couple with a property buying agent get the keys to their home

Property Buying Agent vs. Estate Agent

| Published by

For many people, titles and terminology in the property market can be confusing. With complex jargon like listing agent, property buying agent, estate agent, selling agent and more, it can be difficult to know which service you need! In this handy guide, we explain exactly the difference between each of these roles, including their responsibilities, their remit and who they work for. Buying a property can be a lengthy and complicated process, and we aim to make this as easy as possible! Read our guide below and find out about each of the roles involved so you can feel fully supported in finding and purchasing your property. 


What is a property buying agent? 


A common question we hear at County Homesearch is: ‘What is a property buying agent?’ Simply put, a property buying agent is a resource for the buyer, providing practical and trusted assistance to support them in their property-purchasing process. The buyer enlists the help of a property buying agent for a multitude of reasons, including but not limited to: convenience, cost-efficiency and access to a bank of trusted experience and advice.

 

Who do they work for? 

As we have mentioned, a property buying agent works with – and on behalf of – the buyer. Property buying agents are generally contacted by the buyer, who is seeking help with some aspect of the process of house-hunting. It’s a misconception that property buyers only work in large-scale or property purchasing abroad – perhaps thanks to Channel 4’s programme ‘Location, Location, Location’ which follows property buyers Phil Spencer and Kirstie Allsopp as they find properties for UK-based clients. 

 

In reality, though the role of finding, analysing and securing properties is similar, our property buying agents work within and around the UK to find you the most suitable property. In addition, you don’t need to have a huge budget to obtain the services of a property buying agent: from clients with a budget of £200,000, to those with several million to invest, we provide the highest-quality service no matter your price range. 

 

What are they responsible for? 

Property buying agents are responsible for providing you, the buyer, with appropriate properties to match your criteria, as well as providing an accurate and true-to-life overview of the property/properties you wish to purchase. Rather than requiring you to trek across the country for multiple viewings, incurring the expense and inconvenience of travelling to the site of somewhere which may not be right for you, a property buying agent will pre-prepare and view only suitable properties (some of which may not yet be on the market to the general public!). With detailed reports sent your way, and accurate photos and assessment of the site during their visit, our agents will treat your search as if it’s their own. 

 

Property buying agents can also help you to negotiate your way through the complicated industry of property purchasing. Offering you expert industry knowledge, as well as local area knowledge, our property buying agents are in the best position to help you understand the value of the property on offer, and to negotiate a lower price for the property if necessary. Unlike estate agents, who can have a vested interest in you purchasing a property, our property buying agents can support you through the process of the sale as a confident and experienced presence working for your benefit. 

 

What aren’t they responsible for? 

Though for many property buying agents the client relationship stops here, at County Homesearch our property agents pride themselves on going above and beyond. With their expert local knowledge, each property agent has an in-depth understanding of their region, and provide end-to-end service. They are able to offer support on getting you settled into your new home, whether that’s advice on local schools, facilities or even the best restaurants in town! Whatever your queries, our property buying agents can help you make your new house a home. 

 

 

 

What is an estate agent? 

An estate (or selling) agent, by contrast, is another term for an estate agent: acting on behalf of the vendor and working for and on behalf of external clients to achieve the sale of the property.  A selling agent additionally lists the property for the seller and represents the seller during the process of the sale; acting on their behalf just like the property buying agent does for the buyer! They can also be known as a listing agent – confusing, we know!


Who do they work for? 

An estate agent is typically employed by the seller, who instructs them. Often, they work within a commission-based role, ensuring that they have a keen interest in selling your property. At County Homesearch, we perform the role of property buying agent, incentivised through our fee structure to get the best price for the buyer. This means that whilst an estate agent is paid to get the best price for the buyer, a buyer’s agent can be totally independent, incentivised to find you the best property deal for your budget. 

 

What are they responsible for? 

As the name suggests, selling agents are responsible for each stage of the selling process, from listing the property for sale to handing over the keys to the new owner at the close of the deal. 

 

What aren’t they responsible for? 

A property selling agent brings a wealth of experience to help you best market and sell your property to the best of their ability, to obtain the highest amount possible. Accurate property pricing, and advertisement fall under their remit, as well as organising viewings and showings to potential buyers. They additionally are responsible for negotiation on the seller’s behalf, from cost to stipulations about closing dates and contingencies. They are not generally able to assist with any progress post-sale, or complications which may arise as a result of the sale. 

 

Who do I need to help me? 

We hope that this guide has provided you with the information you need about the roles and responsibilities of property buying agents and estate agents. However, if you have any questions about how we can help you with your property needs, or wish to have a chat with a member of our experienced team, please do get in touch with us today.