How property finders work with estate agents

Published Dec 14, 2018 – 4 mins read

Although opposing parties, at Garrington we share a positive, mutual respect with the estate agents we work with. By working productively and constructively with estate agents on your behalf, we can find the right property for you and negotiate any potential obstacles on a professional level.

A quick recap on the roles

We know that some clients don’t initially understand the difference between property finders and estate agents.

As property finders, when we search for properties on your behalf, our sole objective is your satisfaction with the properties we have found for you to consider.  That is because we are acting totally and exclusively for you.

By contrast, an estate agent is appointed by the vendor to assist with the sale of a property and acts on behalf of themselves and the vendor.

Protecting your interests

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the orientation of estate agents as outlined above.

That role description does not suggest any form of ethical problem and we work extremely effectively and productively with many reputable estate agencies.

However, it is important to recognise that when you are dealing directly with an estate agent, there is nobody involved in the process acting to protect your interests exclusively.  True, your solicitor may become involved once things start to move towards an actual purchase but their role is not to advise you on whether or not the property being purchased is an appropriate and cost-attractive solution for your situation.

A solicitor may not, for example, be in a position to point out that they believe you are purchasing a property which does not appear to be particularly competitively priced for its locality.

In terms of other elements of protection, it is true that legislation has been strengthened over recent decades and vendors and their agents are now obliged to disclose certain specified material facts about a property.  However, it might be unrealistically optimistic to expect a vendor or estate agent to voluntarily highlight issues that are not included within the statutory definitions of disclosure.

Working for you with estate agents

The role we would play on your behalf may vary from one situation to another.

It is often the case for prestigious properties to not be marketed widely. In many instances, because of the strong relationships we have built with our network of estate agents, we will be informed before a prestige property goes on to the market – allowing us to see if the property meets the requirements of any of our clients.

We also recognise the important function served by estate agents in terms of bringing properties to the marketplace.  That is why we maintain a close relationship with the professional and discerning estate agents in a given area.

If we identify a property through an estate agent that we think is suitable for a client, we will, of course, make contact with the agency and open up an initial fact-finding discussion.  At that stage, the details of our clients are considered by us to be highly confidential and would never be disclosed to the agents concerned.

Next steps

Assuming the property meets our basic criteria in terms of its apparent fit to your requirements, we might then:

  • Submit a list of additional specific questions to the estate agent, if necessary;
  • Subsequently make an inspection visit to the property on your behalf;
  • Perform a range of general searches of the area and apply our local knowledge to identifying all the advantages and potential issues associated with the property, many of which would never normally be highlighted in a typical estate agent’s description;
  • Assuming that everything looked positive in terms of our assessment of its suitability for you, we would then bring it to your attention, in principle, at this stage;
  • Subject to our discussions with you, we may open up more detailed negotiations with the estate agents and vendors working on your behalf. That may include some provisional “sounding-out” discussions relating to pricing;
  • It is usually only at this stage and assuming all had gone well, that we would consider recommending a personal visit from our clients;
  • Following that, if all continues to go well, we may enter into negotiation with the estate agents and vendors, if you so wish to us to fill that role;
  • Whilst all this is going on, we would, of course, be continuing to look at the market to identify other properties that appear to be suitable, thereby offering you choice.

Preferred buyers

In many instances our clients have greatly benefited from our relationship and reputation with selling agents. Our clients are generally recognised to be serious buyers, committed to making a purchase which gives selling agents a great amount of confidence when putting any offer forward to their client, the seller.

There are several examples of a Garrington client winning a sealed bid, not with the highest offer figure but because they were represented by a property finder that the selling agent trusted to complete on the transaction.

Working relationship

Our role and that of an estate agent can occasionally come into conflict.  That is always a possibility where they are trying to get the highest possible price they can for a property and we are trying to push back on your behalf to obtain the most cost-effective purchase possible.

We can apply our experience and negotiating techniques in order to secure deals that might simply not be achievable by a typical private purchaser.

Having two objective and professional property specialists agreeing to a resolution is typically more productive than the buyer and seller – often driven by emotion – attempting to negotiate directly.

Contact us

Buying a property can be both an exciting and emotional process. At Garrington we offer a complete property solution from property finding to negotiating on the price to attracting high rents. Please call us today on +44 (0)207 099 2773 for more information.