Quick fix: ‘I needed a home in a hurry, so went to a buyers’ agent.
Tina Matthews, 42, an HR director, wanted to move quickly as she had accepted an offer on her current home in Bristol: “I have a busy job and a short time frame, so I really felt that I needed help securing the right property. ”
Tina’s choice of home was a two bedroom central London flat, however, her budget was fairly tight and she was not too familiar with the London property market. Tina did find what seemed to be a suitable property through an online property portal, however, alarm bells were ringing as the flat was advertised for sale at nearly £30,000 less than other similar properties in the area. The agent explained that it was because the flat had a short lease of 71 years remaining but “it would be a relatively easy process to extend it.”
Through a friends referral Tina decided to take advice from Darren Grant of Agents4Buyers. Darren has many years of property related experience and has worked closely with a firm of Chartered Surveyors who specialise in dealing with the fairly complex process of extending a lease (leasehold enfranchisement). Darren was quickly able to establish that the freeholder of the property was known to him and that they had been notoriously intransigent in previous leasehold negotiations. Armed with this information Tina instructed Darren to act as her buying agent to represent her interests and to negotiate the best deal.
As for the reaction of estate agents to Tina’s choice, she says: “Employing a knowledgeable buying agent demonstrated that I was a serious buyer and that my negotiating position was much stronger with his expertise on my side.”
Tina has now finally completed on the purchase of her new flat and she says: “I am very pleased to have had Darren working with me and in my interests. Fee-wise, we agreed a small retainer at the start and then 1% of the final purchase price which was only paid upon completion. Therefore, Darren had the incentive to get me the right deal and although it wasn’t all plain sailing, I was kept fully advised of progress at each stage. I have paid a very reasonable price for my flat which now benefits from a statutory new lease, which has added an additional 90 years to the existing term. With 161 now remaining it should be much easier for me to sell when the time comes.”