Whether it be relocating to the south of France, the Costa del Sol or you want to emigrate to Australia, it is your dream move, but as we all know or at least have heard, it can turn out to be quite the opposite.
Finding a professional to assist you from the beginning through to completion is a must especially in marketplaces that you an unfamiliar with.
Buying property can be one of the more stressful life experiences, just in your locality, buying overseas can be even more so.
Language barriers are something that may have to be overcome in many cases, coupled with the fact you won’t be able to spend a long time on the ground familiarising yourself with the local price points, and general market-trends is also a prominent factor in feeling unsure about a potential purchase.
Arise the Buyer’s Agent
Buyer’s agents have been a central fixture in the US real estate market for decades, and has seen a boom in Australia since the turn of the century. They prove invaluable in levelling the playing field for the buyer.
A Buyers Agent is with their client through the entire process, helping you through the confusing and sometimes funny moments with a foreign market to ensure you get the best outcome for your budget with no hidden surprises once the keys are in your hand.
Why a Buyer’s Agent is Crucial to Finding Your Overseas Property
Agents know their respective town or city inside out.
We normally feel we have some understanding of cultures, due to what we read and see on television. For example, in Australia, we know they like sport, are pretty relaxed people who enjoy the beach and a beer. Alternatively, we think we know Paris, the Seine, the Eiffel Tower and lots of coffee and croissants, however, relocating to these idyllic places have many hidden pitfalls.
You may have a vision of an old house in a small village in the South of France overlooking vineyards and plan on a quiet retirement or a relaxing holiday home. A buyer’s agent is there to ensure you are choosing the right village and more importantly, there are no surprises around the corner, regarding the building structure, price or local law. Even if the area you choose is competitive, they have the edge of knowing what is right and wrong, giving you access to information that you wouldn’t uncover yourself.
While you are working, they are too.
Let’s say for instance you decide on the South of France and there is a determination to make a go of learning the language to communicate. The reality is in the short-term you will be able to ask for directions, and order breakfast and coffee when you first start out, this is a far cry from being able to communicate and understand the legal processes of purchasing property in France.
If you are not retired, it is highly unlikely you would be able to devote to full-time immersion in the language or spend months on the ground learning and house-hunting at the same time.
Buyer’s agents do the groundwork for you and know their local market, the local laws, required paperwork and basically the entire buying process.
Most Buyers Agents do not act like lawyers, either on a retainer or upfront fee. They are a success based service, giving you peace of mind that the work is being put in, if they do not find you the property then neither party is satisfied.
Before any house-hunting commences, the agent will conduct a thorough interview process. This will establish your preferences, traits, likes and dislikes and of course budget. A good agent is objective with their opinion and advice.
An agent will already have listings databased, that dependent upon the initial interview will become viable. They are very well versed and connected within their local real estate community, cutting to the chase to speed up the process with customised advice.
A good buyer’s agent is connected not just in real estate but will be able to assist you with helpful services that they already know are reliable and cost-effective, and have been used for clients in the past. This can prove very valuable and financially beneficial if you decide on a property that requires renovation or repairs of some description for example they will introduce you to:
. Builders or contractors
And all kinds of useful contacts in the local community. Remember many properties online tend to focus on the star attraction and selling point such as the ‘unique swimming pool area’, when in fact the roof needs repairs, the kitchen renovating and the water tank needs replacing, so the actual house purchase can just be the beginning.
If you plan to go over periodically let’s say for one week to view more than one property at a time; a buyer’s agent will ensure that the week is not wasted. All viewings will relate to your specifications of the initial interview.
Buyers Agents Have Access to Off-Market Properties
This is an edge that makes working with a buyer’s agent a must as they are connected to the market in a way that they know ahead of time what properties are due to come on the market. If there is no competition, the chance of the sale at the right price dramatically increases.
A concern for many is the implications Brexit will have. One trend we have seen is a shift towards UK residents looking to leave on a permanent basis since the Brexit vote. With less looking for just a holiday home.
At this moment in time, it is widely considered easier to move now than it will be once the UK has made its final exit. However, alas, we are not politicians and no clear line in the sand can be seen at this stage.
Just consider the following factors that a buyer’s agent brings to the table:
Also, last but not least, peace of mind. It is fair to say that even if you were to spend months on the ground, you wouldn’t be well versed in the above. So seek out a buyer’s agent today and cut through the red tape to facilitate your dream move.
Jessica Wicks is an avid blogger who likes adventure holidays and food critiquing. She likes to blog about the property market and subjects relating to it, is associated with NSW South Coast Buyers Agency who are a regulated buyers advocate Batemans Bay