All the help you might need to prepare, search, evaluate, bid, secure and get moved into your next home.
I am a buying agent. I look for homes (and other assets) and seek to acquire them on behalf of my clients. As far as the law is concerned, I am an estate agent – I just happen to act for buyers, not sellers and I buy properties between £500,000 and £50m. Some clients just want help looking for a new home, some want help to evaluate a property and to negotiate the best deal. Spending a six figure sum is something most people do on average every seven years.
After 35 years in the business I have bought and sold over 1000 properties. I act for 20 -30 clients a year, bid on a house every week and buy one or two or a month.
According to Rightmove.co.uk sellers typically accepted around 5% (£11,000) less than their final asking price. Zoopla says that it’s just 3.86% and figures published by Hometrack suggest that a average buyer pays 97% of the asking price. Over the past decade, on average my clients paid £143,000 (11%) less!
25% of £1m+ homes sold in London in the first half of 2017 were sold ‘off-market’ & up to 40% of the homes I buy aren’t advertised on the internet or in an estate agents window.
I charge a retainer of £2,400 including VAT and then;- 25% of any saving achieved from the asking price OR 3% (2.5% plus VAT) of the purchase price OR a fixed up front fee of £12,000 again including VAT. (see ‘fees‘)
Of course many people start off asking too much for their home and a third of sellers currently on the market have reduced their guide price at least once according to the website Zoopla.co.uk. Be it a £5.5m house in Notting Hill (which completed in March 2019 for less than the asking price and less than the seller paid in 2014!) or a £2.25m home outside Newbury (bought just after the ‘Brexit’ referendum for 10% less) my clients like to pay as little as possible. As sellers wake up to the impact of Google ‘indexing’ their property for ever more and more deals are being done ‘off-market’.
I am not the only buying agent and it’s more important that you have the right advisor than that it’s me. For a brief period of time your buying agent will have a detailed and personal knowledge of your affairs so you must trust them and have confidence in what they are doing and they in you. I’m confident that I am at least as good as most firms but I am not naive enough to think that I can be everyones cup of tea. My aim is that you have the right advisor for you even if that means you are represented by someone else. These are some of the best that I recommend you consider.
A buying agent can;-
- Source off-market properties – those available but not advertised on websites or in agents windows.
- Advise on areas, compare and contrast different places.
- Research a street, village or town looking at crime, natural threats such as flooding and over-flights by planes.
- Assess relative value.
- Will research the motivations of the sellers and look for pressure points like death, debt or divorce.
- Comment on yield and the potential for capital growth.
- Negotiate with the seller and their agent. (Not all selling agents are slippery but some certainly are!).
- Introduce the best mortgage brokers, accountants and wealth managers along with advisors, tradesmen & lawyers.
- Liaise with solicitors, valuers, surveyors, architects, builders and contractors.
- Help to make your next move the smoothest and painless experience possible.
I look for properties in London and in the country. I review those that we find, provide objective advice on each and discretion for people who would rather not have their private business paraded in public. Estate agents are not brokers trying to mediate between two parties they act for and are paid by one party – the seller!
Buying agents are still estate agents in the eyes of the law and as such each must sign up to a redress scheme. Confusingly there are now two but this is the one (along with it’s own ‘Buying Agency Code’ that I helped draft) that I have signed up to.
Almost as important to your success in moving will be a good lawyer and perhaps a competent mortgage broker. It is a team effort and I am very happy to recommend individuals who can help you & make it happen.