Places of work and schools are often the driving forces of choosing where to live. This is especially true when involved in corporate relocation to another side of the country. The need for local knowledge and guidance becomes essential, especially when few suitable houses are on the market
As part of a corporate relocation, the client’s employer contacted Garrington to see how we could help their Managing Director move from the North West to Sussex. After searching unsuccessfully for a property for six months, the client had become acquainted with the Sussex area and had located schools for their children. Schools, therefore, became the focal point of the brief; a twenty minute commute from Burgess Hill was set as the parameter of the search area.
The brief was further focused by the budget of £1.75M, the need for a large family home with one acre gardens, commuting distance to the new offices and urgency to move. Apart from these requirements, the clients were keen to stay flexible and were open to suggestions.
With few new instructions coming onto the market matching the client’s requirements, the Consultant had to keep their ear to the ground, sourcing both on and off market opportunities and understand where the priorities of the client’s requirements lay.
The Search commenced in August, a traditionally quiet time in the property market, so the first tour was set for September when more stock would be available. From the first tour, the Consultant could prioritise the client’s requirements, understanding what properties were more attractive to them and in which locations. Garden size was set as a high priority, alongside school and work journey time, hence edge of village or rural houses were specified with local transport facilities. It was clear that such a property in this area of Sussex could not be achieved for under £1.75M.
Towards Christmas, the market started to slow and so the Consultant turned their attention to proactively sourcing off market opportunities through direct approaches to home owners and through local contacts. It was at this time that the Consultant had to discuss with the client what requirements they could be more flexible on; the desire for a large family house near amenities conflicted with the desire to have such a large garden. It was advised by the Consultant that a small compromise would be required and a strategy to target specific properties in five villages was put in place.
Two interesting properties were sourced by the Consultant, which although they required work could be reconfigured to suit the client’s needs. However, they were discounted due to their proximity to other properties. At the start of the New Year, a house in a village near to the children’s school, in great condition and with the light and spacious interior that was desired, was sourced by the Consultant. Due to come on to the market in a couple of months once all renovation had been completed, the property had been valued by two agents at £1.85M and £1.75M. After a second viewing the client decided it was the property for them.
To secure the property off market the Consultant had to move quickly. With the variance in values given by agents, the Consultant prepared extensive comparable evidence which supported the higher valuation of the property. An initial offer of £1.65M was advised by the Consultant and put forward. The offer was initially rejected, as the agent had advised the vendor that, if on the market, the property would go to the competitive scenario of best and final offers, where often a premium is paid to secure the property. With the vendor aware of this, they were expecting offers in the region of £1.8M.
The Consultant spoke to the vendor, discussing the amount the vendor would save by selling off market. This discussion indicated that they may accept an offer of £1.75M. The Consultant advised the clients this offer should be submitted as a best and final offer. The offer was accepted and the property secured off market.
As a represented buyer the client was able to secure a property in an ideal location both for their new work and their children’s new schools. Although they had some area knowledge, the Consultant enabled them to target precise houses, sourcing an ideal property which an unrepresented buyer would not have been able to access.
Understanding the client’s needs and priorities is essential to all property searches, none more so than when stocks are low and time constraints are imminent.