Your Questions

Q. Regarding an option agreement, when is the best time to get Grain & Co involved?

A. Ideally before you enter into the option. A large proportion of the costs in dealing with an option is once it has been entered into. This is because developers are entering into these agreements all the time and know exactly how they want the agreement worded. The landowners solicitor, however capable and unless he has previous experience, will find it almost impossible to pick up the clauses that can make an option a fair & equitable document, for both sides. Grain & Co have solicitors/barristers that specialise in this field.

Q. Are there fees involved for Grain & Co to appraise an option that is already in existence, to see whether it is viable for the land owner to instruct them?

A. Grain & Co can give you an initial opinion as to whether your option is fair & equitable FOC. However, because options can be very complicated legal agreements, there are cases where it is necessary to seek expert professional advice. In these cases Grain & Co will let the landowner have a capped fee to give a legal opinion on the option.

Q. When Grain & Co take on dealing with an option, on the basis of no win no fee, are there any costs to pay at all, before an agreement is reached with the developer?

A. The no win no fee offer, is only applicable once an option has been triggered and the developer has provided the landowner with his best offer for the land. Each project is examined, on its own merits. However, in some instances, there may be an initial fee, where the developer's offer price seems just under the market value, but not enough to warrant an in depth evaluation. In these cases, the landowner will be given a capped fee structure to establish what the reality of the situation is. If it turns out that the developer best offer is reasonable, the landowner has the comfort of knowing he has not allowed his land to be under sold, or in some cases have the information to ask the developer to increase their offer by a small amount, without going to the expense of a full blown evaluation.

Q. Why do Grain & Co promise they do not work for developers?

A. Because, developers are producing property for market on an annual basis. In some cases developers are buying land from Estate Agents and selling the properties through Estate Agents. This situation can cause a conflict of interest. For this reason and to give comfort to the landowner, Grain & Co pledge they will never work for developers, and as such, makes it crystal clear there can never be a conflict of interest.

 

What They Say...

I owned a 5 acre site in North Hertfordshire with option on it from a developer. My normal agent (an international land agent) had no idea what to do and it looked like we were going to let the developer purchase it at their offer price. I employed Grain & Co and we ended up settling at 150% higher than the developers original offer and at a cost of 15% of the additional monies paid by the developer.
A Satisfied Landowner Client