Also referred to as property search agents or relocation agents, a buying agent acts on behalf of a buyer, and not the seller. Much more prevalent in the United States, around 1% of UK property acquisitions use a buying agents.
A buying agent represents the buyer’s interests and undertake negotiations on their behalf to secure a property for the best possible price.
Buying agent – what services?
A buying agent should be finding property and making sure that the properties they show their clients are suitable, in both quality and value. A good buying agent should always accompany their clients on a property visit and, through their substantial contacts, have access to off-market properties too.
Buying agent – other services
A buying agent should also provide the other services required when purchasing a property – lawyers, surveyors, electricians, plumbers etc. – to ensure the smooth running of the purchase. If a buying agent is unable to secure these additional services, they must advise their clients accordingly, with no direction towards their own fee.
Buying agent – the fees
A good buying agent will follow the process through to completion – when their fee is due, which is usually from 1% to 2.5% of the purchase price. Most buying agents work on a retained basis, with fees of £500 to £2,500 the norm. A buying agent’s contract is usually between three and nine months.
Buying agent – relationship with estate agents
A buying agent may collude with estate agents to ‘wrap up’ an area and force out ‘normal buyers, but most form positive relationships. This ensures that estate agents have a steady supply of serious buyers and a buying agent will receive access to the most desirable properties, before they reach the open market. Purchasing a property is one of the biggest commitments you’ll ever so careful consideration is crucial.