Do Not Trust Property Websites

A three bedroom house is on the market in London, zone 1, for £130,000.

It’s not possible, I hear you cry, or it’s on a 1 year lease!

Well the house is freehold and it is in Bread Street in London. In fact it is in the heart of The City. So what is the catch?

A gentleman contacted me quite excited because he had stumbled across the house on a website. The link is here.

Unfortunately on closer inspection, it transpires that this house is not actually in London as advertised, but in Macclesfield which is in the north of England.

Why do I bring this up? Because too many buyers rely on websites to find their information and rely on them completely to do the search for their homes. This is madness. However, it does explain why so many – both international and UK – buyers miss out on the best opportunities and make expensive mistakes.

Now the example above is an extreme, so is ultimately less dangerous because you would have to be a complete buffoon to buy this. Indeed it would be virtually impossible even if you never visited the property, because the chances are that your solicitor would point out that the property is not in London. The expense would be minor although it would waste time.

No, the more dangerous information is that which is less obviously wrong, but which can lead you into making false assumptions and calculations. This is why I personally inspect every property and conduct in depth research on each before I make a recommendation to my clients.

It is also why I am able to clearly show how I calculate my recommended purchase price on each property. Although my clients trust my knowledge and expertise, I think it is essential to provide proof. After all, my clients are successful people who have not made their money simply by following the crowd. They are more astute than that.

In fact, it is a point that one of my oldest clients made a couple of weeks ago. He said: “It is very difficult for people like me to trust people like you. Ultimately, you are giving advice but the only way you make money is if the transaction happens. So most people in your profession are not trustworthy.”

And he is absolutely right. He did go on to say that he trusts me implicitly as demonstrated by the fact that I have acquired over £40m of property for him over the last 12 years. He also likes the fact that I spend a lot of time talking him out of purchases.

But then I started up the firm because I was fed up with the service I was receiving from estate agents. So I look at the process of buying a home from a completely different perspective.

Remember, the estate agents are paid by the sellers. They are legally obliged to achieve the highest price possible for their clients. You are not their client. You are referred to as an “applicant”. Estate agents only have a “thin legal duty” to you.

They cannot deliberately mislead you, but they can certainly paint a much rosier picture than the reality and provide comparable data which suggest a higher price than may actually be warranted.

And if you are buying off-plan properties, do you really think that they will be pointing out the negative points? Of course not, which is why many buyers in Asia are going to be rather disappointed when they discover where they have actually bought properties and that the views are maybe not as spectacular as suggested, i.e. the “river view” is in fact a sliver between two other buildings…

As I say in my book and other guides, RESEARCH IS ESSENTIAL. If you do not have the time, knowledge or expertise to do this yourself, then you must ask someone with a proven track record to help you. Otherwise you will suffer the consequences.

Is this a blatant bit of self-promotion? Absolutely. But it is because it has been drawn to my attention that some people do not realise that I am NOT an estate agent.

I never have been. I founded the company because I thought it was absurd that I was being advised by an estate agent who was being paid by the seller. The agents were working in direct conflict with what I was trying to achieve.

This is not to disparage estate agents. The reason I do not sell properties for my clients is that I genuinely believe that the good agencies are very good at achieving high prices (consequently I advise my clients which are the best agents to use and manage the process for them. But it is the agents who sell the property).

So if you are serious about acquiring a home or investment in London, but do not have the time, knowledge or expertise to do the necessary research then email me at to arrange a telephone call where we can discuss your property requirements.

Please note that this is not a guarantee that I will help you. I turn down over a third of the requests I receive.

But if you wish to buy a property in London and want to buy in the lull before the election then email me now at

I look forward to hearing from you.


Best regards,