Everything wealth managers and advisers need to know about navigating London’s property market | 08 April 2022

The London property market has been enjoying a revival in recent months, with rising prices, buyer activity on the up and supply increasing faster than in other parts of the country.

Yet while stock levels are improving in the run-up to the traditionally busy Easter period, and more houses are coming onto the market in Kensington & Chelsea, Highbury & Islington and Fulham, to name but a few, demand continues to significantly outstrip supply.

Vendors face a Catch-22 situation; they are putting their homes up for sale and achieving strong prices, only to discover they can’t find anything to buy. Or, if they do manage to find a suitable property, they are up against multiple bidders, having to pay over the odds to secure it. Knowing the best way to approach such a situation can be difficult if you’ve never done it before; in this instance, we might advise a client to move into a second home (if they have one) on a temporary basis or go into rented accommodation. We would advise clients to avoid chains, if at all possible, especially if you find yourself at the bottom of one, completely reliant on the parties above.

Finding strategies to help your clients navigate this market is part and parcel of what we do. Given the various complexities of the market, if you have clients who want to invest in London property – whether that be a main residence, second home or investment – you may find that you don’t have the time or expertise to provide the level of consultancy and specific advice required.

Engaging with a trusted partner such as INHOUS who can be relied upon to provide exceptional service for your client, ensuring they are well-informed and accurately advised, could be the answer.

The advantage of a search agent

One way of getting ahead of the rest of the buying pack is to be represented by a search agent. If your client is spending £2 million-plus on property, it may be possible to do it on their own if they are a cash buyer and have all their ducks in a row. But with the majority of buyers represented by a search agent, they may find themselves at a disadvantage if they are not in a similar position.

Vendors and agents know that represented buyers are not window-shopping but are serious because they are paying a specialist to source property on their behalf. They will satisfy anti-money laundering regulations, as they will already have gone through all the necessary checks, as well as having their finances ready and a good quality lawyer lined up. Any offer they make will be more well-rounded and considered than that of an unrepresented buyer because as their adviser, we would ensure that this is the case.

Lack of stock means that search agents have to work hard to source off-market opportunities, contacting homeowners directly in some instances to see whether they are prepared to sell, and making the most of our black book of contacts, built up over the years. With an increasing amount of property transacted off market, never even hitting an estate agent’s website, unless your client has a search agent in their corner, they won’t even get to hear about much of what is for sale. We are able to justify our fees as we unearth opportunities for your clients which would not otherwise be available to them, using our connections and exclusive network to source exceptional properties.

Not all search agents are created equal

One of the knock-on effects of the surge in activity and interest in the London property market has been the uptick in number of advisers setting themselves up as buying agents. With many claiming different USPs, how do you choose the ‘right fit’ for your client?

It should go without saying that a good search agent will act in your client’s best interests and provide the highest levels of service but there is also a personal aspect on top which can be hard to quantify. Not every search agent is the right fit for every client; we spend a lot of time with clients, getting to know them really well and ensuring we find the best property match for them.

We often work with wealth managers and bankers, advising their clients and keeping them in the loop every step of the way. You will know your client better than anyone so should have a good feel for which search agent would be the best fit and work well with them.

Managed sales service

Discretion is fundamental to high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals, whether they are buying or selling. Our managed sales service offers a better alternative to the traditional estate agency model and satisfies this desire for complete discretion. Who wouldn’t prefer a select handful of qualified applicants to view their home rather than putting it on a property portal and taking potluck with the masses?

We leverage our exclusive network of buyers and agents to market your client’s home to the right buyer. We handpick the best selling agent, taking care of the entire process and ensuring your client receives the right advice to achieve the best possible outcome.

Why INHOUS for London property?

Having a trusted partner who will work with you, providing an extension of your service to your client, could mean the difference between your client buying the property of their dreams (or selling their existing home in a private, relaxed and hassle-free way) or missing out. There are relatively few search agents offering the level of expertise and advice we provide, and even fewer who are able to deliver a managed sales service. Get in touch for an informal chat about any questions you have.



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Tenancy charges may vary, depending on the agreement we have with you, so it’s best to ask the INHOUS lettings department.

Permitted Charges in accordance with the Tenant Fee Act 2019

The following payments may apply when entering an Assured Shorthold Tenancy:

First month’s rent In advance
Tenancy Deposit 5 weeks, or 6 weeks if annual rent is over £50,000
Holding Deposit One week’s rent, put towards your first rent due
Early termination when requested by the tenant A charge not exceeding the financial loss experienced by the landlord
Default charge for late payment of rent A maximum of 3% above Bank of England base rate, charged when rent is more than 14 days late
Default charge for replacement of lost key or security device Equivalent to cost incurred
Changing the tenancy documents after the commencement of the tenancy, including change of sharer £50 incl. VAT

The following payments may apply when entering a Non-Housing Act Tenancy:

A Non-Housing Act Tenancy is formed when the annual rent exceeds £100,000 or the property is occupied by a Company rather that an individual.

  Inclusive of VAT
Tenancy Setup Fee drafting and execution of tenancy agreement if supplied by us, collecting and holding the Security Deposit as Stakeholder, issuing protection certificates, if applicable, Open Banking type referencing of tenant and initial Right to Rent Checks £360
Check-in Fee checking into the property and reviewing inventory minimum of £130
Tenancy Continuation negotiating and drafting an extension £150
Change of Sharer – Deed of Assignment £120
Early Termination – Deed of Surrender £120
Guarantor Referencing Fee (each): £30
Deed of Guarantee Fee: £50
Late payment of rent 3% above the Bank of England base rate


How to Rent Guides:

This guide is for tenants and landlords in the private rented sector to help them understand their rights and responsibilities. This guide includes a checklist and further detail on each stage of the rental process.

How to rent – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Tenancy charges may vary, depending on the agreement we have with you, so it’s best to ask the INHOUS lettings department for a full breakdown of costs. Here’s a list of what you can typically expect to pay:

Lettings Service Only: 10%+VAT (12% inc. VAT) – Including rent collection
Letting and Management Service: 16%+VAT (19.2% inc. VAT)
Short Let (less than 6 months): 24%+VAT (28.8% inc. VAT)
Lettings Renewals Service: 8%+VAT (9.6% inc. VAT)
Lettings and Management Renewal: 14%+VAT (16.8% inc. VAT)
Short Let Renewal (less than 6 months): 24%+VAT (28.8% inc. VAT)


Additional non-optional fees and charges

We will not be charging clients fees for referencing, tenancy agreements or deposit registration.

The costs of a clean, EPC, gas safety, EICR, PAT and inventory are set by third party suppliers and prices may vary. The below schedule is to give you an idea of what you would typically pay.

All fees stated are inclusive of VAT (calculated at 20%):

During the tenancy (if required

INHOUS is a member of and covered by the ARLA/Propertymark Client Money Protection (CMP) Scheme.

We are also a member of a redress scheme provided by The Property Ombudsman www.tpos.co.uk.

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