What’s a search and buying advisor and do I need one?

What is a Search and Buying Advisor?

Search and Buying Advisors are possibly the newest of all the home buying and selling professions. The idea began in the early 1990’s, as a reaction to the high prices of U.K. properties created by the home market bubble. Their main function is providing the buyer with more advantages than what is usually offered by traditional Estate Agents (see below).

What does a Search and Buying Advisor do?

A Search and Buying Advisor specialises in providing a homefinding service for people wishing to find a property. Among other services, they research local market conditions and do the legwork for you, which include travelling to viewings that may turn out to be disappointing, thus saving you time and money.

Difference between a Search and Buying Advisor and an Estate Agent

  • A Search and Buying Advisor works on behalf of the buyer, and is contractually bound to provide the best deal possible for its clients. In contrast, a traditional Estate Agent legally works for the seller, in the form of commissions. The agent is interested in achieving the highest possible selling price, because more you pay for the property the more commission the Estate Agent receives. This is not in your best interest!

Advantages of using a Search and Buying Advisor

They can also save you money with the special services they provide beyond those of the traditional Estate Agent:

House Specialities

  • Negotiating: A Search and Buying Advisor would negotiate with the seller in your favour, and could lower the initial asking price by a considerable amount.
  • Access to resources: Search and Buying Advisors can have access to sources usually not accessible to private buyers, such as contacts with developers and private sellers. This allows S&BA’s to find properties before the come onto the open market, to the buyer’s advantage.

Other Services

  • Relocation: Some S&BA’s can provide relocation services to corporate clients needing to move staff nationally or overseas. Some of these services include homefinding as detailed above, as well as other Destination Services like country profiling, commuting distances, school search and assistance with international banking. Relocation is a growing business and more details are available in the Relocation Services page on FUBRA (link).

Why would you need a Search and Buying Advisor?

The main reason to use a Search and Buying Advisor is because they will save you time and, more often than not, money. Another important incentive to use an S&BA is the fact that many companies will offer a complete ‘start-to-finish’ programme, from initial viewing to the final legal paperwork, easing much of the stress involved in buying a property. Moreover, S&BA’s can be especially useful if you are moving to a new city: Since they know the local market so well, they can advise you on the best areas to look.In any case, it is important that you know your needs, financial and otherwise, before contacting an S&BA. This will also save you time!