How To Find Your Next BMV Property Deal 🏡

A below market value property is a property that is selling for less than it could be worth because there is a motivated seller that is flexible with pricing.

BMV = Below Market Value

For example, let’s assume there is a 2 bedroom terrace house and you think that the actual market price based on all of its features and condition is £100,000 and that’s what it is listed for on the open market.

But you manage to buy it for £85,000 instead. 

This means you have bought it £15,000 below market value. Well done to you. 

Now you don’t always have to get a discount from the asking price for a deal to be below market value. 

Perhaps there’s a property that is worth £100,000 but the seller is a motivated seller and they list it for £85,000 as the asking price. This is still below market value. 

In general, properties can be bought for below market value because the seller needs a quick sale or is struggling to sell the property.

If you’re in a rush then here’s a quick summary of how you can find and buy your next BMV property deal:

  • Find properties that have been reduced
  • Find properties that have been on the market for a long time
  • Find ‘Cash-buyer only’ properties
  • Look at rentals that look run down
  • Other situations where you could negotiate a deal:

The best tools to help you do the above are:

Why Below Market Value Deals Are Good For Property Investors

When finding investment properties in the UK, BMV deals are the best situation to be in.

They are good for property investors because you instantly lock in profit at the point of sale and you basically set yourself up for positive equity from the beginning. 

If you’ve already got £10,000 less than market value then you can assume that’s going to be positive equity for you in the future. 

Before Searching For BMV Property

First of all, you need to know your numbers.

For example, if you’re looking at 2-bedroom terraced properties, then you need to know what the average prices are for 2-bedroom terraced properties in that area.

By knowing this information you can tell if the 2-bedroom terraced properties you are looking at are fairly priced, over-valued, or under-valued.

If you don’t know what the market value of a property should be, how are you ever going to make sure you have a BMV deal?

The best way to do this is to use a mix of different methods including:

You should also consider the future potential of an area.

You can look at the future potential of an area by looking at how it’s done recently in terms of price growth (but this is never guaranteed to continue).

More importantly, if you find big regeneration projects or clear growth of a city or town then it’s likely that the surrounding area will benefit in house price growth too.

Great.gov.uk has a page on investment opportunities that you can follow to see what kind of big developments are underway around the country.

For local regeneration projects, it’s best to look at your local council or planning department’s own website.

Once you know about the areas you want to invest in you can start looking for the gems within those areas.

Caution! Cheap does not equal BMV.

Just because a property is cheap does not mean it is below market value.

A £75,000 property can be overpriced if all other properties in that area with the same specs are valued at £70,000.

The average price in the UK does not apply to every area. Every road and postcode has its own pricing so make sure you know what the local market is like.

Whether you’re a property sourcer looking for BMV properties, or you just want to find your own below market value deals, this post should help you. 

Let’s get into it.

Properties That Have Been Reduced

If a property has been reduced then you already know that the seller is willing to negotiate to get it sold. 

It’s also likely that the property has been on the market longer than the seller has intended so they want the deal done. 

It’s fairly easy to find reduced properties on Rightmove.

How to check if the property has been reduced on Rightmove 

On Rightmove, they already show if a property has been reduced and on what date but they don’t show any info about the price history. 

For example, you don’t know if the price has been reduced by £5000 or £50,000.

It also will not show you how many times the price has been reduced.

It will just say the last date that the price was reduced on Rightmove. 

This isn’t very useful if the property has been reduced 2 times prior. 

For example, maybe the property dropped from an original price of £150,000 to £140,000, to £135,000, to £129,000. 

If you just used Rightmove then you would just see the £129,000 price and see when it was last reduced but nothing else. 

However, there are some tools that will reveal the secrets and show you the data you need.

Use Property Log

This chrome extension lets you see the previous prices that the property has been listed at and on what dates the prices have changed.

By doing this way you can see the exact price history of a property. 

Here’s an example of what a property would look like on Rightmove if you use the Property Log Chrome extension.

