Q. I’m from the states and we always have to hire a buyer’s Agent if we want to purchase a property over there. However I have been told that that is not so common over here – in fact not the norm at all. I’m new to London and have no idea what’s a good area to buy in let alone what street is great, so I’m still considering hiring a buyer’s Agent, do you think it’s a good idea? And are they readily available?
A. Correct, here in the UK buyers usually find their own properties with the help of the many property portals such as Right Move, Prime Location, Findaproperty and Zoopla. Estate Agents will work with buyers for free in the UK as they get their fees from the seller, so registering with as many estate agents as you can is another common way that buyers secure finding the right property. However in your particular situation, absolutely it’s a great idea to hire a buyer’s Agent to help you in your search. With no idea what area to search in or what is a good or bad investment it would actually be dangerous to look for a property without some kind of help. Although buyers Agents are not so common over here they are available if you look for them. Try to get a recommendation from a colleague at work or friend if possible, otherwise search for a reputable buyer’s Agent that is a member of the NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents). Once you have found someone to act for you that you can trust, let them know exactly what you are looking for and spend some serious time with them discussing what it is you really want from the property you are about to purchase so that they can conduct a detailed search. Buyer’s agents are also great if you have very limited time as they will go and check things out first so you never waste your time looking at something that doesn’t fit the bill. Property laws are completely different over here too so your Agent will prove to be vital once you have found the property, to hold your hand through the conveyancing side of things. You will find it most useful having someone that understands how things work over here, and looking after your best interests. Buying property can be complex at the best of times but if you are not familiar with how things work then it can be a minefield. They will also be able to point you in the right direction of a good Lawyer as well as an Independent financial advisor too to help with the funding. A great buyer’s agent is worth their weight in gold, as they can often negotiate a keen offer for your desired property, and will give you honest and valuable advice that only years of experience in the industry can give.