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Self manage or agency


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I realise that everyone will have different views on this but as a first timer to buy to lets I am a bit daunted by a few areas, firstly have tried to do research on areas by looking a available properties and talking to agents, but I cannot discover a way of checking if there is a genuin demand for the type of property i want to buy. Every time I speak to an agent they always say there is demand but then they would would'nt they they want more on their books !!

What is a good way of making sure that I don't buy something that stays empty.

Secondly about agents, I get told by them that there are so many laws in place and with proper reference checks they recommend that no-one does it themselves (again they would say that) on the other hand being new to this, I have found you can reference check people quite easily (for what it's worth) and anyone can check employers references but again no guarantee they will keep their job, I also understand that it is quite easy to get of a standard good rental contract, so wonder what are the benefits of an agent as a line advert for your property must be quite cheap ??

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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