property and local area than they would get on the customary brief viewing which is par for the course on many transactions. 


The new agency’s website says: “Instead of viewing a property for half an hour or so the traditional way, people will be given the chance to try their future home out. This could be for a night, a week, a month or even a year for a trial fee,  before they make that huge decision to buy. The buyer may even want to invite friends and family over for a second opinion in a more relaxed viewing environment, without the pressure of having to make a decision on the spot.”

Potential Pads says the trial fee for the buyer’s occupation of the property is set by the seller and they will have total control of their listing: this includes the availability, duration of the trial period as well as the space they want to let. 

Letting out the entire property or just a room is an option available to the seller.  

Cardiff-based Potential Pads says it is a worldwide platform although of the four properties featured on its home page, three are in the UK - at Kingston upon Thames, Knutsford and Berkshire.

Payment for the ‘trial stay’ is taken at the time of the booking and Potential Pads then deducts 15 per cent before passing on the difference to the seller 24 hours after the potential buyer has checked in. 

Potential Pads recommends that sellers modify their insurance to accommodate the short-term prospective purchasers, and that sellers also reimburse the fee for the trial if the buyer goes on to make an offer - although this is not a compulsory incentive. 

The agency insists that it does not levy any commission for the sale of the property and advocates that all correspondence between seller and buyer goes via the website, saying: “You can message the seller on the platform. We advise that you keep all your communication bound to the platform so that we have a digital trail should anything go wrong (not that it should).”

You can see the website here.

  • Rob Hailstone

    Share a bathroom, eat together, watch TV together, get ill together, discuss politics together. What's not to like?

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    Quite useful if you would like a nice long weekend away

  • Lenny White

    Is it 1st April?!!

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    This could work brilliantly with my £1,000,000 second home!

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    • D G
    • 03 December 2019 12:37 PM

    Utter madness, this can't be real, surely.

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    This sounds interesting, and I wish there was something like this before my wife and I purchased our previous home. It would have saved us a lot of money and stress. It would be interesting to learn a bit more about this. I will admit that it poses a threat to business as usual, as it is a potential game changer, and we agents are not fond of change that would make us worse off. I would like to learn more and whatever one may think about it, one must admit it is a genius idea if it is developed to its full potential, it sounds promising.

  • Velgram Quaid

    This could have been useful with my previous home. Only a few days after moving in did we realise we were living next door to a psychotic woman who had declared war on the entire cul-de-sac. This was one occasion when the adage: Location Location Location did not ring true.

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    • 05 January 2020 13:26 PM

    Potential Pads is an online marketplace that allows users to find or advertise try before you buy properties. We are NOT an online estate agency but we welcome all estate agencies to implement our tool. Our platform is not designed for high end properties only. All properties are welcome on our platform. We are NOT responsible for listing any properties on the platform. Individual private sellers are welcome to post their listings on our website. It's a self service platform. If you have any further questions please send us an email on info@potentialpads.com or call us on 0330 123 9965


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