Some tips that I shared with Homes & Property in the Evening Standard have created a bit of comment but if you’re thinking of buying a property then my advice is to hope for the best but to plan for the worst.
Estate agents (I’m one, by the way) are not brokers. We are paid by one party to represent their interests and to get the best deal we can. There is some consumer legislation around how agents act when it comes to the counter-party but the role of the agent is to do the best for their client that they can.
No selling agent has ever said to their client “oh, these buyers have more money, would offer more if we pushed them but they have offered a fair price and we think that you should accept this”. Their job is to squeeze the buyer for their best bid and take it to their client and advise on it’s merits in their professional opinion.
Not all the suggestions are ways of avoiding being mugged, most buyers are canny enough but some are tips that may lift the process from being one of the most stressful experiences you can have – up their with bereavement and relationship breakdown – to perhaps being closer to the ultimate retail experience. You’re spending thousands of pounds. It ought to be fun and if it isn’t it’s usually because people don’t prepare properly and misunderstand the role of the agent.