7:00am Thursday 20th May 2010
By Gill Oliver
Many desirable properties in Oxfordshire are never advertised on the open market and remain out of reach of most house hunters.
That is the view of experts Sonia Kearns and Cathy Dunbabin who claim to have the answer with their Oxford-based property search agency Front Doorz.
Ms Keans said: “We constantly network with all the leading estate and letting agents and because they know we have genuine proceedable buyers, we find out about properties before they come on the market.”
Co-director Ms Dunbabin added: “No matter how good an estate agent is, they can only show you properties their company is representing.
“Because we are completely independent, we speak to all the estate agents on a client’s behalf to find the right property.
“We find people like the idea of having someone who is not tied to any one agency, has local knowledge and knows the market.
“Our clients give us their search critera, then they can forget about it because they deal with us not with the agents.
“Once a week, we update them on any suitable properties we have found and after we have done a drive-by to check it out, we go along with them to view.”
Clients pay a retainer fee of £500 to engage Front Doorz services and are charged one per cent of the eventual purchase price.
A negotiation service, whether a client is buying or selling, comes as standard.
Ms Dunbabin explained: “Part of the service is to have the benefit of our negotiation skills, without the worry of losing the deal.
“We speak estate agents’ language and are able to negotiate the purchase price purely based on factual evidence.
“One client saved £75,000 as a result of using us to negotiate on their behalf.”
Ms Kearns said their clients include people relocating to Oxfordshire, as well as those moving within the area.
Front Doorz also offers a house doctor service, advising clients on how to stage their property for sale and which estate agent to market their property with.
Ms Kearns explained: “If you want to sell quickly and get the right price, it is essential to present your house in the best light.
“We provide a room-by-room report which is very specific. It depends on the size of the property but we charge between £350-500.
“Clients can either do it themselves or we can help organise storage, transport, redecoration or whatever is necessary.”
For more information about Front Doorz, contact 01865 339444 or visit www.frontdoorz.com
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