Jordan and Lucy are two ex-Singapore expats who have set up a tailored property concierge in the UK to help people source, sell, rent and manage apartments and houses in London. They work both as a buyer’s agent, helping people find properties to purchase, as well as providing property management services. We talk to them about their company, Edwards & Plumb, and how they work.
What was behind setting up the company, and how do you help people who want to buy a property in London or other UK property?
The business was set up when we decided to move back to London from Singapore. We’ve both worked in the property industry for many years and during our time in Singapore we became overseas landlords. When COVID kicked in, many long-term clients approached us to help source properties for both self-use and investment. There are limited companies offering a tailored service like ours that provides access to secondary market property and, more importantly, provides good advice that helps the buyer, rather than the seller.
We also offer an end-to-end service, from sourcing property, assisting through the transaction, finding a tenant, month-to-month management and even selling the property on in the future. There are many companies offering parts of this service but not the full set. We help people by fully understanding what the objective is – whether it’s for self-use or an investment.
If someone wants to buy a property in London, what’s the process?
We help guide our clients on the best locations for their needs. We then source the properties (including off-market opportunities) using our large network of property professionals across the capital. Once we’ve identified suitable options, we share them with the client and explain why we have selected the properties. We personally visit each property and after the visit we provide a report and our feedback. This includes our valuation, the seller’s situation, the condition of the property and so on.
We research and use our own expertise to ensure our clients are paying the correct price when purchasing. Once the offer has been made and accepted, we then help work with the solicitors to have a smooth and hassle-free transaction. If your property is for investment and your plan is to rent long term, we also provide guidance on what refurbishment work should be completed prior to marketing to achieve the best possible rental yield. This is included in our management fee and we will be there to accept delivery of white-goods, furniture etc., or provide access to all tradespersons.
What would you say is your point of difference?
Many investors we’ve worked with have previously been overwhelmed by the legislation, hidden costs and agency fees. We value transparency and integrity, and we work for the buyer, not the seller when purchasing a property. We are also not contracted to sell developer stock and have access to the open market, so there is no ‘hard sell’ when it comes to agreeing a transaction. We work exclusively with people outside of the UK and have experience working with clients in Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and mainland China. Having lived in Singapore for a number of years, we understand the importance of having someone on the ground to provide expertise, advice and local knowledge.
Any other points of difference between you and London real estate agents?
We offer independent advice; we’re not an agency so we don’t get paid to promote specific property developments. This means we have access to the whole of the market which includes new build (off-plan) and secondary market properties (physical houses and apartments) rather than being project-specific like other agencies in HK and SG. Our track record has proven that using a buyer’s agent can not only save you time, which in turn can save you money, but it also shows your commitment to buying the property, with many estate agents and sellers preferring to work with buyers’ agents for the fact that they know the transaction is more manageable.
What are your fees?
Buying properties in London usually comes with a price tag exceeding GBP 500,000, therefore we have set our fees at 2% up to the value of GBP 2 million; for properties over 2 million, we charge 1% of the purchase price. All fees are paid upon completion of a successful transaction, with a nominal upfront fee to start the process of finding your property. Our letting and management services focus on long-term rentals with fees starting from 12.5% plus VAT, with no additional fees including no fees for renewal of tenancy agreements, additional property visits, compliance certificates etc. We do not specialise in Airbnb or short-term rentals and work hard to find tenants that are committed to long-term contracts.
What areas of the UK do you cover?
London, and the Southeast including Kent and Surrey are our main focus. We also cover other regions in the UK, with Jordan having worked with developers and agents selling properties in Birmingham and Manchester. However, as we are based in London, we have worked mostly with clients looking to purchase new build apartments or portfolios rather than individual properties.
Give us a quick breakdown of the process for buying a property in London, for example.
- Consultation – to fully understand the buyer’s needs and requirements.
- Sourcing – finding suitable properties within the criteria list and following market analysis.
- Present properties – showing suitable property matches based on the search criteria.
- View – seeing the properties that are of most interest.
- Report back – giving our advice on price, options for negotiating, condition of the property, whether it needs work to get it to market standard.
- Negotiate – undertaking all aspects of negotiations to ensure clients pay the lowest or best price.
- Conclude – working alongside the mortgage broker and solicitor for a smooth and hassle-free transaction.
- End result – successful purchase.
The next step
Making a decision to purchase, sell, rent or find the right managing agent can be a difficult decision. Edwards & Plumb are the first point of call for anyone interested in UK property. Offering a range of personalised services, they can ensure your property journey is hassle-free. Get in touch for an initial chat and find out how they can help you.
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