Buying that elusive ‘perfect property’ these days seems to many people like a wild goosechase!

The market is volatile, many properties seem to come and go before you get a chance to even take a look, and when you do find a house you love, securing and negotiating terms on it can be fraught, and successfully managing the transaction through to exchange can benefit from skilled assistance. All this means buying a house can be a very stressful experience.

Using the services of a search agent can take the stress and hassle out of the experience. A search agent will save you precious time, money and uncertainty. They will know the area you are looking at inside out, they have many contacts in the industry, and can respond quickly on your behalf when a new property comes to the market, helping you to make the right decision with your move.

A search agent is acting solely on your (the buyers/tenants) behalf. It is easy to think that when you register with an estate agent they will act in your best interests. This is not the case! An estate agent is paid by and acts solely on behalf of their client, the seller of the property, and their priority is to get the best possible deal for their client.

Registering with an estate agent only gives you access to the properties on their books. To see all properties on the market you need to register with every estate agent in the area you are searching. Not only that, but you need to visit them or phone them on a regular basis to make sure you hear about every new property. A huge and time consuming task, especially if you are moving any distance.

Employing a search agent who already has all the right contacts will save you effort and time, and more importantly give you access to the growing number of properties that are being ‘quietly marketed’ (properties where the seller does not want the house on the internet, advertised or have a board outside). The only people to hear about these properties are the people perceived as serious buyers, those who have everything in place to proceed with a purchase. Search agents are the first phone call for estate agents who take on such a property, as they know that our clients are ready to go!  Search agents also have the benefit of hearing about new properties or price reductions before they go to the open market.

The internet is a great tool in a property search, but there is no substitute for actually visiting the area and seeing it. However good the maps and images are on the property web sites the houses will always be displayed to their best advantage. Location, location, location is a bit of a cliché phrase these days, however it is so true!  If you have a search agent acting for you, they will know your requirements, understand your tastes and needs and be well placed to be your eyes and ears when checking out the location of potential property.

A search agent will give you honest advice if your search is proving difficult, and help to prioritise any compromise that needs to be made. Rarely is there such a thing as the perfect house, most decisions have to balance budgets with areas, number of bedrooms with size of gardens and so on. Search agents will help you to identify the best solutions.

Using a search agent hasn’t traditionally been part of the house buying culture in the UK, although this is now starting to change. Many buyers are unaware of the service, or perceive that it is an extra cost.  Consider though that approximately 99% of vendors use an estate agent. They recognise that although it costs, they will be financially better off than selling privately, even after paying the commission. This same logic can be used when thinking about using a property search agent. How can I pay the least for my property?

Of course using a search agent isn’t restricted to buying a property. Using the expertise of a search agent to find a rental property is also a time and money saving investment. Rental property can come onto the market and be let very quickly so having someone in the area to view property for you, especially if moving from a distance, is paramount to securing the house you want.

So whether you are looking for a family home, an investment opportunity or holiday home; if you do not have the time, resources or knowledge of an area; if you are a company looking to relocate employees and wanting to outsource the process, why not consider having a dedicated and experienced property consultant working exclusively for you?

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