Turning the tables: Why buyers need professional advice

As the saying goes "an Englishman's home is his castle" and home ownership is something we tend to strive towards in the UK. However, a question which doesn't get asked often enough is why are property buyers so poorly represented? Over 90% of people selling their property have the help of an estate agent, on the other hand there are very few who employ the services of a buying agent. This is in striking comparison to the US where over 50% of buyers have a real estate broker working on their behalf. 


Since the start of 2020 and the appearance of coronavirus we have been on yet another rollercoaster ride in the property market. During the first lockdown, which closed the property market from March for two months, very few people were expecting the pent-up demand and activity that followed for the remainder of 2020. Average prices in the UK rose 7.6% in 2020 although there was huge variation by area. For example, Islington house prices grew by 13.4% but in the neighbouring borough of Hackney they fell by 1.5%. This disparity in the market is why having somebody working on your behalf to secure you a property for the best price is particularly important. Many people falsely believe that an estate agent is acting for both parties in a property transaction; in fact estate agents work exclusively for the vendor and their job is to get the highest possible price for their client.


The trends of the property market as reported in the press tends to be based off land registry and sold house prices. This means that there is a delay in the trends that are seen by property professionals who are active in the local market and what is reported in the media. The insight and information at hand to a buying agent means that they are to secure you the best possible purchase price, and even provide access to properties not being openly marketed. Increasingly in these Covid-19 times vendors do not wish to have an endless amount of people traipsing  through their property, instead they only want those that are serious about a purchase coming to view their property. Vendors are therefore increasingly favouring 'off-market' sales using independent brokers.


It is understandable that employing the services of a buying agent is not for everyone, but is it sensible to make one of the largest investments of one's life without professional help? GJS Property are now offering a purchase appraisal service to give an independent view on a property our clients are interested in buying. Following inspection of the property of interest we will compile a full report, providing concise local market commentary, advice on opportunities to add value and any planning issues, examples of recent comparable sales and our view on the current value, as well as negotiation advice to achieve the best possible price. If you are interested in discussing our services further please contact George.