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17 December 2007

A Property Finder for £20,000

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by Kay Mitchell

A Property Finder for £20,000

An increasing amount of wealthy househunters are hiring experts to find them a new property.

However, the services of a property finder are not cheap. With retainer fees of £500 to £3,000 and a percentage commission payment, it can prove costly, but finders claim they provide an invaluable service and can save clients money by securing thousands off the price.

This type of service is generally for the rich seeking a country retreat but increasing property prices means more buyers than ever before are joining this exclusive £1 million house club.

Dominic Griffith of Winchester-based Property Insight, says purchases of around the £1.5 million range are typical for his clients, however the lowest deal he has done was for a £450,000 property and the most expensive a £3 million home.

Mr Griffith added that a property finder provides local knowledge and market advice, as well as a route to properties that may not find their way on to the open market. He continued that people used to talk about the £1 million property and it was a big house in the country, it isn’t anymore, that’s £2 million currently.

A property finder can be beneficial for those in London, the Home Counties and other high-priced areas even a fairly standard family home can push them towards the price where a property finder may make sense.

Many property finders have a two-tier charging structure, with a sign-up/finding fee and a commission payment charged to buyers. For example, Property Insight charges a sign-up fee of £1,500, which buys you a year’s property searching, and 1.5% commission on a successful purchase.

For a £1m home that would leave the buyer paying £16,500 but Mr Griffith says a property search agent may save you more through clever negotiating, for example by using their knowledge to negotiate the price down by £50,000.


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