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Posted on 11th Feb, 2021

How to identify a repossessed property? Our simple tips to help you find BMV property

Repossessed properties can offer an incredible option for investors that are looking to pick up fantastic below market value deals. Yet, they are often so hard to consistently source, particularly in the certain areas you are interested in.

Below market value (BMV) properties are properties available for sale way below the true market value in the area. There are a number of reasons behind why a seller might price their property for less than it’s worth, these include:

  • Financial difficulties
  • Divorce
  • Relocation
  • Repossessions

When a property is repossessed lenders wish to recover their losses in the property by offloading the property onto the market, often up to 30% BMV. Following the hassle of chasing the previous owner into mortgage arrears, banks and building societies want quick and easy sales. Yet, it can be extremely difficult to actually find these properties on the market. If banks want these properties sold, why do they make them so hard to find?

For various legal reasons estate agents are not allowed to overtly advertise a property as repossessed. This is primarily due to their legal obligation to obtain the highest price for a repossessed property instead of flogging them for ridiculous BMV prices.

The most recent figures from the banking trade body UK Finance found that in the fourth quarter of 2019, 1,330 homeowner-mortgaged properties were repossessed, while 660 buy-to-let properties were seized. So they are definitely out there, but how can you spot them?


How to spot a repossessed property


We have put together some easy things to looks out for within a property listing that will help you identify what a repossessed property looks like.

Purely because of the nature of repossessions, there can be deficits to them that may impair the value. When falling into mortgage arrears, an individual will be aware when they are in danger of being evicted. Leading up to this can be incredibly stressful and exhausting, therefore there’s a high chance they were not allocating time to preserve the condition of the house. Considering this it’s understandable that repossessions are often in poor condition, such as having wear and tear around the property and over-grown gardens. However, these are generally issues that can have quick fixes, adding value to the property extremely fast.

Through our unique algorithm and valued network of local estate agents we source repossessed properties from across the UK and compile them within one user-friendly platform, saving you time, money and a whole lot of stress. Subscribe to browse our current stock of repossessed properties or get in touch with us via email: [email protected] to discuss more about what you are looking for in the market, we are available 24/7 to help.



One of the most obvious signs that a property has been repossessed is the use of ‘do not use tape’ or other forms of restrictive tape. This often has a blue or red colour and is taped over appliances such as toilets, ovens, taps and other appliances.


Air Fresheners

Air fresheners are commonly used by agents in their property listing photography for repossessed properties. These properties can sometimes appear a little unappealing and adding some air fresheners is a small touch agents use to reduce negative feelings towards a property.


The Surrounding Foliage

Although sometimes aesthetically pleasing, overgrown foliage in and around the property is another simple sign that shows neglect or a void period in ownership after a house has been repossessed. It is important to inspect the garden for what weeds are growing, and in particular the Japanese Knotweed or any structural issues that overgrown trees could cause.


Wiring and Fittings

Although it can be difficult with the naked eye, try and examine the electrics. It may be worth bringing a professional in to look over them if you’re not sure what to look out for. Unfortunately, when individuals are evicted from their properties, the feeling of bitterness can cause them to inflict purposeful damage to the property. If this does happen, wires are often the appliances to be affected, as it can be difficult for the seller and future buyers to locate.


Boarded Up Windows

In more extreme cases boards or barriers are erected to cover the windows of the property. Boards are installed to prevent any storm damage, to protect unused, vacant, or abandoned property, and/or to prevent unauthorized access by squatters, looters or vandals.



Other more general things to be aware of:

The neglect of repossessed properties really does vary from home to home, you should always look for key structural issues such as



Signs to an ageing roof can be moss or mould between the roof tiles, light coming through the attic, any signs of damp from the ceiling, peeling paint, or the fact the neighbour’s roofs have been replaced (the houses in the road would have been built at the same time).

The Walls 

Examine the walls and try to work out if they are completely flat. If they appear uneven at all it could indicate damp, which can be hard to locate and expensive to fix

Cracks in the Wall

It’s perfectly normal for some houses to have small cracks in the wall, as these usually appear in due course as the house settles in to place. Larger ones, however, can indicate structural issues with the property. If this is the case it will be beneficial to look into it further, and possibly get a chartered surveyor to examine it if you’re still unsure.

Poor Windows

There’s a number of signs that can indicate the windows will need replacing, and therefore will add more money to the renovation costs. Difficulty opening and closing the window suggest a decaying frame. Condensation on the windows, outside noises travelling through, and drafts from the area are all other things to look out for .


Questions to Ask Agents

Be sure to ask the following questions when you are viewing a repossessed property you are interested in buying:


  • Why the house is being sold?
  • How long have the previous owners lived here?
  • How long has the house has been on sale for?
  • What the average cost of utility bills is?
  • How much the council tax is?
  • Whether there are any communal service charges
  • How old is the boiler?
  • Whether any revamps have been done in the house recently?
  • What the neighbours are like?
  • What parking rules apply in the area?
  • How old is the property?
  • How energy efficient is the house?
  • Whether any major repairs have been done on the house recently?

Without a doubt, there is quite a lot to consider and look out for when viewing a house. The secret lies in how careful you are when viewing a house. You want to pay attention to the slightest details so that you don’t miss any points. It’s also important to have the house professionally inspected to be sure that you are getting the best deal.


Why invest in repossessions?


The reality is that if investing in property was easy, everybody would be doing it.

Whilst some of the indicators we have shown may scare of some investors, these faults offer an incredible opportunity to add value and snag a fantastic below market value deal.

With the right investment strategy and understanding in place, repossessed properties are an avenue all property investors should consider. have a wealth of experience sourcing repossessed investment opportunities across the UK and can assist in your property search. Subscribe today to have access to thousands of exclusive repossessed properties all within one cost effective and user-friendly investor platform. If you have any questions whatsoever please get in contact with our 24/7 customer service team: [email protected]

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