I know you’ve heard me mention buying agents before and you’re probably wondering what the fuss is about, or at least wondering what on earth they do.
I thought this would be a good moment to give you a quick heads up on a Buying Agent. Feel free to ask questions, make comments, correct me and tell me your thoughts.
- Buying Agents are governed by the Estate Agents Act 1979. In real terms this means they must be signed up to a redress scheme (there are three to choose from). They must also adhere to laws on money laundering and data protection.
- Buying agents build relationships with the local estate agents so they are able to show you properties that are not being publicly marketed.
- Buying agents will give you advice on areas, they will look at which places will suit you best and they will endeavour to find the perfect location for you, within your budget.
- Buying agents will appraise and assess the local market and make recommendations on the best places to buy and will look at capital investment requirements if required.
- Buying agents will do the negotiating for you. They will look for pressure points to use during the negotiations and their negotiations will be taken very seriously by the selling agents.
- Buying agents will help to liaise with solicitors, valuers, surveyors and ensure the smooth process of the move.
Would I use one?
The short answer is yes but these are some of my reasons why…..
- I would want someone in the industry to help me research the right place.
- I would be pleased to have someone with local market knowledge to help me with the right valuations for each different area.
- I know that someone else could help to widen my horizons on properties I should consider in my search.
- I’d value professional advice on aspects of the local area which I don’t have time to find out myself.
- I would appreciate someone getting to know what we are looking for and being able to make suggestions on area and properties we should discount or consider and even able to take the time to preview a property for me when time is of the essence.
- I would value help with the negotiations. I’ve bought a couple of properties in my lifetime but know the huge benefit of having a professional on my side. I would hope that their skill could secure us the right house at the right price.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Not every buying agent is brilliant, do your research, talk to previous clients and check their credentials, read their testimonials. You must make sure you’re getting a professional and someone who thought as they'd bought a house and enjoyed the process they could do it for other people.
- Understand your contract clearly. Check what happens if you find a house on your own, and negotiate the deal, find out if you can limit their search parameters or whether you can exclude any properties you’ve already seen. It’s unlikely but check it out before you jump in.
- Find a buying agent who you trust. You must really like them. They need to know about you and your family, hopes and desire and dreams. Meet (either face to face or via Skype if you must) and get to know them before making your choice. There are lots to choose from.
- Don’t expect to have one chat and then switch off from the search. The more time you spend with or talking to your buying agent at the start, the more likely they will find your dream house.
- Don’t hold back - if you’re asking them to negotiate on your behalf share the full story with them. They will give you good advice on when to use the ‘rainy day’ fund but it’s no good keeping it hidden from them to pull out at the last minute.
- Buying agents are often limited by the number of clients they can take on with the same searches. Don’t be offended if they turn you down!
If you’d like a personal recommendation for a buying agent please let us know.
A few who offer a great service -
Hampshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey:
Somerset, Dorset, Devon:
West Sussex, Surrey:
Other articles about buying agents: