I read and hear about stories of frustrated country house buyers all the time, who either can’t find a home they desire, are being continuously outbid on the little stock that is available, regret the location they have moved to or have paid too high a purchase price. Buying agents have never been so busy as a result, as savvy purchasers realise that in today’s current market, they stand a far better chance of securing their dream house in the West Sussex countryside or on the coast at a fraction of the cost, with somebody who is actually on their side.
So what is a buying agent and why are we proving so valuable in today’s property market?
A buying agent is a property expert who acts on behalf of the purchaser to find them a new home and to buy it. Anybody who is looking via an estate agent won’t be offered quite the same opportunities and advice because of course, the company is acting on behalf of the seller and not the buyer. Whereas a buying agent’s job is to actively find a house that matches their clients’ requirements, before negotiating the price and terms on their behalf. They also provide valuable advice to ensure purchasers are buying the right property in the right location for the right price, and to put them in the best possible buying position to maximise their chances of appealing to a seller.
People use buying agents for all sorts of reasons. Perhaps they don’t have the time, are relocating and are not familiar with the location or they have just had enough of the intense buyer competition on the open market. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of benefits:
Access to off market homes
It is no secret that demand far outweighs supply at the moment, which is making it very hard for people to find the dream country house they want in West Sussex. However, there are actually properties for sale, it’s just that they’re not seen online or in an estate agent’s window display – they’re selling ‘off market’ or ‘quietly’ as it’s also known as. The joy of a buying agent is that a good one will have great connections with local estate agents, combined with their own insight into local village life, and will know what is coming up for sale – often weeks in advance of the general public being made aware. A buying agent’s clients tend to therefore be the ones who get first dibs on these houses, offering a much better chance of finding something with less competition.
Stop you overpaying
Anything in a sellers’ market has been selling over guide price generally as demand has been so intense, but a good buying agent will provide advice on what is the best offer to present based on the seller’s situation. They will have done all of the homework for you already so that they know the seller’s reason for sale, and whether there will be any unexpected costs in terms of repairs or renovations that may need doing. This ensures you don’t overpay as tempting as it may be – something I have seen a lot of during Covid-19!
Positioning you as the best buyer
It’s not always about offering the highest price for sellers. Depending on their situation, they may want to leave as soon as possible, so somebody who can move the fastest tends to hold most appeal. A good buying agent will only work with a purchaser who is ready to financially proceed, so this puts them in good stead in the eyes of the seller in this situation immediately. I’ve also worked on deals where the sellers have lived in a house for many many years with their children, and want to find a buyer who has a young family themselves who wish to bring them up at the property like they did. With sellers struggling to find a home themselves to purchase, some are looking for buyers who are prepared to agree to a delayed completion to allow them more time to find something. It’s all about ‘selling’ the buyer into the seller and knowing what sort of price they will accept, and this can only truly happen by knowing exactly what the vendor’s story is.
Buying agents can save purchasers a lot of time and stress from searching for a property, especially if you are not familiar with the location. They’ll do all the research, find houses you are actually looking for and will conduct viewings first, before short listing what they feel are the best ones for you to view yourself. This saves a lot of time wastage on finding something and on viewings, where properties don’t end up being what they appear to be on paper.
If there are any negatives or concerns for a property, price or the location, a buying agent will tell you. If the house is next door to a pig farm, it’s probably not going to smell very nice. If the main road on the door step is notoriously noisy, you’re probably going to regret living there. If the price is too high or offers are going in way over guide, it’s probably best to walk away. This level of honesty and advice provides a safety net of getting the location right, not having any unexpected costs further down the line such as expensive repairs, and not over paying.
For more advice about purchasing a home in West Sussex, contact Jennie Hancock , on +44 (0)7776452128 or email@example.com.