Homebuyers: Want Your Saturdays Back? Use a Buying Agent!
There is a common mistake made by many a homebuyer that once they have registered their details with an estate agent, that estate agent will act in the buyer’s interests to find them their new home. This is a fallacy perpetuated by estate agents, as having a large database of potential buyers attracts sellers to list their properties with them. And there is the rub: estate agents are retained by the seller and they act exclusively in the best interests of sellers. In fact, they are legally obliged to do so.
Whilst an estate agent will happily register your details on their database and may even send you emails containing property details, they are not acting in your (the buyer) best interests. They are merely trying to generate interest in the properties of their retained clients (the seller) in order to achieve the highest price possible for those clients – acting in the seller’s best interest, as required under their agency agreement.
So who looks after the buyer’s best interests? Well, that would be a buying agent.
Buying agents act exclusively for buyers and use their network of contacts to find properties that match their client’s criteria. They do not rely on a single estate agent but a whole network of contacts involved in the property industry. This means that only the properties that best suit the buyer’s criteria are considered. It also means that a buying agent will have access to view properties before the majority of other buyers and often before a property even appears on the market. This gives their clients an advantage over those attending later viewings with hoards of other hopefuls.
A good buying agent will only work for a handful of clients at any given time and will never have two clients with identical requirements. This avoids competition and helps the buying agent avoid a bidding war between its clients – this is in complete contrast to the goals of the estate agent to whom a bidding war is manna from heaven. A reputable buying agent will charge fixed fees so there is no advantage to them in keeping the purchase price high. In fact, from a reputational point of view, it is much better for a buying agent to obtain the lowest possible prices for their clients.
Despite the name, buying agents do much more than find properties for clients. They manage and liaise with all parties throughout the acquisition process to make buying a property as smooth and stress free as possible for their client. They can recommend solicitors, surveyors, insurers and finance brokers and, after you have bought the property, can help you find interior designers, stagers, decorators, architects and other professionals to make your property perfect.
Buying agents, or property finders as they are also known, were, for a long time, believed to be the preserve of the wealthy, celebrities or only for those people prepared to appear on TV. However, as more and more buyers are finding out, this is simply no longer the case.
What to expect from a buying agent?
· Saving time and money
· Professional and personal approach
· Property market knowledge
· Impartial support
Buying a property is a major life decision; the most expensive life decision you are likely to make. It is also stressful and time consuming. So, it is quite remarkable that some buyers are prepared to gamble such large sums of money without professional help, guidance and advice; whilst the seller has access to the guidance and advice of their estate agent.
For buyers, the best way to level the playing field is for them to have their own representatives on their team.
Property buyers: don’t make a costly mistake. Use a buying agent!
Domus Holmes Property Finder (www.domusholmes.co.uk) is a Bristol-based independent property buying agent dedicated to sourcing, negotiating and securing various residential and commercial properties for a diverse range of clients.
With an extensive network of industry contacts, they act exclusively for buyers to source and purchase on and off market properties, whether it is to be a home or an investment.