Guest house sellers turn to planning permission for residential conversion
Selling a hotel, B&B, or guest house in Blackpool can be impossible via private treaty. Very few buyers want to enter the hospitality market. Sellers of these properties & businesses are finding the hard work with long unsociable hours too much for too little financial reward. These large dated multi storey Victorian seaside properties require constant maintenance, repairs and improvements and business rates. Combine that with all the licensing, regulation, fire, electric & gas safety systems needed it’s no wonder many sellers are turning to Blackpool council planners for change of use and applying for planning permission for residential conversion into flats and apartments, holiday lets or family homes.
In July 2016 there were 512 hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses listed for sale in the FY1 postcode alone, showing how much competition there is for a limited number of buyers. Holiday accommodation in Blackpool falls into three categories: vacant and in need of modernisation, vacant and suitable to trade, occupied and trading.
Sell By Auction regularly deals with the auction appraisal of hotels in Blackpool and we can sell any property anywhere, in any condition, by auction. We regularly see vendors getting frustrated with the traditional method of selling via private treaty on the open market as it can take between one and three years to sell.
To add to the frustration, we all too often see that commercial agents insist on large upfront marketing fees before taking instructions to market commercial property in Blackpool. This is simply because the commercial estate agent knows they are in for long ride to be in with any chance of finding a buyer.
So how can a B&B owner make the most out of their property? A tried and tested route was to secure planning permission for change of use into residential accommodation; the building could then be sold to builders or developers through Sell By Auction. However, recently it appears that many Blackpool planning applications for conversion or change of use are being refused or withdrawn at pre-planning stages. In some cases, too many obstacles are being put in front of the owner, and costs to fight the Blackpool council planners, or to find a way round the issues are too great and too time consuming, which frequently leads to sale at auction anyway.
Sell By Auction has just dealt with the sale of several hotels, guest houses and B&Bs in Blackpool through a regional commercial auction in Manchester. We found that in multiple cases the sale prices by auction were not only in excess of the guide price and the reserve price, but also all expectations from the seller and the auctioneer.
What makes for particularly interesting reading is that all these properties had applied for change of use into residential flats and apartments, but been knocked back by the Blackpool council planners at the planning department. If they had not been refused, or recommended for refusal, the owners witnessed multiple obstacles, repeated delays and requests for more and more, increasingly detailed, information, all of which effectively prevents the owner application from proceeding with the planning application. If that wasn’t enough, we then noticed that Blackpool council attended our auction to bid on and buy the very same properties!
Selling by Auction is Still Performing Well
Only via auction does a seller ensure they get the best price from all buyers competing against each other. Only sale by auction can secure not only the best price but it is also a 100% transparent process: no buyer can manipulate the market, the seller or the outcome. Sell By Auction gets the best price and a certain sale from the whole market of buyers.
One of our selling clients in Blackpool advised Sell By Auction that they bought a derelict, vacant, boarded up hotel in Blackpool that had been fire damaged, broken into, copper stripped and was now home to feral pigeons.
They had owned the property for about 18 months after having paid £35,000 for it through local estate agents in Blackpool. The developer’s plan was to convert this 12-bedroom, four-storey property into a stunning modern block of two and three bed family apartments. The problems they encountered were many and varied, ultimately the council planners just seemed to do everything they could to delay and prevent the planning approval. Eventually they won, and the developer withdrew their planning application as they could no longer afford to delay.
The good news is that Sell By Auction sold the property by auction for a massive £79,000. Another satisfied Sell By Auction vendor! To learn more about selling properties in Blackpool Auctions, talk to our friendly team of experts who are waiting to discuss your specific requirements, simply speak directly with an advisor on 0800 302 9441 or use the form below to request a call
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