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How to Choose the Right London Real Estate Agency

How to Choose the Right London Real Estate Agency

Whenever you are buying or selling a property, it is always advantageous to have a reliable real estate agency on your side. An estate agent will help you to find the right property or the right buyer and can facilitate every stage of the property trading process.

When it comes to buying property in London, you want to partner with estate agencies that have direct experience of working with property in the capital. Here’s what you need to know to choose the right estate agency for your next property trade.

Ask For Recommendations For A Real Estate Agency London

There are more real estate agents operating in London than most people realise. There is an enormous volume of property in the nation’s capital, and real estate agencies expect a certain percentage of it to be up for sale at any given time. London is not just a big city, but it is also a very dense city. This density means that there is a lot of property in a relatively small amount of space. As a result, what might seem like a relatively small patch for an estate agent to cover in London could encompass a significant number of properties.

With so many estate agencies in London for you to choose from, picking the right one can seem like finding a needle in a haystack. The good news is that there are a lot of great real estate agents in London, with only a few that you should avoid like the plague. The best place to start when you are looking for a reliable agency is with your friends and acquaintances. Ask them about any estate agencies they have first-hand experience of using.

Asking for recommendations won’t just give you a starting point for your search, but it will also enable you to begin looking at agencies that you know you can trust. The vast majority of estate agents in London are above board and aren’t out to scam you or rip you off. However, now and then, a renegade outfit does spring up and can cause enormous problems for individuals who fall victim to their antics. An estate agency that has already shown themselves to be reliable and trustworthy in their dealings with someone you know is better than an unknown entity.

Check The History Of Real Estate Agency London Rent

Whether you come across a potential real estate agent through a personal recommendation or an internet search, you should always vet them. Vetting a real estate agency shouldn’t be a difficult task. You can learn a lot about any business by simply typing their names into Google, and real estate agencies are no different. If there is anything online, positive or negative, about an estate agency that you are thinking about using, a brief search should immediately bring it to your attention.

As well as looking for any online reviews or social media coverage of potential agencies, you should also investigate their credentials. To legally act as an estate agent, individuals need to be a member of The Property Ombudsman Scheme. You will want to make sure that any estate agent you use is a member of this scheme. Being a member means that any investigations into complaints that you make against them will be appropriately handled.

In addition to The Property Ombudsman Scheme, there is a multitude of trade bodies that an estate agent might be a part of. Membership of these bodies requires estate agents to adhere to a code of conduct. The individual organisations that offer memberships will usually provide details of the code of conduct on their websites, meaning that you can easily find out what to expect from members.

Of particular note are the following organisations: the Guild of Property Professionals, the National Association of Estate Agents, and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Choosing estate agencies that hold membership of these organisations will reduce your chances of encountering a rogue operator and all but guarantee that the outfit you select is above board.

Consider Using A Boutique Real Estate Agency London

Lots of people are under the misapprehension that boutique real estate agencies only cater to the most upmarket clients. But this is incorrect. The reality is that boutique real estate agencies will cater to clientele from a variety of backgrounds. The real advantage of using a boutique real estate agency is that they are highly specialised and are focused on delivering results for their customers.

Boutique real estate firms also regularly represent their clients in both the purchase of property and the management of the property. This comprehensive service ensures that you are confident in both the purchasing of your new property and in its subsequent management. Finding two separate trustworthy businesses to handle the purchasing of your property and its management requires more time and effort than finding a single company that can handle both.

Another benefit of using a boutique real estate agency is that they don’t tend to be the kind of big, monolithic organisation that many modern real estate agencies are. Instead, boutique agencies are likely to assign a single dedicated member of staff to handle your case. What’s more, this staff member is likely to have the first-hand experience that is relevant to your needs. No matter what type of property you are looking to purchase, a boutique agency is more likely to have a member of staff who can cater to your individual needs.

Ask These Questions Of Any Real Estate London Agency Before You Buy A Property

There are several simple questions that you should ask any real estate agency that you are considering using before you pull the trigger on a property purchase. Asking these questions could save you a lot of heartache down the line. Not only will these questions ensure that the agency you are considering is legit, but they will also enable you to find out a bit more about the property that you are thinking of buying.

  • Why is the owner selling? If there is a specific property that you are looking at, it is always worth asking the estate agent responsible for managing the sale why the owner is selling. They won’t necessarily have an answer to the question. And even if they do, they are not obligated to tell you. However, asking this question can often reveal valuable details about the property, its history, and the seller. If the owner is motivated to sell the property as soon as possible, they might be willing to accept a lower offer than usual.
  • What can you tell me about the local area? When you are considering moving into a new area, you should always make an effort to learn more about it. There are some things that you only learn as a resident of a local area, but which can be essential factors in deciding whether to purchase property or not. For example, if there are any plans to build new developments near to a property that you are on the fence about purchasing, those plans could affect your own. A new sewerage plant opening nearby could reduce the value of a property. Conversely, a new school in the local area can send the value of a home through the roof.
  • How has the property’s value changed over the years? The cost of a property can fluctuate over time in response to a variety of factors. Just because a property has increased or decreased in value in recent years, it doesn’t mean that its cost will continue along the same trajectory. However, knowing how the price has shifted in past years can also be a powerful indicator of what to expect in the future. If an estate agent is reluctant to answer this question for you, you should be suspicious. You can find out how a property’s value has changed yourself by visiting the Land Registry website.

Choosing The Agency Real Estate London That Is Best For You

The best real estate agency for you to use will depend entirely upon your individual circumstances. You should never work with an agency that you do not trust completely, that’s just asking for trouble. By asking the right questions beforehand and taking time to vet any prospective agencies properly, you can significantly reduce the chances of disappointment.

If you enter into the process knowing exactly what kind of property you are looking for and what your long-term plans are, you will find it much easier to find a suitable estate agency to work with. Don’t be afraid to ask whatever questions you need to assess their suitability and always double-check their responses with information available online.

Whatever type of property you are looking for in London, Greater London Properties can help you find it. We have years of experience serving clients from a variety of backgrounds and have facilitated the sale of all manner of different property types. Contact us today to see how we can help you to find the perfect property for your future.

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