The property was 28% below our maximum budget and the price agreed was £335,000 below the maximum we had set for the property, so our investment in him more than paid for itself.
We own several properties but have always felt that dealing with estate agents was a painful experience. In addition, we were also aware that we were not necessarily seeing the best opportunities, because the agents were always pushing overvalued properties and trying to achieve the highest price possible for the sellers.
We were introduced to Jeremy McGivern at Mercury Homesearch and after several years of reading his market analysis and predictions, we enquired about membership to Mercury. It seemed to offer everything we wanted: access to off-market properties, objective advice on properties and valuations so that our time would not be wasted and an experienced negotiator who would be able to achieve a better price than we could.
Having joined, we are pleased to say that we would highly recommend that you become a member of Mercury if you are planning to acquire a property in London, because Jeremy delivered on all the promises he made.
Initially we were slightly concerned that he was recommending so few properties, but he assured us that we would be wasting our time visiting almost everything on the market, which showed that he had listened closely to our specific requirements and wasn’t simply trying to “sell” us a property.
All the houses he showed us met the criteria we had given him and what was refreshing was to see properties that were not on the open market, so we knew that we were seeing the best of the best.
There was one property that really stood out for us – a 4,500 sq.ft. house close to Sloane Square that was wider than average so only over four floors. It ticked just about every box we could hope for and wasn’t on any of the property portals, so we would never have found it ourselves.
However, that was just the beginning of the process. Jeremy had warned us that it would not be an easy negotiation because the sellers were going through an acrimonious divorce: they did not need to sell the property and it seemed that they were more interested in arguing with each other. In addition, it soon became evident that the agents did not have a good relationship with the sellers either.
The negotiations took several weeks and, to be frank, we didn’t think Jeremy would succeed in reaching an agreement at a price that would work for us because the sellers, especially one of them, were completely unrealistic. However, he found a solution and agreed a price that the agents didn’t think would be possible (Jeremy ended up speaking directly to one of the owners) and which was very favourable for us.
While previous buyers and the agents themselves had tried to convince the sellers with various “logical” arguments, Jeremy took a different approach which clearly succeeded. As he says, emotions often trump logic!
He then co-ordinated the entire process so that we didn’t have to deal with any hassle and he made sure that the sellers remained committed to the transaction, which didn’t always seem to be the case. He also answered all our questions swiftly and made sure that we had clear concise updates on progress.
As further evidence that Jeremy had our best interests at heart, the property was 28% below our maximum budget and the price he agreed was £335,000 below the maximum we had set for the property, so our investment in him more than paid for itself not to mention the wasted time and stress we avoided.
We now have a fantastic house acquired at a great price which will not only be a wonderful home but sound investment too. We will be recommending him and strongly suggest that you join Mercury Homesearch if you want access to properties that are not on the open market, wish to acquire your ideal home at a great price and would rather avoid the pain of dealing with the agents and all the other bureaucracy involved.
Focussed on protecting their members’ best interests
My main concern about choosing an expert to help me find a home in London was finding someone who would have my best interests at heart rather than just focussing on the transaction.
I undertook a lot of research but they were all ex-estate agents who just wanted to ensure a sale was done to get their commission. However, Mercury Homesearch seemed to have a completely different ethos with the focus very much on protecting their members’ best interests, so we asked them to represent us.
Fortunately they more than lived up to their reputation. From the outset, they fully understood our reservations about the typical London house and didn’t waste our time with unsuitable homes. Indeed, throughout the search process, they were very open about any minor drawbacks, even of the properties they recommended, as no property is perfect.
After a few months, a house that had been on the market for a couple of years became of interest as Mercury were aware that the seller had become more flexible and that it could now be negotiated to a good price which would bring it within our budget.
We were keen to progress the negotiations quickly. However, they devised a negotiation strategy which they felt would give us the highest probability of achieving the lowest price possible. This involved moving more slowly than we would have liked but they managed to secure a significant reduction of £500,000 from the asking price which in hindsight we would not have achieved if we had tried to secure the property quickly.
This proved that they had our best interests at heart because they could have secured the property quickly at a higher price and received a higher fee. Instead, they had the confidence and professionalism to give us the best advice.
