Some of you may be starting this journey completely from scratch and unsure of where you want to live and the job of a buying agent is to help you narrow that down. Others of you will have a clearer idea but may need a steer on the best towns, villages, post codes and streets…and those to avoid too. Your buying agent should have excellent local knowledge and can advise on the best schools, catchment areas, commuter times, traffic issues and possible housing developments.
Of course you can do your own research too and feel free to check out our area guides if you haven’t done so already.
A search should also begin with a market overview to give you a better understanding of local property markets, where the hotspots are, housing stock, price points, supply and demand and what is achievable with your budget.
Your agent can help you formalize a brief, prioritise what’s important to you, advise you what is and isn’t feasible and can suggest areas that you may not have thought about previously.
A good buying agent will hunt down and view every suitable opportunity they catch wind of. Typically they will use their relationships with local estate agents and networks to identify properties that may soon be coming up for sale and those being sold off market, in addition to those being marketed openly.
You may wish to consider properties with development potential and an agent should have access to reliable local architects and planners to assess the costs and feasibility of your plans before you make an offer.
It is necessary to investigate all aspects of a property purchase before you commit and this is where many expensive mistakes can be avoided. This is particularly true if you are moving to an area you are unfamiliar with or if you are buying a period home or a rural property. Due diligence is a vital part of any property purchase and should highlight any risks involved as well as providing insight for the negotiation of your property purchase.
Negotiate purchase terms
Your buying agent should have multiple property transactions under their belt and typically they will have gained valuable sell side experience, working for an estate agency earlier in their career. Their knowledge of local property markets means they can advise you on the true value of a property while their experience and expertise can give you a head start in any purchase negotiations.
Oversee the entire buying process
A buying agent can help smooth the path to completion and will typically act as a single point of contact, liaising with estate agents, lenders, solicitors, surveyors and other professionals on your behalf.
If you are new to an area, your buying agent can help you settle in with introductions for local housekeepers, gardeners, interior designers, and other property professionals. While clearly this is not a core part of the service, finding good people to care for your home takes time and this may be something you really come to value once you’re successfully through the door.