Graphic showing a property listing on rightmove with the property log chrome extension showing price reductions
Screenshot showing Property Log Chrome extension

You can see in the image above that the extension has added some data on top of what Rightmove would normally show me.

Rightmove on its own would simply show me that the property was reduced today (28th July 2023) and that the price is now £385,000.

But Property Log shows me that the previous price was £400,000 and the property was originally listed on the 15th of March 2023.

By using the Property Log Chrome extension you can gauge whether the seller would be open to negotiating depending on how long the property has been on sale and how many times the property has been reduced.

Properties That Have Been On The Market A Long Time

If a property has been on the market for a long time you’ve got a double whammy

The buyer side

On one side, buyers can see that the property has been on the market for a long time. 

This raises questions like…

“Why has it been on the market for so long?”

Or

“Surely there’s gotta be something wrong with this place?”

Or

“If nobody else is buying this then maybe it’s not worth considering”

This could lead to even fewer viewings and interest over time.

It also suggests that there are some potential issues with the property that could be easy value add opportunities. 

For example, maybe the whole property needs new central heating and a new boiler but prospective buyers don’t want the hassle.

As a property investor though you can see this as an opportunity.

On The Seller Side

On the other side, since the seller has had the property on the market for a long period of time they are probably more willing to negotiate as interest fades over time. 

They just want it gone. 

Sometimes sellers can be stubborn with prices so it’s worth asking the agent why the property has been on the market so long. 

To see how long a property has been on the market you can use Property Log which I mentioned earlier. 

You could also use the Property Market Intel Chrome extension. 

As well as telling you how many days a property has been on the market it also tells you other information about the property such as average rents in the area and asking price history in the area.

Finding slow moving properties on Rightmove is easy with the right tools.

Use these tools to see how long properties have been on the market:

Go Direct To Vendor (Off Market Deals)

These can take a bit more work to find but can be more lucrative. 

If you can get to a deal before it’s even hit the open market you’re going to have a lot less competition from other buyers meaning you can negotiate a better deal. 

You get to acquire a property at a good price, and the seller can go through a quick deal without the hassle of lots of viewings.

But how do you find these deals? 

We have a separate post that covers 10+ ways to find direct to vendor property deals, but here are just a few to get you started.

Facebook groups

You could look in Facebook groups for property investors where people can post any potential properties they might be looking to sell.

You’re probably less likely to get a massive discount on these though. 

You can also find people trying to sell properties in their Facebook groups for their local area to avoid paying estate agents.

Just make sure you do extra due diligence when it comes to Facebook.

Rundown Properties

Another way is to just drive through an area you’re interested in and make note of any rundown properties.

Send a letter through the letter box and let them know you are interested in buying the property. 

The reason you are looking for rundown properties is that they can show signs of a landlord that’s getting tired of keeping up with maintenance.

You could be their exit ramp where you get a good deal and the landlord can rid themselves of the property. 

Mass Market Leaflets 

These ones are where you just put through a tonne of leaflets in a given area saying you are willing to buy the properties.

If you’re lucky you might get someone who is thinking about it.

But the success rate on this can be quite low. 

Properties Where The Sale Has Fallen Through

One of the worst things about the house sale process in the UK is how long it can take. 

But even worse than that?

When the sale falls through at the last hurdle.

This can drive a seller nuts and make them want to just throw in the towel. 

But this also means they’re willing to negotiate if someone can be quick to get another offer in. 

If a property shows up as sold on Rightmove, you can still enquire with the agent and let them know you’re interested and that you are willing to put in an offer if the sale falls through. 

💡 Fun/Stressful fact: According to this 2022 survey 31% of house sales fall through before completing. It’s more common than you’d think.

So for every 10 properties that are marked as sold, on average about 3 of them will fall through!

You could be the person who sweeps in and gets a good deal by staying on top of properties like this. 

If you see a particularly good property it’s worth checking with the agent every few weeks to check if things have fallen through or not.

