Q. I really want to buy a property in the next few months but have so little time to search. A colleague has a recommended using a property finder to help me, do you think this is a good idea especially since I’m not that familiar with the area I’m looking in?

A. Home search companies are more popular than ever these days essentially because most people like you have demanding jobs that leave them little if any free time at all to research areas, narrow down the search, book appointments and then go view. Hiring someone to do the job will obviously incur a  fee but could actually save you money in the long run because property finders pride themselves on having unparalleled knowledge of the property market and their respective search areas, as well as an extensive network of contacts. As a result they are often able to gain access to properties before they reach the open market in addition to accessing those that are either discreetly available or off-market.  After meeting in person or over email or the telephone to discuss your requirements they would then set to work taking in to consideration both your requirements for the property and your budget. They would then carry out the initial leg work and go see a whole bunch of properties first alone, that way they can eliminate any time wasting so by the time they take you to view they will have a reasonable amount of properties for you to see that would tick all your boxes and hopefully result in you wanting to make a formal offer. Having a finder on board is also very useful in the whole negotiation process to; they know how it works and would be in a far better position to negotiate a good deal on your chosen property with the Estate Agent. Once agreed they will usually hold your hand through the whole conveyancing process too, providing you with everything from a good solicitor to a great financial advisor. They will see that the purchase runs smoothly through to exchange and completion and will be around to liaise with both your solicitor and the estate agent to ensure that things run efficiently, and if you do run into any problems which of course frequently happens during the whole buying process they will be on hand to help and advise you and guide you through to a swift completion.