The New Broker: Making the switch from seller to buyer

The New Broker: Making the switch from seller to buyer


Whilst most brokers looking to supplement their income turn to the more traditional methods of diversification – such as utility switching and debt management services – many are instead choosing to ‘swap sides’ to become personalised buying agents.

Buying agents are the new breed of broker; focussed solely on sourcing the ideal property for the buyer. Their professional understanding of the market, coupled with their strong relationships with other brokers, developers and owners, ensure clients snare their dream home.

As competition for prime London property continues to grow, those looking to move into London – or within commuting distance of London – are increasingly turning to these personal agents to beat competition and avoid being gazumped.

And for the agent it’s not a bad deal either. Typically the new broker charges the client a retainer plus commissions of as much as 2.75 per cent of the sale price. And for that he or she is expected to ensure the completely smooth transaction of buying the house – from arranging complex legal paperwork to checking out the neighbours.

Agents such as the London-based firm, Hanslips, pride themselves on ensuring a negotiated price when purchasing; one that is a “realistic, un-inflated price”, and claim that most of their clients save sums “significant in excess” of their fees.

Interestingly, many estate agents are offering up the service too, something that independent agents like Hanslips believe is contradictory.

However, estate agents such as Savills and Frank Knight defend their service, arguing that any conflict of interest is quashed by Chinese walls and transparency.

As London’s prime real estate continues to look so attractive to overseas buyers, it seems likely buying agents’ services will continue to grow as those less familiar with the UK market continue to be drawn by the weak pound.

Speaking to the news site, Bloomberg, Jonathan Hopper of buying agents Garrington warns against cashing in on the trend.

“The market is an emerging one,” Hopper says. “Who you are dealing with is key – there’s a mixture of very capable, experienced agents out there and then there are those who are just going out to spend other people’s money.”


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