How using a buying agent can help you purchase your dream home

Buying a property can often be stressful and time consuming, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area you are looking to buy in, are time poor, buying from overseas, or are unsure or nervous about the purchase process and would benefit from expert guidance and support. 

By working with a buying agent you can help remove this stress and uncertainty, giving you confidence in your search. 

At Bradbourne, we understand buying a new home is likely to be one of the most significant investments you ever make which is why we’re here to help you every step of the way.

In this blog, we explain the benefits of working with a buying agent and how it could help you secure your perfect property.

What is a buying agent?

In simple terms, a buying agent, also known as a property finder, is the opposite of an estate agent. Unlike estate agents who represent homeowners when selling a property, a buying agent solely represents the interests of a buyer.  

It’s a buying agent’s job to understand the wants and needs of a client and provide tailored advice and support at every stage from initial viewings through to negotiation and completion. Critically, retaining the services of a buying agent shows intent and commitment, which will resonate with sellers and agents alike. 

Working closely with a buying agent comes with significant advantages and can offer unrivalled access to properties that never reach the open market.

What does a buying agent do?

Buying agents offer a complete end-to-end service covering every step of the buying process. 

The best buying agents come with extensive market experience and a comprehensive network of contacts that combine to give you a competitive edge. 

They will take time to fully discuss your needs, budget, finances, and unique preferences such as location, school catchment area, public transport links and proximity to amenities, building a brief tailored around your individual requirements. 

Through strong relationships, often nurtured over decades, buying agents can gain priority access to properties for their clients, as well as receiving advance notice when properties are likely to enter the market, thereby providing clients with unique purchasing opportunities.

When previewing properties on your behalf a buying agent will assess a property’s condition, asking price, and potential issues, highlighting the negatives as well as the positives before suggesting you view the property yourself. This can save significant time and money, and if a buying agent doesn’t think a property is right for you, they will say.

Once you’ve identified a suitable property, they will undertake significant due diligence and use their market expertise and negotiation skills to advocate on your behalf to secure the best possible terms and price. Acting as a communication anchor, a buying agent will work as the main point of contact, liaising with all parties to ensure every aspect of a transaction is handled efficiently.

Indeed, most buying agents have established relationships with all of the professionals and specialists you may require. From solicitors, surveyors and architects, to drainage experts and Japanese Knotweed specialists. These relationships can be extremely important to facilitate a smooth transaction and be the difference between a positive and negative outcome. 

Why choose Bradbourne?

As an independent, family run business, we develop close relationships with our clients, enabling us to deliver the key components of purchasing property in the prime markets – knowledge, trust, diligence and discretion. 

With decades of experience in the property sector, the Bradbourne team has a deep understanding of the markets across all of the areas we cover, ideally positioning us to advise you on finding your dream home. 

We are skilled negotiators, working tirelessly to secure the best possible price and terms for your chosen property, on average, saving clients in excess of three times our fee. 

Clients benefit from our strong network of partnerships with other industry professionals, enabling us to consistently deliver more than 70% of the properties we source each year, off-market.

Kick off your property search today by clicking here to get in touch with our dedicated team of advisors.

How to navigate the difficulties of downsizing

For many people, downsizing can be emotional and stressful – particularly if you are moving out of a property you have lived in for many years. However, as family circumstances, needs and priorities change, it can become a necessity to relocate to a smaller property.

At Bradbourne, we recognise that moving house can be one of the biggest financial and emotional decisions you may ever make. That’s why we work closely with you at every stage of your property sourcing journey and partner with trusted industry experts to make the process seamless from start to finish.

In our latest blog, we spoke to Bradbourne founder Stephen Jenkins and Rebecca Kashti, Director of Hedges Law to understand what can be done to make downsizing simple and stress free.

Making the decision to downsize

Downsizing is very common and typically associated with the older generation whose children have left home. Whilst it generally implies moving to a smaller property, homeowners can chose to downsize for many reasons including:

– To free up equity
– To save money
– To move closer to friends and family
– To find a property better suited to their lifestyle

Knowing when to downsize should be a personal choice based on your circumstances, wants and needs.

Just because your children have left home, it doesn’t mean it is the right time for you to move. You may want to enjoy the extra space or use the opportunity to entertain more often. Similarly, some people make the decision to downsize once their mortgage is fully paid off whereas others want to stay in the home and enjoy what they have worked hard for.

Tailored service

“Whilst smaller properties come with several advantages like lower bills and less maintenance, it can still be a difficult experience to navigate because of the emotional connection you might have to your home,” said Stephen.

“There are also several important elements to consider before making this decision such as lack of space and costs and hassle associated with moving.

