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Portuguese Case Study

Property cleanse

Homefinding Services

Intro

Intro

My lovely clients...

My lovely clients were two European investors looking to purchase their first pied a terre in central London. They had both been to London before on many occasions but this time they were just over for a long weekend and having a look around at properties. They both liked the idea of being close to the hustle and bustle of Covent Garden and so I did my best to research the market and arrange some speedy viewings.

The initial brief

My clients initial brief was clear and simple, a two bedroom, two bathroom, airy apartment, somewhere in or nearby the West End, but it stopped there. It sounded too simple at first, so I put together a variety of properties, sticking 'reasonably' close to budget, I say reasonably, as I am often able to achieve a discount through working together with other agencies. It really is mostly about who you know!

Time for the Property Selection

I chose a few different styles of property, ranging from new builds, a period conversion, through to traditional Edwardian, in an attempt to establish exactly what caught their eye. Naturally I didn't get everything right first time, in fact, it wasn't as easy as I had first thought, as both of my clients had slightly different criteria, however it wasn’t long before I started to get a real feel for exactly what captured both their interests. Over the course of a couple of days, I could focus on their exacting needs and filter out the 'not so desirables'

The Detail ….. gets detailed

After organising and coordinating various viewings (allowing for coffee and break time to de-brief in between appointments), it actually turned out their brief was fairly high end. Their home needed to be very sunny (of course it did, my clients were from Portugal!), a modern kitchen (preferably separate from the main living area), stylish bathrooms, a good size living area, with hopefully some period features and if possible some outside space. I almost forgot, high ceiling's and good storage! That's more like it I thought. Now that I have shown them what they don't really want, we can focus on the good stuff that will hopefully tick all their boxes

Using inside knowledge and know-how

As well as checking all the usual portals and the specialist industry providers like LONRES, I immediately called around my network of contacts to find if there was anything in their respective pipelines, for example, any properties that had recently been valued and were in the process of coming to market, as that's often the case in London's fast moving market, where the truly desirable residences don't actually make it into the estate agents window (you know, the ones with the SOLD sticker!). I also cheekily asked if there might be any properties where the sale looked like it might fall through due to difficulties

My clients had to dash back to Portugal and comfortable that I knew what they were looking for, they appointed me as their retained agent. That basically means I can continue looking on their behalf and attempt to negotiate the biggest discounts with other agencies

We all needed to stay in close contact and I'm a firm believer in good communication and transparency, so I set up a WhatsApp group between us all and it did the trick, especially as my clients were overseas for most of the transaction and we often needed to call each other for updates. That way, we could limit our emails to formal documents and a spreadsheet I set up to monitor each stage of the process

Progress

Within a few days I had analysed a plethora of suitable properties and prepared a 'hit-list' of potential DesRes's within a quarter mile radius of their desired location, Covent Garden. This list then went over to my clients from which we could then focus specifically on several suitable properties. I arranged to view those select properties on their behalf and was able to take video footage of each and point out the positives (as well as the negatives) and at the same time create a virtual tour. This is by no means the only way I work, I take on an extremely flexible approach and I always tailor the process to suit my clients specific needs . Some clients have ample time and want to be involved at every stage of the process, whilst others simply sit back and let me do all the hard work, pounding the streets, videoing properties and sussing out the vendors. The latter turned out to be the best approach in this instance particularly given my clients were based abroad

In the end we had narrowed my list to just a handful of properties and low and behold they chose one of my two favourites, a lovely 3 bed penthouse apartment with two balconies and the potential to further develop a roof terrace should they want to add additional value in the future. On top of that I managed to haggle hard and to achieve a massive discount of £200k, marginally short of 15% off the selling price! My clients were obviously delighted

"Job done!" some may say, not quite, if only English property law was so simple. Although my clients had chosen one of my top two picks, the challenge for us all was to purchase and move in within a 7 week time frame. What seemed initially to be a fairly straightforward transaction i.e. cash buyers, no onward chain to factor in (the vendor was moving out and therefore we had vacant possession), actually held us right to the wire and proved a lot more stressful than I normally what I would have anticipated.

As we needed to move very quickly and the fact the property was a leasehold purchase, I suggested we work with one of our preferred local law firms. I took the time to quickly interview the solicitor prior to her meeting my clients and thus afterwards we were all happy we had a great team. Not only were we all able to work closely together, but with us running into various issues with both the managing agent of the building and the vendor's solicitor, we would not have met my clients tight deadline without this special relationship in place and with me shadowing the legal processes throughout. Being a qualified accountant and having some legal training helped immensely, as I could explain some of the back ground and advise on strategy where complex insurances were required to get the deal over the line in time. It was a 'tricky' transaction to complete, but that is where having a home finding agent with the right connections on board really does help

As a retained agent, my clients were also able to authorise me to chase various people (namely the managing agent) on their behalf and I was soon in the position of picking up the loose ends where other parties were, shall we say, "somewhat relaxed in their approach"

Naturally our solicitor recommended an independent survey for the property and once again I was able to source an industry professional at very favourable rates. The surveyor was chosen as he works together with an architect and combined, they made a formidable team. I have my own properties and also like to dabble in interiors, lighting and landscaping, so I explored the options of a potential roof terrace in the future

In summary, I put together a great team of industry specialists, we met our deadline by steering the conveyancing through some choppy waters, we completed with savings over 15% (£200K) and our Portuguese clients were over the moon!

Key points

positive energy

We should realise that all things (energy) exist in relationship with their spaces

positive energy

Energy chords from past traumatic events are energetically embedded in the walls of your home

positive energy

Many homes contain antique furniture that hold emotional imprints that need clearing

positive energy

The land on which you home rest holds energy from recent and distant pasts

positive energy

A home clearing also brings in new, lighter and more positive, higher vibrational energy

Call to action

Thank you for taking the time to read my case study and I'm hoping it's something of value to you

If you are interested in a property finding service, whether it's just for some initial advice or you would like me to source and handle the entire process for you, please either give me a call on 020 7287 4244or if you prefer, drop me a line and I will be happy to walk you through the process and how I might help in securing your ideal new property whether as your new home or a series of investments.

A Huge Thank You

I am so happy I had Outlet helping me when it came to finding an apartment in central London.

I had the good fortune of having Jonothan's advice and knowledge helping me with my big purchase right from the outset.

This was a big investment for me and I had a fair share of specific requirements for Jonothan to handle and he did so with ease. I wanted plenty of natural light, preferably a balcony and I had a very strict budget. Naturally the location was paramount, ideally I wanted something very central but it also needed to be quiet at the same time and I must say that it certainly is!

I really don't think I could have been better advised. From the very beginning, when we met and spoke about my wish-list, I was only shown the most appropriate properties matching my personality, taste and requirements. I was kept well informed throughout the entire process and right up to the very end, when Jonothan picked up the keys for my new home, I knew he was with me every step of the way. 

With his exceptional knowledge of property matters as well as some complementary advice, on such things as finding a good lawyer, through to getting professional tax advice and arranging for surveys. Despite a few hurdles along the way, it was quite simple to achieve, as Jonothan jumped through some major hoops to make everything possible. This was all done in record time too!

I can gladly recommend Outlet and Jonothan as very professional and competent in their sector. Their full commitment and caring to understand exactly what I was looking for. They were a great help and comfort to me.

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