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An experienced agent will know where the hidden gems are to be found, will have good knowledge of the location, for example, nearby amenities, security and availability of parking. They will also have sufficient knowledge of comparable properties in order to guide a client on price. Estate agents (selling agents) have a certain reputation, deserved in some cases. With a decent amount of time at the coal face, one is well able to evaluate what is said by the selling agent and the information provided by them, and importantly, to have an understanding of what is not said. This gives the buying agent a great advantage in negotiations.

Ask about the setup of the company you are looking to engage; do they operate from a proper office or a kitchen table, are they a one man band, do they have the resources to provide an efficient service. In an ideal world, you want a specialist buying agency who solely focuses on that discipline.

A small team of agents within a company, will ensure that conflicts of interest are a rarity. A buying agent should focus on a small number of clients at any one time in order to provide the individual service and attention clients should expect, and should never have two clients looking for the same sort of property. You want a close-knit team looking after you, so ask to meet the wider team. If your point of contact goes on holiday, you need to know that if the right property crops up it will be picked up by their colleagues and you won’t miss out.

Buying agents with a consistent and historic client base will mean they are often the first to be contacted about a new property becoming available. An experienced agent will have excellent contacts to be able to introduce you to the best surveyors, architects, interior designers, property managers and so on. Finally, if you are wavering, do ask them for references from previous clients.

For more first-rate guidance on all the questions involved in buying a high-value property visit the Tatler High Net Worth Address Book

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