A few weeks ago property expert Gabby Adler featured my move to London and subsequent house purchase on her site. Recounting the ordeal made me wish I knew her back then. House hunting can be a job in itself and when children and work schedules are added to the mix, what should be a fun and exciting experience can quickly turn into a daunting task. Gabby takes the guesswork and surplus of fruitless viewings and instead shortlists properties based on her knowledge of what you are looking for. She works for you.
She focuses on the west London area of Richmond-upon-Thames and her in depth knowledge of the area are invaluable. Her network also means she has access to properties before they even go on the market.
WLM recently caught up with Gabby:
When did you start your business?
I started working as an Independent Property Finder in 2010 and last year I decided to work exclusively with Families looking to buy in Richmond-upon-Thames.
Why did you start your business?
I have worked in property for 7 years and I enjoy all aspects of it from doing refurbishments to seeking out good buy-to-let investments but I have always wanted to help people find their dream home.
For me there is nothing better than finding a family the house where they are going to raise their family and build memories. This is why I have tried to make the property finding service more accessible for every house hunter: I wanted to offer a more affordable service so that getting help to find the right house was not just for the super rich.
What areas do you specialize in and why?
I specialise in Richmond-upon-Thames. I was drawn back to that part of South West London as I used to work in Barnes as an estate agent after I completed my Masters in Property Valuation and Property Law in the city. I fell in love with Barnes and I got to know the whole area really well whilst working in the agency’s different offices across Richmond-upon-Thames. I love the area because it has such beautiful housing stock and a lot of real English charm – a great location to live in and a great place to find family homes!
Another reason I decided to specialise only in Richmond-upon-Thames is that I can use my established network of property contacts to give my clients the chance to be the first to view new houses and even gain access to properties not advertised on the open market.
Who are your main clients?
I work with families who are moving up the housing ladder or re-locating to a different area, usually they either need more space due to a growing family or they are moving to be closer to the excellent schools that Richmond-upon-Thames offers. I also work a lot with couples who are looking for their first home together; usually they have recently got married and are looking for somewhere where they can unpack all those wedding presents!
What benefits are there to hiring a private property specialist versus an estate agent?
It’s a common to confuse estate agents with property finders. It’s really important for any house hunter to remember that estate agents only work for the seller and their aim is to market the seller’s house and to achieve the highest possible price for it.
I, on the other hand, work for the buyer to ensure that when they are making probably the most significant financial and lifestyle-affecting decision of their lives that they are doing so with my independent expert property advice. This means that my clients can find their dream home and secure it at the best possible price for them.
The other benefit of hiring a property finding specialist is that it cuts out the hassle of house hunting: I register will all the estate agents and deal with all the communication from them while at the same time previewing all promising properties to create a short-list so that the buyer only needs to view the very best houses on the market.
What advice do you have for people looking to buy a house?
The most important bit of advice is to make sure you are in the best possible position when you begin your property search. Ideally you should already have sold your house or have an offer on your house from a solid buyer. The biggest problem in the property market today for buyers is the lack of stock. This means that when you do find the house for you, you need to be in a position to go for it and that means being the buyer that is the most attractive to the seller i.e. chain free and ready to move!
What advice do you have for people selling their house?
Presentation will make or break the sale of your house no matter what type of house you are selling. Never underestimate the importance of having your house presented in the best possible way for every viewing. Use flowers or candles and make sure your home is spotlessly clean and decluttered.
Have plans drawn up to show the potential in your house. If it is possible to extend your kitchen into the garden or covert your loft then have the plans drawn and then leave them out on your kitchen table for viewings so potential buyers can see for themselves the possibilities for the future if they buy your house.
For more information on this topic please visit my blog
Do you offer any other services in addition to house searches?
I offer a much shorter version of the full property finding service which is great for buyers will little time who want super quick results. It’s called the ‘Kick Start’ Service’ and it enables people to see the best houses on the market for their brief in just a 10 day search. This means that after just one day of your time you can guarantee you will have seen the very best properties on and off the market that match your requirements.
I also offer a Premium Aftercare Service. This is where I take on the responsibility of organising all those pre-move details like organising the moving vans, getting quotes from builders, plumbers, interior designers and landscape gardeners. I use my extensive network of local professionals to provide my clients with quotes from the very best people in the industry. The point is while you are moving into your new home you can let me take care of getting the roof re-tiled or speaking to the local planning department about that extension.
For more information on Gabby’s services, please visit: