One-on-one interview: Charity Holden of Holden Property Search
Marc Da Silva’s regular series of interviews with senior figures from the UK property industry continues as he poses the questions to Charity Holden, founder of Holden Property Search, which operates in London, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire.
Why should buyers consider using a property relocation agent?
A buying agent gives buyers who are serious about purchasing but lacking time and know-how, the edge when in the property market. They can do the legwork for you, so you don’t spend weeks and months trawling round houses that neither meet your requirements or needs. They can contact all the local agents on your behalf with your buying brief and ensure, by maintaining regular contact, that you are finding the best houses in your price bracket.
Once you’ve found your dream home, your buying agent can negotiate on your behalf to secure the property at the best possible price. As a buying agent has no emotional attachment to the purchase and huge experience negotiating deals they will endeavour to get the best for the buyer, unlike an estate agent who works for the seller.
How do estate agents and developers typically view buyers retained by a property relocation agent?
Really positively. A buyer who has instructed a buying agent generally has paid a deposit and thus has already made some financial commitment to purchasing. A buying agent knows the market and may have already good established relationships within the industry with developers and agents.
Are you ever given access to properties before they are actually released onto the market?
Sometimes. Of course an EPC has to be undertaken before an agent can legally talk about a property, but a buying agent would definitely get out and see houses before details are done, based on an agent’s commentary on the property. Buyers may be more reluctant if they are busy with work or children to view houses without seeing full property details, by that time an agent would have seen it and fed back to their client.
What areas do you cover?
The Home Counties and London, with specialism in the South West.
Have you noticed any particular buying trends recently?
A lot of families moving from London further out to take advantage of good state schools outside of town, while there are a greater number of buyers looking for value in less obvious areas, with slightly longer commute, but with more purchasing power.
What’s your property market prediction for the rest of 2015?
I would be surprised to see prices going up any further this year. London has definitely softened, with more supply than demand, hence a slight dip in prices. Good houses are still selling in desirable areas, but vendors need to be savvy, don’t price yourself out of the market, look at your competition and present your house in the most favourable way.