In one sense, the function of a property finder is as described by the term itself. In other words, they do what it says on the box.
However, in reality, this situation is rather more varied and complicated than simply finding a property.
Below we will examine some of the intricacies of the service and what is typically on offer.
What does a property finder do?
It’s worth making the point at the outset that no two property finders are identical.
Different companies may have different service propositions and considerably different ideas as to what should be included in the property finding service. To some extent this will also influence their fees and overall tariff.
In essence though, a property finder will most likely have at the core of their operations something along the following lines:
- They will work on a daily basis to maintain an in-depth and expert-level familiarity with the property market in the areas they cover. This is important because their services should be more than simply scanning the internet to see what properties are for sale in more or less the same fashion as you could yourself; ;
- In order to complete their mission, they will need to be able to analyse the client’s requirements in order to see what types of properties are suitable. This isn’t always as easy as it sounds and requires considerable skill. Some clients are in the position of perhaps not having fully explored or thought-through their own situation and therefore, what that means in terms of the property they’re seeking;
- Once they understand the requirements, the property finder will exploit their network of contacts in order to try and identify a property that meets their client’s criteria;
- They will then bring the property to their client’s attention and they may then arrange things such as viewings and related administrative activities.
The property finding service
Some property finders might operate very much on the above basis and provide little else by way of value-added services.
Others may offer more of a total service proposition that includes removing as much of the potential buyer’s worries and administrative overhead as is possible.
Property finders that come into this category might offer services such as:
- Performing an initial pre-screening viewing of the property, where they will conduct a full inspection to check that it’s in line with their client’s requirements. This is important because property sales details may be unlikely to highlight all the negatives and inadequacies, so this service can avoid potential buyers wasting considerable amounts of time in unsuitable property viewings;
- Acting as an administrative, logistical and even financial intermediary between the vendor, the estate agent and their client. Services here usually include final price negotiations and so on;
- Offering on-site consultancy during buyer inspections of the property and offering guidance and advice on any surveys carried out by external parties;
- Assisting with finding and arranging interim accommodation where a completion date is not completely suitable for the buyers and there is a gap to be bridged;
- Making available their opinion on investment properties and pricing, although most property finders are unlikely to be qualified financial advisers so the advice will be purely relevant to the property being considered.
How to get the best out of your property finder
Inevitably, different clients will have different requirements in terms of the services they expect to receive from their property finder.
Ultimately, a successful professional in this area can save the buyer very significant amounts of time and potentially help them to avoid making what might have been a less than ideal purchasing decision. More positively, they may also be able to find properties that are not generally visible in the open marketplace at a given time.
It is often the case that property finders are cost neutral; negotiating at least enough from the asking price to cover the fees for their service.
In order to get the best out of such services, it’s often advisable to form a close working relationship with the property finder and to initially invest some time in allowing them to understand your requirements. The more they understand your position and expectations, the more likely it will be that they will find you a property that you regard as being ideal.
How property finders differ from estate agents
There is occasionally some misconception about this position.
Essentially, an estate agent is acting entirely and exclusively in the interests of the vendors and themselves. Their primary objective in life is to sell you a property they have on their books and for the highest amount possible. Although the law forbids the active misrepresentation of a property in sales materials, in practice that may offer limited protection. Although some estate agents do, and do so sincerely, the estate agent’s role is not to offer you, as the buyer, impartial purchasing advice.
By contrast, a property finder operates exclusively on your behalf as the purchaser. They’re there to protect your interests as far as they can and they should have no specific vested interest in whether or not you decide to purchase one property versus another. They will also highlight all the pros and cons of a property, as they see them.
It is an extremely important difference.
Professional property finders
Forming a close working relationship with a property finder such as ourselves at Garrington may be your first step on the road towards finding the most suitable property.
We would be delighted to discuss our services further with you and highlight how we can assist. Why not contact us now for an initial discussion?