Are you hoping to escape to the country? We wouldn't blame you... As country-loving bears ourselves, we know the benefits that come with rural dwelling. Our storage sites are based in:
- Petersfield - Close to the beautiful South Downs National Park a fabulous playground for hiking and biking, but with the convenience of the A3 in case you do have to venture back to the city.
- Buckingham - Within easy reach of the outstandingly beautiful Chiltern Hills with a superb bear's eye view from the top. But again, within easy reach of London.
- And finally, Corby - Surrounded by historical Northamptonshire towns and villages, with woodland walks and forest parks as your weekend playgrounds.
If you've been working from home in lockdown and realised that you don't need to be in the city, you might be looking for the perfect rural retreat where you can live the good life, with space for a veggie garden and a few hens!
Finding your dream home can be time-consuming. But at Blue Bear, we love sharing from our little black book of contacts to help make your life easier. This week we caught up with George Jackson-Stops from GJS Property. George has had a passion for property from an early age. His great-grandfather Herbert Jackson-Stops set up the eponymous estate agent in 1910. But having spent many years working for three significant estate agents, George has recently launched bespoke property consultancy, GJS Property. If you are unaware of the benefits of using a 'Buying Agent' read on because George may be just the man you need in your quest to find your perfect property.
Introducing GJS Property:
Why should home-buyers utilise the services of a buying agent?
There are many reasons for using a buying agent. But, I would say the main one is that a buying agent is likely to save you enough money on the asking price to cover their fees. Pair that with the stress they remove from the process, and it's a win-win situation. As a buying agent, I guide the process from being given a client's initial briefing to shortlisting a list of suitable properties. The client won't be constantly pestered by estate agents, nor will they need to spend all of their spare time trawling websites and organising viewings.
After we've found the perfect property, I offer and negotiate on the buyers' behalf and guide the purchase from the acceptance of the offer to exchange of contracts and completion.
Finally, I am always on hand if there are any questions or anything I can help with once a client has bought a property.
We're sold! What should we ask potential buying agents?
I would ask what relevant experience they have and why they are the right person for the job.
The thing to remember is that unlike an estate agent (who works for the seller) the buying agent is trying to get you the best possible deal. They need to be able to understand quickly what you are searching for. The most important thing is that you like and trust your buying agent.
What is the biggest misconception about your role as a buying agent?
The biggest misconception about my role is that many assume we only deal with the very top end of the property market. While that is true for some people, I have made a conscious decision to help people at whatever budget suits them. For example, my last purchase was for clients buying their first property in London. They ended up with a fabulous two-bedroom flat in Balham for £625,000.
Who do you work with?
I work with a wide range of clients, from international buyers looking for high profile addresses in London to British buyers looking for a pied-a-terre in the capital, or those already living in London aiming to make the move to the country to find a little more space.
What do you love most about your job?
I love the thrill of the negotiation and the joy of my clients when they manage to secure a property for less than they thought possible. I also love being my own boss as it means that I can change the points of an agency to offer a truly personal service for my clients.
What’s your #1 piece of advice for buyers?
Most importantly, get the best price possible when purchasing your property. If you can buy under market value you factor in any potential drops during the market fluctuations. Secondly, if you can put up with a little extra stress, buy a 'project'. This will allow you to create the house of your dreams for less than you would pay for a similar house that isn’t exactly how you would like it.
What other services does GJS Property offer?
As well as being a buying agent, we can help with sales, lettings relocation, project management and property management. We provide our clients with a bespoke service to cover all of their property needs.
Buying agency and sales are relatively straightforward. The lettings relocation is very similar to the buying agency side of the business although I help clients who are relocating to find the best possible rental property and again negotiate on their behalf and help them through the process.
I offer project management services to existing clients. If they buy a 'project' through me, I take away the stress and manage the renovation works on their behalf to deliver their dream home. This is from the design phase, right through to putting the project up for tender in order to find the best contractors for the work. I also source fixtures and fittings, bringing together all of the elements of the property.
Property management takes care of the day to day running of rental property for clients. From dealing with emergencies in the property to organising end of tenancy cleans.
How is self-storage useful for your clients?
Self-storage is always incredibly important for our clients. Particularly, when they are going into a rental property for a short period, and they do not have space for or need all of their possessions. Self-storage in London is frighteningly expensive. So, having a company like Blue Bear located in Petersfield and Buckingham, both within easy reach of London, is a fantastic alternative.
If you're looking for a Buying Agent to help you find your country retreat or somebody to help you with bespoke property solutions we highly recommend calling George at GJS Property. Visit the website HERE.
If you're in between properties and transitioning to the country life, we can help with storage! Contact us HERE.