They then co-ordinated surveyors, solicitors and financiers to ensure a smooth transaction. In addition they also assisted with choosing a design and build team to fully renovate the property by shortlisting three reputable companies and overseeing the initial site visits.
In short, they changed what would have been a time-consuming, stressful and expensive process into a highly enjoyable experience and we have acquired our perfect home at a favourable price. I cannot recommend Mercury Homesearch highly enough and you would be making a mistake if you did not have them represent you.
It instantly took a lot of stress out of the process
We are long time Hong Kong expat residents, we recently bought in Central London to be close to Europe, family and friends. We chose central London specifically for its currency and geographic diversification out of Australasia.
We were looking for a property that met our personal needs, but importantly we were looking for a desirable location and a property that had a better chance to hold or increase its value against its peers. After initially looking we realised that within many areas of London there were pockets that were more desirable than others, also there were varying property types within these areas, some offering us much better opportunity than others.
Buying in London can be complicated for many reasons and we wanted to make sure our decisions were made on the best information available. During our research we spoke to many friends that had London property experience and Jeremy McGivern was recommended by several friends who had purchased quality properties working with Jeremy.
We engaged Jeremy and it instantly took a lot of stress out of the process. Jeremy’s experience helped us navigate through the many complexities of buying in London. He provided clarification and guidance on the specific locations and property types and the important and less important issues that came up during the transaction process. Jeremy also made introductions to a good lawyer and reliable contractors, etc. which gave us connections into their networks helping us avoid the lengthy and uncertain process of having to figure this out through trial and error.
Overall it was a very good decision and experience working with Jeremy and we ended up in a great location and with a property we are very happy with. Even knowing what I know now about the London property buying journey, I would not hesitate to use Jeremy if I was to buy again in London.
One of my best decisions both in terms of convenience and economics.
I highly recommend Jeremy and Mercury Homesearch. I have hired many advisers over the years and this has been one of my best decisions both in terms of convenience and economics.
My main home is not in London and it would have been very hard, near impossible, to find something by myself. Jeremy listened well to what we were looking for, kept us updated and found a place within a month. It was a near perfect match to what we wanted.
He showed us the flat and got us comfortable that it was a good deal by showing me nearby flats in a similar price range. He was able to point out why a flat on the other side of the block that was similar but cheaper and would have been a bad deal because it was on a major route. He checked up on various things we were concerned about, led the negotiations, recommended a good conveyancing solicitor, kept up the pressure to bring the deal to a close, checked the flat at completion and posted the keys to us. Throughout the entire period Jeremy got back to any questions we had immediately.
In terms of economics, I was keen to buy something quickly that was right for us, as I anticipated price rises. Jeremy knows who the main categories of buyers are of the flats we were interested in, so advised on what qualities the flats would need to have to be sold on more easily. For example, he mentioned that most of the buyers in the area would only consider a flat with a lift. Not something I would have thought of as critical.
Jeremy developed a thesis about why he believes the prices were not fully priced in the area he showed me, which is plausible and which I would have taken time to develop myself. He demonstrated why the price was reasonable by referencing others and showing us comparable flats. Because he knows all the agents, he advised on how they tend to negotiate and provided us with carefully thought through advice about what was and was not material in the negotiations. Hard to quantify the economic value of this, but Jeremy generated significant value in addition to making the acquisition the most pain free property purchase I have made.
What I found most impressive was that the asking price of this apartment was 2/3 of the upper end of my budget.
It is my pleasure to give my highest recommendation to Jeremy McGivern and Mercury Homesearch.
I wanted to acquire a home in or near Mayfair where my London office is located, but being based in Dubai and having never bought a property in London before I knew it would be challenging to try to find it myself; it is a complex market and despite the internet there are too many ways one can make an expensive mistake even though I have bought several properties in other parts of the world.
A friend of mine had worked with Jeremy and had an excellent experience, so I first read Jeremy’s book, which I found very helpful, and then reached out to see if he could help me in my search.
