Why Use A Buying Agent?

Why Use A Buying Agent?

In the US, the use of buying agents is already wide spread.  According to the National Association of Realtors, in 2021, 87% of all buyers used an agent in a transaction, where typically a ‘buying agent’ represents the buyer and a ‘listing’ or ‘selling agent’ represents the seller.

Here in the UK, we’re just waking up to the idea and, in this guide, we’ll cut straight to the chase and explain why you should be using a buying agent too.

A Smarter Way to Buy Your Home

Access off-market properties

It’s no secret that the share of private sales both in London and the countryside has been growing for some time.  A recent study by Hamptons in 2022 showed 23% of all sales in the capital sold without ever being openly marketed.

It is the same story in prime rural markets where 24% of transactions were sold privately.  The proportion increases for £1m + properties and an additional 10% or so are launched privately and are then subsequently sold on the open market.

So how can your buying agent get you access to these homes?

Estate agents will often contact buying agents before listing a property, knowing they bring serious buyers or “hot-to-trots” with their ducks in a row and their financials already in place.  A good buying agent will have excellent relationships with local estate agents and will have their ear to the ground about any up coming properties.

Why are properties sold of market?

Privacy and discretion are important considerations for many sellers who would rather their position wasn’t made public and who don’t want neighbours or window shoppers looking around.

They may wish to test the market first in the hope of achieving a premium price but without weakening their position later if they have to reduce it (something which would otherwise be displayed online).

A quick sale is another reason for sellers to go down the off-market route; perhaps due to divorce, a recent death in the family, or where the seller is in financial difficulty.

Save time and hassle

So you lead a busy lifestyle, your to-do list at work is growing by the day or you are relocating to a new area and find it difficult to get out there for viewings.    A buying agent can save you countless wasted trips by shortlisting, visiting and filtering properties on your behalf.

Once you have found your home, (hopefully your dream home…) and have had an offer accepted, the time and stress involved chasing and following up lenders, estate agents, solicitors, surveyors and other property professionals involved in the process can be a draining and frustrating experience.  A buying agent can manage this for you and oversee the entire process until completion.

Keep Completion on Track

A staggering 1 in 3 property transactions fell through in 2022, according to a study carried out by You Move Now, up from 1 in 5 from a YouGov poll completed before the pandemic in 2018.

An experienced agent, liaising with all the various parties involved in your transaction, can facilitate the completion process and help you overcome any challenges you meet on the way.

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Save money

Sounds counter intuitive right?  Agents don’t work for free do they?

Well, depending on market conditions and what your priorities are, you should often be able to offset the fees you pay an agent with the savings you make on the purchase price.   If an agent charges you 2% but saves you 3%, then of course you are in the black already and, in many instances, your savings should be well in excess of any fees they charge.

A buying agent’s knowledge of the local property market and their experience of negotiating multiple property transactions means they are best placed to secure more favourable purchase terms than you could otherwise achieve on your own.  In a seller’s market that might mean a discount on the listing price and, in more competitive markets, that could mean positioning you as the preferred buyer and limiting how much you pay over the guide price.

Avoid costly mistakes

We get it, buying a home is a big commitment, both financially and emotionally…it’s one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life and you want to get it right.

Having a professional on your side, with local knowledge of proposed housing developments and traffic issues or any other potential pitfalls which could affect your enjoyment of the property can help with this and give you peace of mind.

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