Monday, August 02, 2010

FT says it's "insane" not to use a buying agent

Wonderful article in this week-ends Financial Times about the benefits of using a buying agent.  You can read the full article here. Meanwhile here's a quick taster:

Indeed, what is anyone doing buying a house at any price without taking advice? Think about it and it is all a bit nuts. Most people wouldn’t dream of investing even a few hundred thousand pounds in the stock market without a wealth manager holding their hand. And they couldn’t imagine spending their only million on a painting on the advice of one gallery owner.

Yet when we buy houses, we trawl around a few estate agents until we find one we think we like. Then, ignoring the fact that the agent is acting for the seller, we look at it for an average of 96 minutes, negotiate with him ourselves and, after the odd interjection from our solicitor about whether or not the dishwasher is included, we pay up.

That’s not just insane at the top end of the market – it is insane throughout the market.

Search agents were invented to suit a bubble market – the idea being that they would seek out houses for their clients before they came to market and buy them before the competition even knew they existed. That still makes sense in a few areas. But in a market like today’s, where prices and supply are uncertain and estate agents are desperate to make sales, all buyers need someone on their side, whether they are spending £400,000 or £4m.

Get a good agent and they should be worth every penny of the 1-2 per cent they cost.

Here here (and the advantages multiply if you are looking to buy abroad).


Chris said...

Have to be honest I had never even thought of a buying agent unless you are buying a property totally out of the ordinary. Not sure how well that profession is developed over here in Northern Ireland, I think my biggest concern would be sourcing someone who is worth his fee.

graham downie said...

Hi Chris - the right person will save you time AND money and should give you peace of mind throughout the process.

It doesn't need to be an extraordinary (or expensive) property either.

I have just sourced a property for a client which wasn't being openly marketed. Having someone with local knowledge certainly gives you an edge.

Best of luck....