Country houses for sale

New agency model launched

A new estate agency has been set up to sell top end properties which charges the fee to buyers rather than vendors.

Buckland will market properties in the same way as a traditional estate agent but charge the buyer rather than the seller a fee. It will operate in the premium country house market (property worth £1m or more).

The agency hopes to save trusts and estates which own properties the expense of going through a traditional estate agent. The new service could save someone selling a £1m house £30,000, while a vendor with a house worth £5m could save up to £150,000 (calculated on agency fees of 3%).

Nick Payne, former buying agent and now managing director of Buckland, says: ‘Our new sales model is going to force massive change on the industry as we are offering a carefully targeted sector exactly the same service as an estate agent but at no cost to the vendor. We will value the property, provide experienced advice, agree a price with the vendor and market that property. The only difference is that we won’t be charging the vendor.

Mr Payne continues: ‘The supply shortages have led to an increase in the number of search agencies to the extent that today some 60 per cent of houses sold at this level are sold with their help. This proves that buyers are willing to pay to secure their ideal home.’

According to Buckland, besides cutting the cost of moving house for the vendor, the new venture also challenges the agents who get two commissions from one sale, referring to the agencies which have both a buying and a selling arm. When the estate agency sells a property and the related search agent places that property, the parent company benefits from two fees.