Navigating the Agency Acquisition Maze

Your guide through the hazards, and opportunities, of a property acquisition.

Paul Koopman set out to create a long term business so when acquiring an office, shop or factory for a client he has always thought that this was the ideal way to create that relationship. Businesses grow and contract and therefore over the period of a life of a business several moves may be undertaken. Paul always wants the second move instruction or the sale after buying the property originally – this proves that you did a good first job!

Acquiring a property for a client therefore has to be right – for the client. Agents often forget this and act purely as a broker – driven by the fee of a successful purchase or leasing. We don’t think like that – we are not brokers but educated and experienced hand holders guiding the client through the maze of an acquisition.

Firstly you need to listen – what does the client want to achieve – certain criteria will be established – the obvious ones being location, size and price. At Koopmans once we have heard then we can critique – what about this type of location; can the client trade from basement as well as ground; what eaves height do they really need? Whilst raising questions and presenting ideas from our knowledge bank and experience we always have in mind that the client is of paramount importance and a trust is built up. In the extreme we need to be able to advise the client that the property under consideration is not right, a dead end in maze terminology, and that we must turn around and re-double our efforts to find the right pathway. An investor client of the practice has told us many times that he trust us with his multi-million pound investments because we have the confidence of our knowledge to say NO. ie Don’t buy that for these reasons – that’s the TRUST we want with all clients.

As the criteria develop we might pound the streets (as well as using the private data bases etc) looking for the right property – it sounds old fashioned but getting out into the locale for the client or looking at numerous properties for them is not substituted by sitting behind the desk.

Once we find the right property then the negotiation begins. You need to be firm but fair and research the specific marketplace. No client will thank you for not getting a property when you are bidding below the market. Detailed heads of terms need to be drawn up – this makes the bargain clear to both the seller and buyer (lessor /lessee) and helps the solicitors to known what has been agreed in advance of their drafting of documents, saving time and expense for the client.

We work very closely with solicitors and enjoy the commercial approach we take to the legal elements of a transaction. Most solicitors respect us for our involvement and detail. A client ultimately doesn’t just sign a document referring to the size and rent but numerous other clauses come into play; alienation, alterations, uninsured risks and service charge to name but a few. We understand and work hard to ensure that every term works for the client.

The ultimate aim is that when the client signs they are very happy with their acquisition and that they continue to be so over the years. Then when they are ready to enter the maze again they make contact and we start to clear the labyrinth again.