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.