I was speaking to a partner at a law firm in Hong Kong yesterday who wants to acquire a couple of investment properties.
She and her husband (who is a successful financier) have seen about a dozen apartments in South Kensington, Knightsbridge and Belgravia, but were disappointed by the quality of what they were shown.
The problem is that they are both extremely busy and don’t have time to undertake the necessary due diligence - indeed, this is an issue for many of the members of Mercury Homesearch as business tends to take precedence over personal matters.
Strangely, this couple would much rather spend what free time they have with their family than with estate agents showing them hopeless properties. What a surprise…
Unfortunately, their lack of time means they have taken the same course of action that almost everyone else does. They have turned to the internet and have relied on the websites. This is a huge mistake.
Now, while I agree that the websites are useful for giving you a picture of what’s on the market, you can and must do better – especially if you are buying a multi-million pound property in London – unless, of course, you are not bothered about acquiring the best property your money can buy.
The reason I say this is that the estate agents openly admit that they don’t list all the properties on their sites or property portals. For example, this is from an email sent out by John D Wood’s Chelsea branch:
“In the last few weeks as sellers avoided publically (sic) launching property, we have been able to introduce buyers to property that suits them well, that they would not be aware of from just scouring the portals."
When one considers that there are over 230 estate agencies that cover prime central London, how many properties do you think you are missing out on if you just rely on the internet? And that is assuming you look at all the web portals and sites, because most people miss out on even more because there is not one site that has all the properties from all the agents.
Add to that the fact that estate agents should really be called selling agents – they act for the sellers and are legally obliged to achieve the highest price possible – and you can begin to see how much of your time will be wasted.
Because their role is not to find you your ideal home or investment. No. They are paid to sell any one of their clients’ properties to any one of their “applicants” for the highest price possible. And if you don’t know what an applicant is, it’s you. That is the estate agent’s jargon for you, the buyer – how much confidence does that instil in you that you will see only good properties and receive objective advice on price?
So, I am afraid that you do actually need to speak to every agent in your target area. Because you have one goal – to find the best property for you and buy it for the lowest price possible. So, you need to leave no stone unturned and this is the necessary due diligence that you need to undertake if you want to be successful.
There is another reason for speaking to the agents. If you build a rapport with the agent and are “front of mind” then you will hear about the best opportunities first… and some of these opportunities will be hiding in plain sight.
Unfortunately, many people are utterly clueless about negotiation. In many instances, sellers will not reduce their asking price despite the fact that they will accept much lower offers. I won’t go into the reasons why here, but this happens a lot.
So, what they do is they tell the estate agent to get offers. However, you will not know that the seller would accept a low offer unless you are actually talking to the agent. Indeed, you will probably be totally unaware of the property because it has not appeared in your searches as the asking price is outside of the parameters you have entered into the websites.
And on the same lines, you want to speak to the agents anyway, so that if someone is willing to reduce their asking price and have it shown on the internet, you hear about it before it actually happens; you will then be first in line to take advantage and can secure the property before the price reduction becomes common knowledge.
Yes, this does take time and effort, but would you rather miss out on the best opportunities, buy an average property instead and/or be fooled into overpaying?
This is why we speak to over 230 estate agents every week for the members of Mercury Homesearch. Admittedly, it is laborious, time-consuming and, frankly, dull work. However, it is the foundation stone of not only finding the best opportunities, but having first refusal on them too.
Yes, we also have over 500 off-market contacts too, which you can’t replicate, but at least give yourself a fighting chance and speak to all the agents in your target areas.
Now, I admit that this is clearly a pretty basic strategy, but it is an important one. However, if you or your clients would also like to discover the more advanced techniques I use to find and acquire London’s finest homes and investment opportunities for the members of Mercury Homesearch, you can request complimentary copies of my book, The Insider’s Guide To Acquiring Luxury Property in London.
The book reveals the strategies and tactics, I have been using for over 18 years. This is not mere theory – they are tested and proven. So, if you would like to request copies, simply email my executive assistant at email@example.com or call 02034578855 (+442034578855 from outside the UK).
Who am I and why should you listen to me?
My name is Jeremy McGivern. I am the founder of Mercury Homesearch, the internationally renowned property search consultancy, and author of The Insider’s Guide To Acquiring Luxury Property in Prime Central London. I have been acquiring property in prime central London for clients for over 13 years.
Having physically viewed over 22,000 properties in prime central London, studied the details of over 153,400 apartments, houses and investment opportunities and spoken to 232+ estate agents every week for over a decade, my advice is in high demand and has featured everywhere from Bloomberg Television, The Financial Times and The Daily Telegraph to Forbes India and Bahrain Confidential.
Please note that the strategies and techniques revealed in the book and CD’s are not just theory. They have been tested and proven over 13 years of acquiring hundreds of millions of pounds worth of prime London
property for my clients, who include some of the world’s wealthiest families and most successful entrepreneurs and business people - it may surprise you but over 30% of our clients are British and based in London so this information is relevant whether you have bought a property in London before or not.
Acquiring a prime central London home is a minefield for the uninformed. Make sure you put knowledge on your side by reserving your free copy of The Insider’s Guide To Acquiring Luxury Property in Prime Central London and set of 6 CD’s. Simply leave your details above and I will have them sent to you immediately.
Good luck finding your ideal home in London.