When we come to sell our homes one of the first things that pops into our heads is the eye-watering cost of doing so. The topic of agents selling fees often fills the conversation pots at dinner parties and after work drinks with colleagues. None of us like these fees, but they are in the most part a ‘necessary-evil’. On the flip side, it was at a recent dinner party in the West End that a friend talked about her experiences of Buying-agents and the benefits of them. I’m not going to fill you in on everything that she talked of, but I would like to give you a few valid pointers as to why a ‘buying or search agent’ could add all the value you have needed to your property search.
However much time you spend with Estate Agents on viewings in your local area, you will come across some very favourable agents and some less savoury types. Even with your favourite agent whom you trust, the fact remains that he or she is working for his client (the seller) and not for you. So, more often than not, the information you are fed will be sided to air on the favour of the seller.
A buying/search agent, on the other hand, is a middleman between you and the selling agent. Someone who can get to the bottom of the hard facts and seed out the nitty gritty you require to make your final, and more informed decision. It is proven that very often a search agents’ savings made during negotiation are well outweighed by their cost. In fact, some of the very best buying agents price themselves based on a percentage of any saving made on the asking price.
A large number of properties never hit the ‘open-market’. They might not ever even go on-line or into an estate agent’s window. Some of the first people to learn about these properties and have access to them are buying/search agents. Having access to properties that are for sale, that the wider public don’t know about, opens your search to a treasure trove of fabulous options – ones you may have never even known existed until you see the ‘Sold’ board outside your dream home, teasing you about your unattainable dreams.
Managing the process
Have you ever been the recipient of an ‘offer-accepted’ phone-call or letter, only to be called hours or days later to hear that somebody has outbid you? With the news made even more sour by the fact that you’d opened that prized bottle of Vintage Bubbles in premature celebration… a worrying amount of property purchases fall through because of a lack of management of the process on all sides of the transaction. Often, it can simply be down to time-efficiency. Sadly, no fees can be retrieved under such circumstances unless unconditional contracts had been passed. A buying agent will ensure that as much information is available to you before an offer is even accepted and, whilst not entirely in their control, they should have the tools and expertise required to manage the laborious process through to a successful conclusion.
‘Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.’ William Penn
According to The Independent, ‘UK households spend an average of nearly a billion minutes a month on property website Rightmove.’ Now, I don’t have the time to break down what that equates to per household but having been on the searching side last year, I can tell you that I would rather avoid being a part of that statistic again.