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Mandatory requirements from prestige property buyers include privacy, seclusion and accessibility, proximity to the best schools, period features combined with open-plan living space and no compromise on road noise, light pollution and rights of way issues. And of course, wow factor.
According to prestige property search agents, these demanding criteria are unlikely to be fulfilled by conventional real estate agents with a limited portfolio of properties for sale on the open market.
As a result, buyers with more than £2 million to spend are increasingly turning to property search agents to find the property that meets their exact specifications. Earlier this year The Daily Telegraph featured three property agents in its list of 25 most powerful people in property.
“Prospective buyers looking for the perfect home in the prestige market are not willing to compromise, and the list of boxes that they require ticking are unlikely to be met on the open market,” according to managing director of Elite Property Search, Tim Sharp.
“For example, we have clients who have very specific requirements in terms of proximity to a particular village or school, who also want a character home with original features that also boasts contemporary open living areas. It can be mission impossible.
“But that’s where we differ from traditional estate agents who have a very limited portfolio of properties to sell. More than 80% of the sales we negotiate are not on the open market.
“We use our extensive network of contacts, intensive research and a completely different strategy to find buyers the exact home they want, rather than trying to convince a buyer to compromise on a property that’s readily available on the open market.”
Sharp said Elite had amassed a unique database of properties around the UK, including London, the Home Counties and the South West. These properties are not necessarily sale, but match popular search criteria for their customers in known property hot spots.
Properties that match a particular buyer’s requirements will be identified from the database; those on the open market will be contacted through selling agents and proposed to them.
Those that are not on the open market but have already expressed an interest to sell if the right offer came along will be proposed to the potential buyer. Those properties that are not on the open market will be discretely contacted to identify if there is any interest to sell for the right offer.
“Serious buyers realise that to gain priority knowledge, access to all property information and more importantly access to the best properties, they need to appoint a buying agent,” Sharp says.
“The reality is that the service not only pays for itself financially through price savings and knowledge, but also in time saved stopping unnecessary viewings.”
Respected property search agents like Elite also offer a management service to handle all aspects of the purchase, including liaising with solicitors and surveyors.
“That’s why buying agents are becoming a major influence within the sector,” Sharp says. “And for the for the discerning buyer we’re now a vital service.”