Frequently asked questions
Q Is London Property Search an estate agent?
A We are not estate agents. We do not sell property, list property or take fees from people who are selling property. We only work for clients who wish to buy property. This independence allows our interests to be 100% aligned with those of our clients.
We are also not the property ‘buying arm’ of an estate agency, so we will never be involved in the inevitable conflict of interest. Further, we are not individual negotiators within an estate agency, who sometimes take on retained buying clients. Such agents find themselves juggling their time, energies and focus between retained buyers and their ‘day job’ of selling their vendors’ properties. It's impossible to do both with 100% commitment.
Q How is London Property Search different from other search agents?
A London Property Search is one of the longest established, most experienced, well-respected, independent, bespoke and quality search agents in the industry.
Experience: Our 25 years in the property market gives us unparalleled relationships with estate agents, developers, other property professionals and those ‘in the know’. It has also allowed us to gain in-depth knowledge of the London residential property market and all its idiosyncrasies.
Service: From the outset our commitment is to offer the most comprehensive, personal and bespoke service. Eighteen years specialising in property search has allowed us to perfect it. These qualities cannot be matched by many other search agents.
Limited number of clients: Due to the level of commitment and the depth of service we offer, each client represents a considerable commitment in terms of time, expense and effort. To provide the same high level of service to each, we typically work for only three or four buyers at any one time. It is quite common for other search agents to conduct up to 10 or 12 searches simultaneously, so the level of commitment and service is often compromised.
Exclusivity: We only represent one client per search location and price bracket. Unlike many larger search agencies, we never take on concurrent searches with the same criteria. Each client can be completely confident that we put them first, with no conflicts of interest prejudicing our judgement.
Personal Touch: We are not a large company, where your search is assigned to one of many executives. The experienced consultant you meet from the outset will be the person you create your relationship with. This consultant will work with you on your search from beginning to end.
Q What areas do you search in?
A To ensure the best service for our clients, we work in areas where we have in-depth knowledge and experience, and firm relationships with estate agents and other property contacts.
We cover a swathe of London’s most desirable neighbourhoods from Battersea Park and Fulham, through The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, The Borough of Westminster, Maida Vale, Primrose Hill, St John’s Wood, Belsize Park and Hampstead. In these areas we have acquired many millions of pounds worth of property over the years.
Q Who do you work for?
A Over half our clients are London based but are simply too busy to add house-hunting to their already very full lives. Many are experts in their own fields, so they understand the benefits of employing an expert to manage a time-consuming, knowledge-based project such as searching for, and negotiating on, such a crucial financial commitment.
Many of our other clients are from overseas, and wish to purchase either a London base or an investment property. In many cases our clients have bought investment property ‘blind’, trusting our knowledge and experience to acquire properties on their behalf that are ideal for rental and assure the maximum possible yield and minimum void periods.
Q Why are your success fess 2%? Others charge just 1% or as much as 3%?
A Those that charge 3% require the additional 1% to cover their overheads. We don’t have expensive offices, and we don’t need enormous advertising and marketing campaigns, because approximately 75% of our clients come to us through a previous client’s recommendation.
Our fees simply cover our time, expertise, experience, and nothing else.
Those agencies charging only 1% tend not to value the service they are offering, because they simply cannot back it up with the depth of knowledge, experience, myriad of contacts and standards of service that we are able to offer.
In our experience, our negotiating success often makes our service self funding. We believe wholeheartedly in our abilities and experience, and our fees are commensurate with that.
Q What if another client has the same search criteria as ours?
A That absolutely will not happen! We never take clients with the same search criteria at the same time. This would immediately create a conflict of interest and would be doing our clients a disservice. Our integrity is paramount.
Q I'm not sure what I want to buy/rent, or where. I have limited knowledge of the London property market. Is this a problem?
A Not at all. When we meet to discuss your search brief we will help, advise and – if necessary – guide you to the most suitable size, style and location of property that best suits your needs and budget. If you wish we can take you on an initial tour to show you a range of properties differing in location, size and style. This helps make the search ideally focused and gives you confidence in the process. We will always be honest and direct with you if we believe that your expectations are in any way unrealistic. We don't wish to waste your time or give you false hope.
Q How long will my search take?
A Naturally we aim to find your ideal property in the shortest possible time, but the search process will continue until the ideal property is found. It can be difficult to predict this in advance as situations differ so widely.
For example, in a market where property was scarce, one new client's search and reaching exchange of contracts on their perfect property took just two days. This was possible because we were aware of an off-market property that suited their requirements exactly. As it was about to go onto the open market, we advised our clients to do an attended exchange, in order to safely secure the purchase.
Meanwhile, another client was looking for something so particular and so rare to the market that the search took two years but, to quote them: "It was well worth the wait".