I wasn’t keen to use a property buying agency, because I thought it would just be another level of administration, more time-consuming phone calls and e-mails from people who were just throwing pictures of houses at us. But time was short, and I was persuaded. In fact, Penny Black has saved us a huge amount of time by taking a clear instruction, making sure they understood what I wanted, and then only getting in touch when they needed to.
I wanted to invest in a London property for my children who were going to school there, so the specification and location parts of my brief were important. But I wanted investment potential as well. Penny Black identified a property in Chelsea that was in administration and, against competition, secured it significantly below the market value. Their relationship with the bank was invaluable.
On the day we were due to fly home, we fell in love with a house that was already under offer and due to exchange contracts in days. It seemed to be beyond our reach, but Chantel and Christopher guided us through the steps required to buy it. They knew the selling agent involved and were able emphasise that our offer was serious. They put us in touch with a bank and a lawyer, and contracts were exchanged by 6.30 that evening.
We spent three days trekking round estate agents in Mayfair without finding anything that felt right, and went back to the States disappointed. A colleague suggested Penny Black, and after an exchange of e-mails and one phone call they sent us a selection that showed they’d really been listening. One was just perfect, and because it hadn’t gone on the market yet Christopher was able to negotiate a quick deal. Now, we’re actually glad we didn’t find anything in the estate agents’ lists.