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 arrived in London in 2019 from New Zealand in late middle-age for my husband to take up an academic post. We knew no one and we didn’t know London. Britain was beginning the process of leaving the EU, facing an election and about to be engulfed in a world-wide pandemic and a lockdown. I didn’t really know what a buying agent did but given our circumstances, and Britain’s, I had a hunch it could be helpful. Henry’s website stood out with its informativeness, wit and personality. I called some agents and they were polite and explained their terms of business. I called Henry and he talked about us, who we were, why we were here; what we might want in a house, in a neighbourhood. Henry then came round to meet us because it felt hard to engage someone I had never heard of or met.
For the following months my husband and I cycled or walked the neighbourhoods of London: north, south, east and west, then debated their merits with Henry. No question of ours, no matter how inane, garbled or confused was met with anything apart from graciousness and a reply marked with unerring clarity and wisdom. So we found our neighbourhood; then Henry thrashed out the pros and cons of each individual house that he and we liked the look of. We exchanged last Wednesday. Our house is perfect for us.
I suspect Henry’s strongest skill is zeroing in on each individual client’s needs and wants; often having to help them articulate what these are!! We never had a sense that he had a service model box and we had to fit into it.
That he knows everything about the property market, or can make the offer and negotiating process a stroll in the park is just a given. The care and commitment he has shown to two kiwis adrift in an unfamiliar habitat has been incredible. And we had fun.
Kia kaha, and our kindest regards.
This was our first time buying a home in the UK – and in London no less – and Henry did an excellent job of preparing us to be attractive buyers. From start to finish he let us know what to expect in the process and transaction, answered our questions, represented us well, calmed nerves and assisted as much as he possibly could to be sure we were happy, well-informed clients. He knows the property market like the back of his hand, is clearly highly regarded by professionals in the business and communicates clearly and efficiently. You get the real deal with Henry. It’s worth it to have him on your side. Thanks Henry!
Henry provided much needed guidance, advice and inspiration to our house search. Not only did he find and secure a house that we simply wouldn’t have even known about without his involvement, but he was also a reassuringly constant and calm voice for both of us during the entire process.
Working with Henry meant that we have undoubtedly ended up with the perfect house for our family, and the process to getting here was far less painful than it could have been without his help!
For the record you are everything I expected,highly professional, kind and considerate. I won’t hesitate to recommend you to others searching for a house.
My wife and I are getting ready to complete on a purchase we have made with Henry’s help. I’ve bought a few houses in the USA before, and the idea of buying a house without an agent has always seemed like madness to me. We talked to a few different agents (all of which were referenced on this website!) but ended up with Henry for a couple reasons:
– Style really resonated with us
– Henry spent a lot of time on the phone / over email helping us out before he even knew we were going to be paying customers
Once we engaged Henry he was with us every step of the way, even helping us pick neighbourhoods to target. Once we chose the neighborhood, he helped us narrow down and find houses which were both good value as well as being in our budget. After we narrowed down to a target property, Henry found the “right price” and made things with the selling agent go smoothly.
(Having a buying agent is a big help – sellers know immediately that you’ve got money for the right deal and are not playing games or kicking tires.)
Henry also has a great network of surveyors and solicitors – I had multiple coworkers comment on how quickly we went from offer stage to prepared to exchange.
Finally, though our budget was certainly at the low end of what Henry typically deals with, at no point did we feel like we didn’t have his full attention.
We would be happy to deal with Henry again.
We hired Henry to help us find a flat in a specific area of London after unsuccessfully looking for almost 1 year ourselves… Henry listened to our requirements carefully and, rather quickly, managed to find the flat where we live now – matching nearly all our requirements and with a large discount on the asking price! Henry has taken care of almost everything (organizing the survey, finding a solicitor, …), which was really awesome as I’m quite busy at work and as I’m also not from the UK. Henry is always available to chat over the phone and has been available to help us even well after completion happened to deal with a few follow-up questions and for us to happily settle in. Definitely recommend!
I recommend Henry’s buying service without reservation.
He oversaw our purchase of a lovely house for a keen price, and kept us on the straight and narrow when our property search threatened to veer wildly off piste at several junctures.
Among his accomplishments: preventing us from overpaying by between 15% and 20%; ensuring a successful conclusion to some complex and ‘robust’ negotiations which would have seen us eaten alive or throwing in the towel had we attempted them by ourselves; and introducing us to an excellent lawyer and surveyor.
Among his qualities: knowing the market, and what constitutes fair value, in different parts of the country; knowing how to disabuse naive buyers of their (our) more stupid ideas; and patience and responsiveness, even when the flow of (our) idiotic questions became a torrent. He drew on his long experience to highlight advantages and drawbacks of every property which we hadn’t picked up on. The property industry can be a world of sharks: don’t buy a house without a property agent.
Henry’s the man to fight your corner.
Henry provided invaluable help to us during our search and through to completion. He provided honest and pragmatic views, good advice and acted as a very useful buffer between us and the seller’s agent. He was also very responsive throughout and available whenever needed. We got a great deal with his help, and so we were very happy with his services!
Henry’s expertise, professionalism and in-depth market knowledge is exceptional. I am very pleased that he has helped me with finding the house of my dreams and the overall deal execution process (end-to-end).
I would have never been able to find the right house without his kind guidance. He is very open in providing his feedback, and it helps incredibly while you are reviewing available options.
In addition to this, he has advised on the best areas in London suitable to my needs – it worked really well as I was about to proceed with slightly different areas that did not satisfy all the parameters.
He has a great personality, and it has been a pleasure to work with Henry.
Thank you so much for your help!
You will see that on February 16, 2017 my wife, Belkis, posted a comment above. It’s now September 2019 and we have finally completed on a house. Henry has been with us all the way. We came to rely on his honest opinions and his extraordinary knowledge of the market: it is both wide and deep. His knowledge of the “micro-climate” of each street is extraordinary”Oh, I wouldn’t bother with that – you can hear the trains!”. But his advice, optimism and support was critical in helping us through what was quite a stressful process.
And on the crucial point of money. Just what Henry saved us during the critical negotiations at the end more than covered his charges. Hugely recommend.