Should you have a buying agent?
Well my plan to write a blog every few weeks hasn’t played out very well! It is 8 weeks since my inaugural blog and it has been a whirlwind of new clients, estate agents, on and off market house viewings, extensive on and off market research for my clients and pushing purchases along. What this has proved to me though, more than ever, is that house buying is time consuming. Oh my goodness it is so time consuming! Making sure that no stone is unturned takes TIME, but happily it does bear fruit for my clients.
So, if you are short of time, that is certainly one reason to have a buying agent. But there are many other reasons.
The pandemic and the increasingly competitive local property market has led to an increase in demand for buying agents. In popular Hertfordshire villages and countryside locations demand outstrips supply - a buying agent helps you to be on the ball, and get ahead of other buyers. It also prevents you from making an expensive mistake. The level of competition in the past months has led to panic buying with some buyers agreeing scandalous prices for average houses. I have advised my clients in a calm and unemotional fashion about how much they should be paying for a house. I have even advised them to have patience and ride out this wave of property buying which should fade somewhat in the second quarter of 2021.
I’m often asked about off-market houses - is this really a thing?! Yes, it’s definitely really a thing!! Over half of houses between £2m and £4m are never openly marketed on the internet, and that percentage increases at the higher levels. Prime sellers are often reluctant to go down the route of multiple viewings, time-wasters pouring over photos of their home on Rightmove, their home and its price becoming an internet commodity that is picked up by Zoopla bots. Once a house hits the internet it is often because the seller hasn’t managed to achieve an off-market sale. Finding off market houses is about networking, relationships and tenacity, all of which I can bring to a house search.
But having a buying agent is not just the domain of the prime property buyer. I am finding that buyers at any level are coming to me for help - they may be time-poor, lack local knowledge or focus, or the ability to see potential - some are just weary of dealing with estate agents! (I love dealing with estate agents, so let me do it for you!)
And having a buying agent is not just about off-market properties, it is so much more than that. As remarked above, I offer a huge time-saving for those who are busy. Obviously if my client doesn’t live locally then I offer local knowledge and a physical presence. I offer discretion for those who would rather remain anonymous or low key - the local property market is a small world where market-entrants, whether buyers or sellers, are exciting news! I offer the ability to unemotionally analyse the value of a house and negotiate on my client’s behalf - even though my clients are often professional people who would consider themselves to be excellent negotiators, they are not best placed to negotiate their own house purchase. And I also manage agreed purchases through to exchange then completion, pushing the process along, unsticking blockages and even checking the property on completion day.
So how much does all this cost? My fee is bespoke to the house search and the house value but will be in the region of 1-2%. Of course this fee can easily be covered by achieving a lower house price than clients could have achieved alone, and will only be a small proportion of the other costs of moving such as stamp duty - remember a buying agent can stop you from making a very expensive mistake - the stamp duty on a £2m home is more than £150,000, the stamp duty on a £3m is nearly £300,000!
So give me a call (on 07702 630983) or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are considering a move. I’m always happy to talk about the housing market and how you can best position yourself through the house buying journey. And we might even find that we want to make the journey together!