Frequently asked questions
Why use a buying agent?
There are many reasons why buyers choose to use a buying agent: they’re abroad and can’t physically view properties, they have busy lives and simply don’t have the time to house hunt, or they frequently miss out on great houses because they didn’t know about them until it was too late, or because they sold off market.
Handing over your search to a buying agent means you have experienced ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground who ensure that you get to see the best, most suitable properties first and – in many cases – before they hit the open market. It saves wasted journeys to view unsuitable properties and means you receive unbiased accurate and insightful information about each property viewed on your behalf.
Buying agents work closely with local estate agents on a daily basis and these established relationships are invaluable when negotiating a house purchase. We also remain clear headed during negotiations and ensure that you don’t overpay in a competitive bidding situation.
More than anything, while estate agents work for their clients, the vendor, buying agents act for you, the buyer. We keep your search active and are a positive and proactive team to have on your side who will always put your best interests first.
How do you access off market properties?
Research has shown 1 in 10 houses never reach the open market. This is particularly true of prime country homes where the vendor wants to protect their privacy as well as ensure that only the most serious buyers view the property. Buying agents are therefore often invited to preview properties before anybody else as estate agents know they will have a number of serious, proceedable buyers on their books. It is at this stage that deals are often done and prime houses in sought after locations change hands under the radar.
Established buying agents who have good local networks will also be approached by private sellers who wish to sell their house directly to good buyers without involving an estate agent. This also leads to deals being done off market.
Is now a good time to move?
Experience has taught us that in spite of what is going on in the world and whatever the housing market, there will always be buyers who simply have to move. There may be a new job, a change in personal circumstances or a need for more space.
The housing market is cyclical and generally flips between a ‘sellers’ market and a ‘buyers’ market but there are pros and cons to both as a buyer. As such, there really is no right or wrong answer to the question and it depends on the individual circumstances of each buyer.
We have bought houses for clients in all kinds of market conditions, and this experience means that we can help you expertly navigate the current market situation, whatever that may be.
How long will it take for you to find me a house?
This is entirely dependent on each client’s situation and requirements. Some clients are open to many different types of houses across a wide search area which opens up more housing options, while others have pinpointed two or three villages where they want to live. On average, however, we find houses within six months of starting an active search.
When should we put our house on the market if we are looking to sell?
If schools are a driving factor and you need to be in situ over the summer holidays in preparation for the start of the Autumn Term, you should ideally aim to be in a proceedable position (i.e your house under offer or contracts exchanged) by April. This then gives us a good opportunity to search during the housing market’s most active months of April to July. However, this isn’t to say that all is lost if you aren’t ready to buy until later in the summer, and we have bought houses for clients at very short notice.
Should I choose the school or the house first?
We would always recommend that you select a school first as experience has shown us that if your children aren’t happy at school, however fabulous the house, nobody will be happy.
Many clients have a shortlist of more than one school and are happy to look at properties within a reasonable proximity to any of them. This is fine too and we are happy to look for properties in multiple locations within our search area.
We can give general advice on schools but we have a number of excellent schools consultants that we can recommend if you require professional advice on schools.
What if we find a house that you haven’t introduced us to while you are looking for us?
This has never happened but we would never charge you for a house that we did not introduce you to. This is clearly laid out in our Terms of Business which both parties sign before we begin the search.