For those unfamiliar with the concept of using a Buying Agent (Search Agent), I thought I would briefly explain why, in the words of one of our clients, ‘using a buying agent is a necessity not a luxury’.

An Estate Agent is instructed on behalf of someone wishing to sell their property, to achieve the very best price, the market will allow, for their client. Whilst a ‘good’ agent will endeavour to build a relationship with a potential buyer their thoughts are always on the goal of selling and achieving the very best result for their client, the seller.

A Buying Agent acts solely for buyer and as well as sourcing the property their client wishes to buy, they will negotiate the very best price and terms on their behalf. They will see the transaction through, overcoming the usual and sometimes unusual hurdles buying a property in the UK involves. More often than not, we save our client, at the point of negotiating the purchase price, considerably more than we cost them.

Buying Agents first surfaced in London in the 1980’s and soon expanded out to the country, predominately acting for clients searching for substantial country houses, farms and estates. Some thirty years later, buying agents act for all number of clients searching for anything from country cottages and London pied a terre’s to country houses, farms and estates and substantial London houses and flats.

It was usual, that in any one year, an average of 50/60% of those properties we sourced and acquired for a client were ‘off market’. i.e. they weren’t featured on the usual web portals or property pages of local and national media. In the last two years that figure has increased to more than 70%. More and more vendors are happy to agree an ‘off market’ sale, avoiding endless people viewing their property, many of whom have no intention or ability to purchase it. The majority will, wisely, still have an estate agent acting on their behalf and comfortable that they are getting the best advice. Hence, there are considerably more properties bought and sold every year than it would appear.

Our service is an all-encompassing one, from sourcing the property and negotiating the terms of the purchase to seeing the purchase through to exchange of contracts and completion, liaising with solicitors, surveyors, planning authorities, architects any other specialists (i.e. drainage, timber, damp etc…) if required. We are always on hand and speak with many of our client’s years after finding their home. We believe, once a client always a client.

2020 will certainly be remembered by everyone and our thoughts are with all those who have been affected. In terms of the property market, the year began extremely well and London in particular was recovering from several years of a difficult and stagnant period. Likewise, the country house market was very encouraging with many more houses coming to the market and many more focused buyers. Covid-19 immediately closed the market down and it is apparent that many people that would have been selling this year will delay the process by a year or perhaps longer. The pandemic however appears not to have slowed the motivation of buyers. As a consequence, our feeling is, there will be a shortage of property and competition will be fierce. Another reason to consider having a buying agent acting on your behalf.

Simon is the founding director of Simon English Property Search, acting on behalf of clients throughout London and the Home Counties.