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What Is A Buying Agent, And Do You Need One?

what is a buying agent

What Is A Buying Agent, And Do You Need One?

What is a buying agent, and do you need one is a question I often get asked by clients. In short, the answer is yes! A buying agent is the opposite of a selling (estate) agent. I work closely with Haringtons, a buying agent located in London. I caught up with Nina Harrison from Haringtons to find out more…

Haringtons was established twenty years ago by Jonathan Harington who still runs the company. The company consists of two departments, one looking after buyers in London and the other working for country buyers.

Nina explains what a buying agent is… “A buying agent is the opposite of a selling (estate) agent. We only act for buyers, and we never sell anything, so we are entirely focused on finding the best possible property for our clients. The buyer pays us a fee and the seller will pay the estate agent, so our interests are completely aligned with the buyer only.”

I have worked with Haringtons for many years now and this is mainly due to their in-depth knowledge of the areas that they cover. Nina has lived in West London all her life, so she has unrivalled local knowledge of the area and has over 30 years of buying experience. 

I have acted for clients who have not been able to travel to see properties and they have never regretted trusting my judgement and buying blind. Conversely, many of my clients live and work in London. For them the main benefit, is the huge saving in time and energy spent going to see unsuitable properties because I pre-screen everything. They all benefit from my reputation for having committed and serious clients who are welcomed by the selling agent and recommended to the seller as the ‘preferred buyer’.

Nina Harrison.

Many individuals are very time poor these days so being able to work with a buying agent h as many advantages. Viewing times and dates can be very inconvenient for the client but the buying agent can make themselves available for this. If the client wants to search in a different area, then that can happen straight away instead of having to phone 30 new estate agents and start the process again. 

What is required to be a buying agent, according to Nina: 

  • very, very knowledgeable about property and London,
  • long-established relationships with the estate agents so you get to hear about a perfect new instruction before anyone else,
  • tenacity – perfect properties for my clients do not ever fall out of the sky and into my lap,
  • excellent negotiation skills,
  • being prepared to go out in the cold, rain and dark at a moment’s notice to do a preview for a client,
  • being delighted to answer all questions about anything at any time,
  • network, network, network and enjoy every minute of it,
  • be genuinely thrilled every time a client says ‘yes, this is the one!’

How to instruct a buying agent.

Every buyer’s agent requires an upfront fee to start work mainly due to there being a lot of phone calls to be made to all the estate agents that cover the area that the client wants to live in. The buying agent will then work through a KYC (Know Your Client) document before the process of visiting the properties begins. The final fee is charged once a property has been secured for the client and they have exchanged.

Why work with a surveyor like Steve Stone? 

Working and building relationships with people in related professions is key to providing your clients with the best service possible. “I recommend Steve to all my clients because I can be sure they will be getting the best possible service. Not every surveyor will happily talk through their survey with a nervous client who hasn’t bought in London before and they all without exception find that very reassuring,” says Nina. 

If you would like more information about working with a buying agent, please get in touch with Nina and if you would like to book in a survey, please get in touch

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