Have you tried a house buying agent?

29 Apr 2013

Most people appreciate that the estate agent simply acts for their paying client, the seller. But what about the buyer? You are on your own. Or it can feel that way. When selling your house, you have your estate agent to keep you informed, to chase the buyer for progress, to chase all the parties along the chain, to negotiate with a buyer who tries a last minute price reduction. But what about the buyer, who do they have? The surveyor or conveyancing solicitor? No, as their roles are quite different. But there is a solution.

Buying agents help people buy houses, frequently for the wealthy and the famous (who simply want to avoid ‘who’ they are becoming part of the deal), but also for the everyday public like you and me. You will surely have seen TVs ‘Location, Location, Location' with Phil Spencer and Kirstie Allsopp; well that’s the idea. Someone to locate, negotiate and secure best terms and price – but for the buyer.

But that is not all, whilst many houses are openly marketed on Rightmove, some houses are ‘off-market’ and only available if the right buyer comes along – which is where having your own expert comes into play. The golden ticket that a buying agent can offer is the one that allows clients to view a house before it has appeared in the estate agent’s window. Buying agents will have access to a myriad of information and resources firmly embedding themselves into the local property market. They can know a property’s history, from how much it has been sold for to what work it has had done on it. As well as researching the house, the buying agents investigate the area, to find out if a housing estate is liable to spring up on the back doorstep. They will know what properties are really worth and give you the edge in negotiations with estate agents.

Does it cost?

Yes, usually a sign up fee and then a % of the purchase price. But remember, when registering with an estate agent most people will unwittingly reveal a lot of personal information (e.g. your desperation for why you have to move, your budget, your timescales, and who they may call upon for extra cash if push comes to shove).  Yet this information is passed to the very person acting for the seller who is tasked with obtaining best price for them – the estate agent. They have their agent, but what about yours?

Radical thought?

No, not uncommon. Having your own buying agent to negotiate on your behalf, who has been involved in house buying and selling market for over 20 years in many cases, and who can both retain your privacy by saving you the need to explain to complete strangers all about your own circumstances, and who knows how to tactically maneuver around selling estate agents and negotiate best terms, could save you £000s, tens of £000s in fact. And they can find you a house you would never have found yourself. Worth the price alone?

But it does not stop at finding a property and negotiating best price. They can deal directly with the estate agent and arrange and coordinate all third party services on your behalf, including conveyancing solicitors, chartered surveyors, and mortgage lenders. Throughout the whole process they should aim to keep in regular contact and supply you with regular reports and updates.