The process of buying a property in England is difficult enough for British people. For foreign buyers it can be extremely stressful, especially in London, with the great diversity of its many districts and property types.
The decision to buy any property in London should not be taken lightly. There is so much variation in quality and so many potential hazards lying in wait for the unwary that a trusted advisor is a must. Sometimes a surveyor will help you (but why wait until you've paid the surveyor's fees to discover, for example, that the
street is notorious for poor construction?), sometimes a solicitor. It will seldom be an estate agent, as the sale of property is paramount to them, and the interests of buyers almost irrelevant.
So, how do you find a high-quality London residence without being misled, wasting time you cannot really spare or worst, being ripped-off by dishonest operators? The safest option is to engage the services of a property finder, or property consultant. An experienced property consultant will charge a property finder's fee but has knowledge that is enormously useful and will easily return your investment:
Where to look and why
Which agents have suitable properties
How to negotiate with the seller
1. West London may present itself as street after street of elegant properties but traps lie in wait for the uninformed. Take, for example, Ladbroke Grove. There is great variation in quality here but this variation is not obvious, unless one knows what to look for. In fact, a number of the buildings are halfway houses. Trevor Square appears to be a fine group of homes centred by mature trees in lovely Knightsbridge but several of the properties are troubled by frequent noise from trains on the London Underground. It would be better to know which ones in advance than to waste an afternoon on a disappointing viewing.
2. The expert property consultant will have senior contacts in the best estate agencies. These agents will have properties that are not yet on public view (and may never be). The property finder can consider these properties and arrange for you to view the suitable ones before they are on the open market.
3. As your representative, the property finder / consultant will negotiate with the seller's agent to obtain the best price. Most sellers will happily come to an agreement with a property consultant rather than “wait and see”.
If you are buying a home for yourself or for a member of your family, the London property consultant offers a service that will save you many hours of fruitless hunting in an unfamiliar city and, potentially, significant expenditure.