What is a Property Finder? How do I choose one?

Thinking about using a Property Finder? Want to find out more? This simple guide answers all your most frequently asked questions. From “What is a Property Finder?”, right through to questions about fees, terms and even how to become a property finder yourself, these FAQs give you the answers you need.

What is a Property Finder?

A Property Finder helps buyers to find the right property for them and negotiate the best price. A Property Finder may be an individual specialist or a company providing property finding services.

What does a property finder do?

A Property Finder is employed by you, the property buyer, to help with your purchase. The Property Finder is paid to find the best property for you and to negotiate the best price.

How do property finders work?

Property finders specialise in searching for the ideal property for their specific client. All you have to do is tell them what you want from your perfect home or business location, and they will so and find it for you. They use their extensive network of local contacts and knowledge to find the right property, even those that haven’t been put on the market.

Why use a property finder?

The main benefit of using a Property Finder is to have someone take care of the sourcing and negotiating process for you. They will act in your best interests as the buyer and use their expertise to find the best properties and negotiate the best price.

A Property Finder should also be able to connect you with properties that are not on the open market. This is often the case with prime properties, which may not be advertised in the same way as less exclusive properties. Your Property Finder should have an extensive network of contacts so they can connect you with the best opportunities.

How do I pick the right Property Finder?

To pick the right Property Finder, you must know that their expertise matches your needs as a buyer. For example, they must demonstrate a strong knowledge of the geographical area you are looking to buy in. Property Finders should also be members of The Property Ombudsman and other professional bodies such as Propertymark.

A good Property Finder will clarify the level of service they will provide. This will include how often they update you on the process and the fees involved. They should also be able to demonstrate recent successes with clients similar to you and your requirements.

What’s the difference between a Property Finder and an estate agent?

The main difference between a Property Finder and an estate agent is that the Property Finder only works for you, the buyer. Estate agents are employed by the sellers and act in their interests.

When negotiating a price, for example, it is in the interests of an estate agent to achieve the highest price possible for their client, the seller. A Property Finder will work to negotiate the best possible price for their client, the buyer.

Is a Property Finder the same as Buyer Brokerage?

Buyer Brokerage is broadly the same as the services provided by a Property Finder. Other terms used include Buyer Agency or Buying Agent.

How much does a Property Finder charge?

A Property Finder will often charge a retainer to cover the process of searching for your property. They will also usually charge a percentage of the final price of the property or a share of the amount they have saved you on the purchase price. They may also charge a fixed up-front fee for services.

How does a Property Finder make money?

Property Finders make money by charging clients for their services in finding a property and negotiating its purchase. They may do this via a fixed fee, a fee based on the final property price and/or a fee based on money saved on the property price.

What is a Property Finder fee?

A Property Finder fee is the money charged by a Property Finder for them to find and negotiate the purchase of your property. See above for examples of fee models.

What is Buyer Advocacy?

Buyer Advocacy is another term for Property Finder services. These services may also be called Buyer Agency or Buyer Brokerage.

How do I become a UK Property Finder?

In order to become a Property Finder in the UK, you must be a member of a property ombudsman (e.g. The Property Ombudsman). You also need to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and a professional body such as the National Landlords Association (NLA).

Once you have that legal framework in place you need to have a network of contacts in the property industry and among investors. You’ll also need strong negotiation skills, sound market knowledge and the ability to work with numbers.

What is the Property Finder Group?

The Property Finder Group is a company that specialises in off-market properties in North Africa and the Middle East. The company was bought by Zoopla in 2009.

Which is the best property search website?

The two biggest property search websites in the UK are Rightmove and Zoopla. Both are aggregators. This means they collect, or ‘aggregate, property listing from a wide range of different sources.

Is it worth using a property finder?

It can be worth using a property finder, if you have very specific needs for your desired property purchase. If you can’t find what you’re looking for through local estate agents and the main online property websites, then a dedicated property finder may be the key. They may have the necessary contacts and knowledge to find the perfect property.

However, do be aware that property finder fees can be quite steep. This is because they offer specialist services based on local knowledge and connections. If you are going to go down this route, make sure you fully understand the fee structure of your chosen property finder.

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