Some of our prospective international clients have asked us: What exactly do UK property finders do? In a nutshell, we work very hard on your behalf to find and negotiate for the most suitable property for you and at the most competitive price. We are different to estate agents and here’s why.
UK property sales vs. international property sales
In the UK, the home buying service is different to buying a home internationally.
Generally, with international markets there is an international sales listing agent and a number of property introducers. The property listing is made available to all property agents who want to promote the property.
These introducers could be acting on behalf of buyers and sellers. It is often the case that buyers and sellers both have their own representatives
Once a sale goes through, the sales commission is split between the sales listing agent and introducer. The buyer will typically also pay a fee to the introducer for finding them the property.
In the UK, the estate agent exclusively represents the seller – the seller directly mandates and pays for the sales agent. That means an estate agent is only working on behalf of the seller (not the buyer) to get them the best deal possible.
What this means for buyers in the UK
So, if an international client looking to buy in the UK approaches a UK estate agent, they may not get the same level of service as they would expect internationally, whilst they will match buyers to suitable properties the estate agent is acting primarily in the interest of the seller, their client.
An estate agent is constrained by law in terms of some of the representations they make relating to the property concerned. They must, for example, be factual in their representations of a property and also disclose certain minimum information about it.
That can put buyers at a potential disadvantage. That is because as you would expect, estate agents are seeking the most preferential outcome possible for their clients. That perfectly legitimate orientation of theirs benefits from being balanced by another party who is representing the interests of the buyer.
How UK property finders can help
That is where property finders such as ourselves at Garrington come in – a UK property finder is paid a fee by the buyer to find a suitable property, carry out due diligence, and to negotiate with the seller and their agent. We are there to act solely in your – the buyer’s – interests.
UK property finding for overseas and UK resident clients
When acting on behalf of our clients, our role is to take your specified requirements for property types and locations and use those to construct a list of potential target properties.
That involves in-depth investigations of the properties concerned in order to assess their suitability for inclusion in the shortlist, as well as gathering intelligence about the locality.
If this results in a firm client interest in a given property, we can then act as your on-site agent in all future dealings with the estate agents and vendors, short of the point of actually signing the purchase contract itself.
This is obviously important in terms of avoiding the necessity for overseas clients to spend considerable time searching for properties and locations with which they might be unfamiliar. The property finders’ role becomes even more essential because of the nature of estate agents in the United Kingdom and their need to progress a sale on behalf of their vendor clients.
A property finder’s role in acting on the buyers behalf to secure a property includes:
- Offering rounded advice on locations should a client be new to the area;
- Previewing potentially suitable properties, creating a shortlist for the buyer to consider;
- Finding properties for sale before they go on the market through our network of industry professionals;
- Securing a property at the best possible price and under the most ideal terms using our extensive experience;
- Saving you the hassle of managing multiple relationships with different selling agents.
Investing in UK property is still attracting significant interest from abroad. A recent news story reported that 19% of those surveyed from Hong Kong said they would consider UK property, alongside 45% from South Africa and 20% from the United Arab Emirates.
Significant numbers of discerning buyers – both from the UK and internationally – choose to use property finder services in order to reduce the amount of time they have to spend on property searches, gain exclusive access where possible and to work with selling agents on their behalf.
Having a representative working solely on the buyer’s behalf balances the estate agents role in working for the seller and can often result in a much fairer outcome for the purchaser.
For more information on our property finding and agency services, please contact us today.