How Property Search Agents Can Help You Find the Right Home

This article explains how a Property Search Agent works, what you can expect to pay, and how you’ll benefit. Whereas estate agents exist to protect the seller’s interests, Property Search Agents (aka Property Finders or Buying Agents) act to protect the home buyer’s interests. If you’re only moving a few miles from your current home, you probably don’t need any assistance. But when your relocation involves longer distances, professional help offers major practical advantages. Many people wrongly assume property finders charge huge fees, or cater exclusively for the super-rich.How Property Search Agents WorkWhile estate agents typically market dozens of properties, buying agents rarely work with more than 1 or 2 clients at any time, because they offer a more dedicated and labour intensive service.Firstly, property finders will spend time understanding exactly what you are after. Expect them to discuss what you really value in a home, and also why your own search has been unsuccessful to date.As soon as they understand what you really want they’ll scrutinise the local market to identify all properties that match your requirements. They’ll also use their contacts to spot any suitable pre-market properties before these ever reach websites or the estate agent’s window.Next they’ll inspect any promising properties and report back. Having shortlisted suitable candidates they’ll attend all viewings with you, get your feedback and offer their own observations. Should you wish to reconsider your brief, they’ll be happy to undertake this stage of the process as many times as necessary.When you finally see somewhere you’re delighted with, they’ll seek to acquire you that property on the best possible terms. This doesn’t mean seeking unrealistic or unachievable discounts. It does mean using their knowledge of current local selling prices to agree terms as quickly as possible.Finally they’ll aim to ensure nothing goes wrong between offer acceptance and a swift exchange of contracts. They can suggest reliable, professional help with surveys, conveyancing or building work. And when you don’t fancy a 200 mile round trip to measure up curtains, most will help with that too!What Property Search Agents ChargeFees usually involve a retainer to cover an agreed period with the balance as a success fee payable on exchange (usually 1-2% of the agreed sale price). Some agents won’t work below a price threshold of £500,000 – £750,000. Others will simply expect minimum fee guarantees below a certain market value. At the very least they aim to cover their fees by reductions in the asking price, though this cannot be guaranteed.How Property Search Agents Benefit YouIndependent Impartial Advice
Your interests always come first. However helpful and professional estate agents may be, you’re not their client. An independent, unbiased view of all available properties is invaluable. You’ll value dispassionate guidance should your emotions get the better of you at any stage.Dedicated Resource
Whether you have a demanding lifestyle or whether you’re looking far from your current home, house-hunting is a full-time job. That’s fine as long as you haven’t got a full-time job (or a young family!). Someone who works all hours on your behalf can speed the process up considerably.Avoid Wasted Time, Stress, and Disappointment
Too many properties that seem appealing have drawbacks when seen close up. Even the best websites don’t tell the whole story. Why waste your precious weekends on long trips to disappointing viewings? When someone else inspects properties first, you’ll only see places that are right for you.Enjoy Preferred Buyer Status
Estate agents and vendors often favour buyers with professional representation because they appreciate that only serious buyers chose such help.Avoid Paying Too Much
Working out the “going rate” in an unfamiliar area is not straightforward, especially for country properties. Employing someone who knows what local properties really sell for ensures you pay a fair price. Even if you’ve found the right place without help from a buying agent, you can use their services on a negotiation-only basis.You won’t find Property Search Agents on the local High Street. But if you simply enter “property finder (or property search agent) + your chosen county/ region” into any search engine you’ll soon find someone who’ll find you the right place at a fair price faster than you could do alone.

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