“By working with an experienced buying agent like ourselves, we can offer guidance and support to help overcome many of these issues.

“We work closely with our clients, taking time to understand their requirements and goals to ensure we source properties that align with their vision so they are actually excited about making a change”

“This includes discussing the right timing of their move based on personal and family circumstances and the logistics of relocating. We find this tailored level of service and attention to detail helps to remove a huge amount of the stress and anxiety associated with such a big decision.”

Working in partnership

At Bradbourne Property Finders, we pride ourselves on building long-term, meaningful relationships with industry partners. This helps us deliver a first class service that supports clients at every stage of their journey from suggesting the right surveyor or financial planner, to recommending a solicitor to complete the conveyancing.

Rebecca explained: “Bradbourne is a valued member of our professional referrers network and we regularly work with their team to support property purchases across Oxfordshire and beyond.

“At Hedges we strive to provide ‘advice for life’ which includes advising our clients on the implications of downsizing and what that means for their assets and equity, and advising them on how it might affect their family’s inheritance

“Our Help from Hedges service is particularly valuable to older individuals and families considering downsizing.

“Through this unique service, our team works to safeguard the affairs and assets of our clients, providing them with the peace of mind knowing that their best interests are being looked after. We help clients with all the legal work associated with downsizing, but can also help with arranging movers, managing change address of details, and liaising with other professionals – whatever needs to be done to take the stress away.”

Stephen added: “Since Bradbourne was founded we have worked closely with Hedges Law to offer legal support and advice to our clients. Just like us, Hedges pride themselves on going above and beyond to deliver an exceptional, personal level of service thereby becoming one of our trusted partners.

“Help from Hedges is a service that has made a significant difference to the lives of our clients. It fits in perfectly with our approach to supporting a client’s property sourcing journey and truly helps to remove a lot of the stress associated with downsizing and relocating.”

Find out more about the Help from Hedges service through the Hedges Law website by clicking here.

Character to Contemporary

After making an initial enquiry via our website, we recognized our client’s decision to downsize from the large country house she had lived in for the last 15 years, was significant and emotional.  Spending the next few months discussing the timing and logistics of a move was time well spent and helped remove much of the stress and anxiety involved in such a big decision.  Our client hoped being represented by a Buying Agent would not only show her intent and commitment but would also open doors to off market properties.

The ideal property would be a contemporary or new build house with good natural light and a gym, or space to create one.

An edge of town or village location within walking distance of key amenities was crucial, and access to a mainline station within a 15 minute drive was also a must have.

Our client’s friends, family and support network covered a wide area, so multiple locations were considered from Claygate in the north of Surrey, to Haslemere in the south, and Petersfield and Winchester in Hampshire.

How we helped

We worked closely with our client to build a clear picture of her perfect property and from there identified key search areas.

We previewed approximately 20 properties on our client’s behalf before uncovering an off-market property in a leafy part of St Cross, one of Winchester’s most desirable locations.

The striking, contemporary home was an ideal fit for our client and matched the size, design and location brief, as well as being within a few minutes walk of the city centre.

Our client agreed so we acted quickly to secure the property. Once under offer, we introduced her to a solicitor and surveyor and helped guide the purchase through to exchange.

Our client is now settled and happy in her new home and we have continued to assist with referrals from our network of trusted partners.

What our client said

“Without Stephen, I would never have found my house or be settled in a new area.  Stephen took the anxiety out of searching, was patient and understanding and he knew exactly what would work for me.

“Sometimes I’d ask to see houses he had rejected, and I soon realised why, his judgement is impeccable. Stephen was fun to work with, always encouraging and never gave up, he also gave me a lot of new ideas which opened my mind to my somewhat rigid wish list.  

“Once the offer had been accepted, Stephen was on hand to follow up with everything and knew the best companies to help me move.  Without hesitation working with Stephen was my best decision, without him, I wouldn’t have navigated the stressful house-buying process.”

Postcode Dilemma!

Our client was a young, working professional family looking to relocate closer to the centre of London. At the time they instructed us, they lived in a flat just outside of the city but wanted a freehold property in an area more suited to their lifestyle.

Having limited experience in the property market, they felt they not only needed help with their search, but overall guidance and advice to ensure they would achieve the right price in negotiations.

Four to five bedrooms and at least three bathrooms in a desirable South London location with off-street parking were the main requirements. A spacious living area and an open-plan eat-in kitchen were also must-haves.

The ideal property would be within a 15 minute walk of desirable schools and a tube station, with a maximum commute time of 20 minutes to London Bridge.

How we helped

As no specific location had been identified, we began by carrying out extensive research to narrow down the geography. This resulted in targeting four potentially suitable postcodes, which through further discussion and research highlighted Dulwich as the best overall location to meet their needs. We previewed and reported on 18 different properties in this area before accompanying our client to view six potential options. 

One property in particular stood out, but it required some remodelling to fit the family’s requirements. To ensure this work was feasible, we introduced an architect to assess the property. Once all parties were satisfied that the changes were achievable, we advocated on our clients behalf to negotiate favourable terms and secure the property.   Following introductions to a solicitor and surveyor from our trusted network we acted as the main point of contact to oversee the purchase and ensure a smooth transaction.

What our client said

“Stephen helped us acquire our dream home in London. He is dedicated, patient and reliable. His knowledge and guidance were invaluable in helping us achieve the right outcome for me and my family. Simply an amazing 5-star end-to-end service!!”

Far East to West (Sussex)

Our client, a Hong Kong based family, were looking to move to the UK in the summer of 2023 in time for the new school year.

They were looking for a family property that was between 4000-6000 sq. ft. of accommodation with gated access and south-facing gardens. One of the most important priorities for the client was finding a property that included a self-contained annexe or the ability to easily add one for an elderly relative.

Ideally the property would be located in a quiet village within walking distance of amenities and would be within a 20 minute drive from the local independent schools, and a train station that provided direct access to London.

How we helped

Through our strong local network and professional relationships, we were able to successfully source a beautifully presented off-market family home occupying a stunning edge of village location with panoramic southerly views over the South Downs National Park.

The property perfectly matched the exacting specifications of our client and included enough space within the existing footprint to create a self-contained annexe with minimal fuss.

Due to our client’s commitments, they were unable to view the property in person but had full confidence in the purchase through our extensive due diligence and feedback from family members living nearby.

Working with a solicitor and surveyor from our network of trusted partners, contracts were exchanged within a few weeks.  Our client saw the property for the very first time on completion day, and were absolutely delighted, spending the rest of the Summer enjoying their new home.

Peter of GL & Co said

“Having recently completed a country house sale in West Sussex whilst working alongside Stephen, I have to say, he was the most professional counterpart I have ever come across in over 20 years within the industry.

“House sales of this nature, (a private off-market sale to a foreign buyer), take a great deal of skill, negotiation, and management, and working alongside Stephen on this transaction, he was the consummate professional with a fantastic knowledge of the conveyance process and what was needed for an extremely smooth transaction.

“I look forward to hopefully working with Stephen once again at some point in the future.”

– Peter Hossack, Director of GL & Co

Country Retreat

As a busy professional couple, our client had very little time to dedicate to searching for the right property.

After viewing more than ten different properties on their own unsuccessfully, they decided to retain Bradbourne’s search and advisory service to provide them with greater access to the market and to unlock opportunities they had been unable to.

A second home in the countryside that could produce its own income to cover the maintenance and associated costs of the property was the driving force behind the search.

With a wide search criterion of up to 1.5 hours’ drive from their existing home on the south coast properties in Hampshire, West Sussex, Wiltshire and West Surrey would be considered.

How we helped

As we do with all clients, we began our partnership by conducting a series of meetings to understand exactly what they were looking for and where we could add value to their search. Over several weeks we worked closely with them to fine-tune the brief and create a short list of desirable locations.

Once we had identified key search criteria, we completed thorough research into a range of destinations and utilised our extensive network of contacts to filter currently available stock and gain access to properties yet to come onto the market.

After previewing several properties, we identified a village house in West Sussex which matched the brief exactly.

The property included three separate cottages that were already being used as holiday lets. It also featured several dilapidated outbuildings which presented an opportunity for further development.

The main house was near a busy road which was in the process of being bypassed. We knew this would significantly improve the quality of the location in the long term but still carried out extensive due diligence on the potential impact of the work as well as reporting on price.

Thanks to our excellent relationship with the selling agent, we were able to negotiate terms before the property had been fully exposed to the market.

Utilising our local connections we introduced a solicitor to manage the conveyancing process, a surveyor to undertake a Building Survey, and a private client insurance broker.

The purchase was complex, and a significant amount of time and effort was required to arrange specialist reports after the survey was completed. The findings enabled us to renegotiate, saving the client 10% off the agreed purchase price.

Shortly after renegotiation, contracts were exchanged. As the client was not able to attend on the day, our team took care of this on their behalf as part of our end-to-end service.

What our client said

“It was the first time we had used a property search agent, so we were not sure what to expect. But I must say we were very impressed and happy with the excellent services provided by Stephen.

“He is professional, proactive, communicative, easy to get hold of, and efficient. You feel you are in safe hands. We would highly recommend his services.”