Bespoke Properties in London: The benefits of working with a property search consultant |
At any given time between 30-50% of my clients are British.
This comes as a surprise to many people, who think that only wealthy overseas buyers need the help of a property search consultant when looking for bespoke properties in London.
But that is because you may not understand how the London property market really works which is one of the key reasons that buying a home is consistently voted as one of the top three most stressful events in the UK.
But it doesn’t have to be, if you know the seven most expensive mistakes you will make and how to avoid them.
The market in rigged against you
The first point to understand is that if you wish to acquire a bespoke property in London, the market is rigged against you, the buyer. Ask most people why they speak to estate agents and they will tell you it will be to help them buy or sell a property, but this misses the point.
Estate agents are employed and paid by owners to sell their properties. You, the buyer, are not their client and in estate agent jargon, you are called an “applicant”. So, the agents are:
- Legally obliged to achieve the highest price possible for their client, the seller
- Their role is not to find you your ideal home or investment
- Their job is to sell any of their clients’ properties to any seller who is registered with them and to sell it for the highest price possible
- Each agent only has access to the properties that they have registered with them so the market is highly fragmented. There isn’t a Multiple Listing System like in the U.S.A., for example, and although some agents do share properties with other agents, these tend to be the properties that are massively overvalued or compromised in some way.
But most buyers forget this, which is why you will get so frustrated when an agent sends you properties that have only a passing resemblance to the type of property you want to buy.
And this frustration multiplies when you visit properties that seem reasonable on paper but are actually really quite poor. Do you really have time to waste visiting properties that are average or poor? Indeed, as one of my clients recently said: “Part of the value you offer is the dozens of properties that I haven’t had to see”.
When searching for bespoke properties in London – The Internet is not the answer
Of course, the birth of the internet was seen as a solution to this problem. There are now dozens of websites where estate agents list their properties and you can set up “property alerts” which will send you emails whenever a new property is listed that fits your basic requirements.
Which sounds fantastic, but if you think about it, do you really believe this gives you any competitive advantage? Because would it be unreasonable to say that this is exactly what most buyers do? So, in reality, all you are doing is joining a giant virtual queue. Does that sound like a good idea or would you prefer to avoid the queue and have first refusal on the best opportunities of bespoke properties in London?
And relying on websites is not a good idea for several other reasons including the fact that there isn’t one which lists all the properties.
More importantly, if you are planning to acquire a property over £1m in prime central London, research by Hamptons has found that over 30% of properties were sold off-market in the last quarter. How many of these do you think were the best properties and do you really want to miss out on them by relying on the websites?
So, the task of simply finding the best home or investment property your money can buy is not quite as easy as it seems. But that is only one part of the process. Do you:
- Understand leasehold properties?
- Know how to have first refusal on London’s finest homes, investments and off-market opportunities?
- Know what affects values in each street and for each type of property?
- Know which are the best areas or what type of property will make the best investment?
- Have the time or inclination to find and look at all the homes that might suit you?
- Need help understanding how the buying process works in London?
- Know the easiest way to negotiate a price reduction?
- Do you have lots of experience negotiating London property purchases and use proven strategies and tactics?
- Have the right team behind you to ensure that the transaction proceeds smoothly?
- Have concerns about whether now is a bad time to buy?
- Worry that you don’t know what you don’t know?
- Need better information than what you are reading in the press & being told by the estate agents?
By the way, this is not a diatribe against the estate agents. Their role is not to find you the best property your money can buy and help you negotiate the lowest price possible. Their job is the exact opposite and some of them are very good at what they do which is why I don’t sell properties (admittedly, some of them are very bad, but you can use that to your advantage as a buyer if you know how).
But does it make sense to take advice from an estate agent whose entire job is in complete conflict with what you are trying to achieve?
This is why I act for so many British as well as overseas clients. Despite being based in London, they know that the market is rigged against them and that the probability of finding the best property their money can buy and then acquiring at good value is not simple and they don’t have the time to waste nor the inclination to commit whatever spare time they have to undertaking the necessary due diligence.
Contact Mercury Homesearch
So, if you would like to know more about acquiring bespoke property in London there are two ways I can help you:
A Complimentary Strategy Call – this is a diagnostic consultation to discuss your plans and help you avoid the most expensive mistakes buyers make. To discover more about the Strategy Call simply click here – or call Dee on 02034578855 (+442034578855 from outside the UK)
You can request a free copy of my book, The Insider’s Guide To Acquiring £1m to £100m Property in London by clicking here,
Whatever you do, please don’t just follow the herd and do what everyone else does otherwise how do you expect to do better than average?