Beyond Jeremy’s knowledge and experience, what I found most refreshing was that he listened extremely well. He showed me that he cared about me and my family and wanted to get the right result for us, not just a transaction closed. The trust Jeremy built early on was key as neither of us could foresee some of the challenges to come in 2020.
Very early in the process Jeremy showed me an apartment in Belgravia that ticked all of the boxes. But because it was early, I wanted to keep looking at alternatives. Jeremy never tired of my questions and kept finding compelling options even as I changed the search criteria several times, including increasing the budget by 33%. Throughout the process, Jeremy gave me sound advice and also regular market updates which were crucial, especially as pandemic-related lockdowns became more severe and the property market slowed.
I desperately wanted to come to London to look at properties but it was impossible. I will never forget the call from Jeremy in which he asked “would you be entirely opposed to buying an apartment without having seen it in person.” The normal and proper response to that question is “yes, I would be entirely opposed!” But this was many months into a relationship in which Jeremy had built substantial trust, and I had total confidence that he had my best interests at heart. My confidence was well founded.
Having considered a number of good options, in the end Jeremy came back to the apartment in Belgravia that he had recommended very early on, saying that he really thought it would be perfect for us. So we scheduled a Zoom call in which Jeremy walked my wife and me through every inch of the apartment, then down the street, to the park and around the whole neighbourhood! We really felt like we were there and loved it. What I found most impressive was that the asking price of this apartment was 2/3 of the upper end of my budget. This showed me again that Jeremy was focussed on finding the most suitable property for my family rather than the highest fee he could earn.
In preparation for the offer Jeremy did all of the homework, showed us the comps and devised a negotiation strategy. His initial offer was much lower than I would have made despite the fact I handle negotiations as a regular part of my job. Indeed, the strategy he devised meant that I acquired the property at a favourable price and for less than the maximum price we had targeted, once again showing that he had my best interests at heart.
He continued to add value after the price had been agreed because the legal process was more complicated than I had anticipated and there were issues that required solving as the building is listed and in a conservation area, but he and the team of solicitors he recommended handled this smoothly and Jeremy also negotiated a further price reduction.
Consequently, we now own an exceptional apartment in a great location which we would not have found and acquired at such a good price without Jeremy’s help. I finally made it to London after completion and was able to see the apartment in person and was overjoyed with the outcome.
Working with Jeremy made the whole process of finding a home, handling the estate agents, negotiations, legal process and all the time consuming, challenging issues involved with acquiring a property an enjoyable experience. If you are planning to acquire a property in London, I highly recommend that you ask Jeremy to help because his knowledge of the market and negotiation skills will save you a considerable amount of money, time and stress. His fee pays for itself several times over.
Jeremy’s network of contacts and his knowledge of the market are unrivalled
Jeremy is a super buying agent. His network of contacts and his knowledge of the market are unrivalled as are his attention to detail and care of his clients. He understood exactly what we were after and carefully chose the right property for us. His support through the on-going process was invaluable and he kept us updated at all times answering questions before we had thought of them. We would absolutely recommend Mercury Homesearch.
Especially important for foreign buyers
We came upon Mercury Homesearch by chance on the internet. Jeremy is very knowledgeable, informative and helpful in our search for a property in London. He took time to understand our requirements and suggested areas that we should consider in our selection, highlighting issues that we might not have considered. This is especially important for foreign buyers like us with limited time and knowledge.
The role of a “Buyer’s Agent” cannot be overemphasized, it serves to protect the interest of the buyer. In traditional property transactions, all the agents work for the sellers and against the buyers. The homes on internet search may not be of good quality and Jeremy is able to access homes that have not hit the radar yet eg we were shown a very good apartment in Queens Gate area that were not advertised yet by Jeremy and the apartment was sold within a week!
Jeremy understood our needs and is honest, open and trustworthy. We highly recommend everyone looking for a London property to contact Jeremy before their next property purchase!
His Negotiation Skills Pay for Themselves
Jeremy had helped me find my previous flat in Belgravia and I asked him to help me find another property. He was as efficient as always and didn’t waste my time with properties that were not up to standard or didn’t meet my requirements. As it happened, I looked at a property with a friend because he had seen it on the internet and was thinking of buying it himself. The apartment wasn’t for him but as it had such exceptional views and outside space, I decided to acquire it. Jeremy couldn’t have recommended it to me as it was very different to what I had asked for.