Related Reading: Find out more about how to find properties where the sale has fallen through

Finding Cash-Buyer-Only Sales

Sometimes people want a pain-free sale and cash buyer sales tend to be less likely to fall through. 

If you’re going with a mortgage sometimes they can fall through and therefore the sale falls through. 

The amount of cash-only sales tend to hover around the 25-30% mark in the UK but in January 2023 cash buyers made up 39% of property sales.

This means if it is a cash-only property sale you have a lot less competition when it comes to potential buyers, which means potentially lower prices.

Do keep in mind though that if it’s ‘cash-buyers only’ it could be because there are potential issues and the house could be unmortgageable. 

However, it could be an easy fix like adding a working kitchen or bathroom to make it mortgageable. 

Look At Rentals 

Look at rentals in the area that are below market rent and don’t look the best, it’s a sign of a tired landlord that just can’t be bothered. 

Get in touch with the letting agent asking if the landlord would be looking to sell.

This way you could negotiate a deal off the open market.

Other Things You Can Look For

Probate Sellers

If someone is selling through probate because someone has passed away they generally want a quick and painless sale so they may be willing to accept a below-market value deal if you can provide a smooth no-chain sale for them. 

Someone Is Emigrating Soon

If someone needs to leave the country by a certain date, whether that’s a permanent move or a semi-permanent move they may need the sale done by a certain date.

This can mean they are willing to take a lower offer just to get the deal done. 

A Divorce

I’m sure nobody wants a situation like this and having a property to deal with just makes it worse.

Getting it done quickly so people can get on with their lives benefits everyone involved. 

Foreclosure / Repossession

If the current owner is struggling to make the payments then they’ll need the money to pay off the bank so that they don’t get repossessed. 

For them just making sure they can at least pay off the bank is the main motive and that could be well under what the market value of the property is. 

If the house has already been repossessed from the homeowner then the lender will just want to at least try and make its money back.

Repossession properties will often be boarded up with wood or metal in the windows and have ‘do not use’ tape in the bathrooms/kitchens.

Planning Failure

Look at available data about planning applications in the area.

If you see that planning keeps getting rejected for a particular project it may be that the current landlord or developer has had enough and wants to sell it on. 

It may have been the case that they bought the property assuming they would get planning for their project.

Or it could be a homeowner who needs to add an extra room or feature but they can’t get the planning for it. 

Either way, moving on to another project or house that fits their criteria could be better for them and you might be able to strike a deal if they want to move fast. 

You can use tools like Property Market Intel to see planning data for any postcode. 

You can sign up for a free trial on the website. 

Use a Deal Sourcer

We’ve gone through quite a few ways on how to buy a below market value property in the UK, but it can be a tedious process.

If you’re a busy person then finding a property deal sourcer can be invaluable (if they are any good that is).

A deal sourcer will basically spend all of their time finding and securing deals for their list of investors. 

It’s literally a deal sourcer’s job to know how to find BMV properties.

If they can get a deal where the buyer is going to be buying a property below market value by £10,000-£15,000 then paying the deal sourcer £3000 can still make it worth it for the investor. 

This is especially true if you’re an investor who values your time highly.

Overall, deal sourcers can be good options for investors that are cash-rich but time-poor.

Just make sure you use a deal sourcer that is fully compliant with current laws and regulations and always still do your own due diligence on any deals brought forward to you.

Further Reading

If you want to take the plunge into property investing but need some resources to help you then check out the Ultimate Property Investors Resource List.

If finding below market value deals scares you then don’t worry.

You don’t have to find a BMV deal to succeed in property.

Over the long run, property tends to be fairly safe (although there’s no guarantee).

If you’re unsure about investing in property you should read this post on why investing in property could be right for you.

I’ve included some useful videos below about below market value deals if you want a refresher on the topic in a different format.

Video 1: Useful Video on Below Market Value Deals by Matt Brighton

Video 2: Useful Video on Below Market Value Deals by Saj Hussain