‘We are noticing increasingly now, buyers do not want a buying agent affiliated with one of the selling agents — for obvious reasons,’ says Heaton. ‘That’s becoming a major issue for a lot of people, and rightly so.’
A respected country operator with over 25 years’ experience, Heaton drives over 40,000 miles each year seeking out the right homes for clients (equivalent to circumnavigating the globe twice, he has noted online) across North Hampshire, West Berkshire and Wiltshire.
He founded the buying business in 2013 with a mind to taking on the big firms — the likes of Prime Purchase, Savills’ buying arm, and Property Vision, his previous employer. It won praise early on for flexible fee structuring, ranging from familiar percentages to fixed fees or fees based on percentage of savings.
It all tells the client two things, says Heaton: ‘A), that we’re not being remunerated to find ever-more expensive houses, and B), that we don’t have that rather perverse situation where the more the client has to pay, the more we’re being paid ourselves.’
Clients certainly seem to appreciate it. ‘I felt a palpable sense of relief the moment I had hired Edward… the search can be a bit overwhelming,’ says one. ‘We would have been lost without him,’ says another.