However, he more than added value in the negotiations as we acquired it for far less than my initial offer would have been. In addition, he handled the rather tricky seller and the agents so that the transaction progressed smoothly and I could focus on my various business interests.
If you are planning to acquire a property in London, I would highly recommend asking Jeremy to represent you because his negotiation skills pay for themselves not to mention the wasted time and stress that he will save you.
During the lockdown, he also managed to negotiate a significant price reduction for us
I cannot recommend Jeremy highly enough. At the outset, my husband had doubts over hiring a buying agent but Jeremy more than added value in the price negotiation. Having met numerous lawyers in my career, I can say that Jeremy has better negotiation skills than many lawyers.
This saved me a lot of time and stress. Once the price was agreed, he continued to provide invaluable support and sound commercial advice throughout the execution process. During the lockdown, he also managed to negotiate a significant price reduction for us. This meant he would receive less fees, and it showed he really had his clients’ interests at heart
We have acquired a delightful apartment overlooking a garden square in Knightsbridge for a price 25% lower than the seller paid two years ago
The challenges involved in buying a property from overseas were considerably reduced by having a trusted adviser on the ground with a deep knowledge of the London market. Jeremy McGivern provided sound commercial advice throughout the process and was always on hand to keep the transaction moving along despite the uncertainties of Brexit and a general election at the time. Consequently, we have acquired a delightful apartment overlooking a garden square in Knightsbridge for a price 25% lower than the seller paid two years ago.
A great job done well
At first we weren’t sure how much Jeremy could add to our search for a property in London. However it soon became very clear that with his knowledge of the market, his ability to focus in on what we should be looking for (rather than what we had thought) and the way the whole purchase was as painless as possible, that he was a huge asset.
We were lucky enough to find the property we wanted on our first visit (thanks to Jeremy sifting through at least 60 properties to identify four that might suit). He then negotiated a favourable price and after that Jeremy kept on to our case including introducing us to all the other people you need when buying in London – lawyers, mortgage brokers and property managers. All in all a great job done well
We would have missed the opportunity if Jeremy had not been representing us
Mercury Homesearch was recommended to us by some friends who had used them to acquire a home in Kensington.
Although we live in the UK and know London well, we had not bought a property there before and our friends said that they were reliable, would act in our best interests (unlike the estate agents who are paid by the seller) and good negotiators.
Jeremy did not send us many properties and we were surprised by one that he strongly recommended because the floorplan and details did not look promising. In fact, if we had not had a visit to London planned, we would have been reluctant to arrange a trip just to see the apartment because it appeared unsuitable.
Having said that, Jeremy had not wasted our time sending lots of average properties, so we were intrigued to find out what was so good about this one. When we arrived, we were surprised not only by the standard of the building but also the apartment itself.
The long corridor that was one of our concerns had windows it’s entire length so was light and not as gloomy as we had imagined. Also, the apartment was exceptionally light throughout and had views over Marylebone, which is a rarity in the area, because this building is a little taller than most.
We also saw other apartments in the building and the surrounding streets which were similarly priced but nowhere near as good. I am not sure why this one hadn’t sold. I presume that other buyers had either ignored it because of the floorplan or missed it despite it being openly advertised on the internet.
Jeremy then handled the negotiation to achieve a discount to the asking price, so we now own an exceptional apartment that has cost us less than inferior properties have sold for in the same building.
Frankly, we would not have even visited this property and would have missed the opportunity if Jeremy had not been representing us.
In addition, we have not been pressurised by estate agents, had our time wasted or suffered any of the stress which normally comes with acquiring a property. We will be recommending Mercury Homesearch to our friends and recommend you ask them to help you too.
We were also impressed by Jeremys patience to our changing ideas about housing in London and his willingness to support us also with an auction process for a house that we finally decided not to buy. He was always very pleasant company and his advice always proved to be right.
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Whether you wish to acquire a property for use as your main residence, an investment or simply as a legacy for your children or grandchildren, you can expect to purchase the finest property within your chosen criteria.