Avoiding the pitfalls when relocating to the UK
15 December 2020
London has one of the fastest moving and competitive property markets in the world and without guidance and consultation, to buy or rent a property can be seen as a somewhat daunting experience. “There are a lot of differences between the UK and Swedish market, and our job is about managing expectations and guide clients through the process,” says Suzanne Bolinder, Founder and Managing Director of Consido.
Founded in 1999, Consido is a property acquisition and relocation company providing private clients with an unequalled service for individuals moving to London. “We are very familiar with the challenges faced when buying or renting a property, our job is to simplify the whole process from search to completion - always with the goal of achieving the best outcome for our clients”.
Understanding the requirements
Before Suzanne and her team start with the search process, they sit down with the clients for an initial consultation to define achievable goals. “First and foremost, it’s important to establish the budget, which will determine the options. Secondly, location is always of importance for schools, parks, and communication links. These points are all very important to consider before we start with the search.”
Assisting every step on the way
“Once the requirements have been established, as part of the search, we preview and evaluate all properties and shortlist the best options before presenting to the client. We’re in constant communication with the clients without wasting their time with unsuitable objects”. The next steps when the client has decided on a property is to submit an offer and negotiate the terms of the tenancy agreement. “It is not only about accepting a price, it’s also about the negotiation and coming up with a strategy to achieve the best outcome for our clients”. Once an offer gets accepted, the agent will present the client with a draft agreement, that often consists of 30-40 pages. “The break clause, for example, is of huge importance to understand and to negotiate as this will determine the length of the contract.”
Buying a property in the UK should be seen as a long-term investment due to the high acquisition costs involved in a purchase. “Another important aspect in the buying process is the law of ‘Buyers Beware’ which means the responsibility to research and check the conditions of a property falls on the buyer instead of the seller. “In order to facilitate the process, we work closely with solicitors, surveyors, and other experts to safeguard the transaction”. As there are different forms of ownership, it’s important to be familiar with the terms freehold, share of freehold, and leasehold, which can determine the value of a property.
When it comes to both relocation and property acquisitions, Suzanne says a large part of our work is about managing expectations. “Especially when our clients are from Scandinavia and used to a certain quality of living, there is always a challenge to translate that into the London equivalent. We are proud of our ability to match our people to properties.”
Embracing the London experience
“Even if the property market can be difficult to navigate, we believe that London offers a broad variety of living and a lot of choices, perhaps more than any other city in Europe. There is the opportunity to choose between many lifestyles in a metropole like London. “We have clients that have chosen something completely different than what they originally were set on – the diversity in London is plentiful and it’s important to embrace the whole London experience.”
As a relocation/buying agent, Consido acts as an impartial representative of the tenant or the buyer. “It’s important to remember that an estate agent mainly looks after the interest of the landlord whereas we work independently for our clients. Discretion is a point of honour for Consido. We regularly deal with high profile individuals who value our professional integrity as much as they respect our knowledge of the property market. We simply won’t abandon you the moment you’re established in your new home. Finding a property can be a lengthy process, where we get to know our clients well and very often keep in touch with our clients long after we completed a deal.”
Top tips when relocating to the UK
- Make sure to get to know and to do proper research of the area in order to avoid unpleasant surprises.
- List all requirements and changes you wish to be made to the property before submitting an offer. Once the offer is submitted, it’s more difficult to negotiate any changes.
- Make sure that you have a full understanding of costs when renting or buying a property. There are additional costs, e.g. stamp duty which is a considerable add-on to the price when buying a property.
- Location matters! Wherever you live in London, there will most likely be a commute to the workplace – prioritise a pleasant residential area rather than a shorter commute.
- Remember, an estate agent’s main duty is to the landlord – if ever in doubt, speak to a relocation/buying agent
- Lastly, embrace your new country and enjoy the Britishness of your new lifestyle!
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