All the help you need to prepare, search, evaluate, bid, secure and get moved into your next home.
We are buying agents. We search for homes and seek to acquire them on behalf of our clients. As far as the law is concerned, we are estate agents – we just happen to act for buyers, not sellers. We 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 ten years.
We act for 40 – 50 clients a year, bid on a house every week and buy two or more a month. In 2022 we had £82m worth of exchanges and £102m of completions. Despite rocketing prices & endless ‘best & final offers’ our clients typically paid 4.3% less than the quoted asking price for the homes they bought although eight paid more – for a variety of reasons. Our biggest ‘saving was £1.95m!
According to Rightmove 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 an average buyer pays 97% of the asking price.
Over the past decade, on average our clients paid £143,000 (11%) less!
We charge a retainer of £2,400 (including VAT) and then either;-
£30,000 (£36,000 including VAT) payable on exchange of contracts
a fixed, up front fee of £10,000 (£12,000 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) our clients like to pay as little as possible. One third of what we buy is ‘off-market’, not on websites or in estate agents’ windows.
We are not the only buying agents and it’s more important that you have the right advisor than that it necessarily be us. 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. We are confident that we are at least as good as most firms but are not arrogant enough to think that we can be everyone’s cup of tea. Our 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 we recommend you consider.
A buying agent can;-
- Source off-market properties – those available but not advertised on websites or in agent’s 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.
- 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 most painless experience possible.
We look for properties in London and in the country. We 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 two, we were members of The Property Ombudsman for many years but this is the one that we are currently signed up to.
It’s important to stress that we are good but we’re not magicians. We can help shorten the process, help to ensure that you don’t buy the wrong thing and buy as aggressively as possible but we can’t dream up a property if one doesn’t exist. We can help to decide what might be worth compromising on and what isn’t.
We have had what can be the most challenging experience of house hunting and buying made so much easier by using Henry as our buying agent.
Describing Henry and his team as the most excellent buying agents only tells part of the story. They help in ALL areas of the process, willingly and brilliantly. They manage to solve seemingly unsolvable issues with ease, reducing the stresses along the way.
They’re always available to listen and help for as long as the whole process takes.
In short, without them I’m not sure our house purchase would have been completed.
We will most definitely use Henry for our next search!
Never has buying a house been so enjoyable and stress free.
Katherine organises everything and you just turn up and then she and Henry really come into their own once your offer is accepted by recommending solicitors, surveyors and experts required and assisting until exchange. Job done. Thank you.
Katharine & Henry are a calm, clear and proactive team, that know their stuff.
It was great working with you and I look forward to doing so again soon.
I started being in contact with Katharine just over 6 weeks ago with a property purchase and she has just been excellent. communication has been great and nothing has ever been an issue.
Being an Estate Agent this is the kind of person we love working with and she has been helpful through this process.
I look forward to working with her again very soon.
Richard and Henry recently acted for us in our search in a new area to us (Hertfordshire). To say the timing was nerve wracking as a buyer (Q1 ’23) was an understatement. We were very appreciative to have unbiased and balanced advice to help us make the decision to proceed and we’re delighted with the our new house. I’d have no hesitation in recommending them.
I have worked with numerous search agents over the years and Henry and his team top the list. We have just been involved in a highly complex transaction and being frank had Henry not have been involved it would not have happened. He delivered value to his client, who without his guidance would not have been able to navigate the nuisances of the sale!