How are Property Finders Different From Estate Agents?

The process of buying a property can be an exciting yet complex journey, and seeking professional assistance is often essential to navigate the property market successfully. In this realm, two key players emerge to aid potential buyers: property search agents and estate agents. While their roles may overlap in some areas, they fundamentally differ in their objectives and responsibilities. In this article, we will delve into the distinctions between property finders and estate agents, exploring their unique contributions to the property buying process and how they cater to the needs of homebuyers.

Understanding Property Finders:

Property finders, also known as buyer’s agents or property search agents, are licensed professionals dedicated to assisting property buyers throughout their purchasing journey. They focus exclusively on the needs, preferences, and budget of the buyer, employing their expertise to locate and secure the ideal property.

Unlike estate agents, who primarily represent sellers, buyer’s agents advocate solely for the buyer’s best interests. They do not have a vested interest in promoting specific properties or maximising sale prices. Instead, they act as personal property shoppers, conducting extensive market research and leveraging their network of contacts to identify properties that align with the buyer’s criteria.

The primary goal of buyer’s agents is to present a curated selection of properties that cater to the buyer’s specific requirements, saving them valuable time and effort in the property search process. They offer impartial advice and guidance throughout the buying journey, ensuring that the buyer’s needs are met in every aspect of the purchase.

The Role of Estate Agents:

On the other hand, estate agents represent property sellers and act as intermediaries between sellers and potential buyers. Their primary responsibility is to market and sell properties on behalf of their clients, striving to obtain the best possible price for the seller.

Estate agents focus on promoting the properties listed with their agency and organising viewings for interested buyers. They are skilled in negotiating with potential buyers to secure the highest sale price for the seller’s property. In this capacity, their fiduciary duty is to represent the interests of the seller throughout the transaction. 

Conflict of Interest:

Due to their exclusive representation of the buyer, property search agents typically do not encounter conflicts of interest. Their dedication to their client’s best interests ensures that their recommendations and advice are impartial and unbiased.

On the other hand, estate agents may face potential conflicts of interest, especially in situations where they represent both the seller and the buyer in a transaction. Such dual agency scenarios can raise concerns about the fairness and objectivity of the negotiations.

Property Search Approach:

Property search agents take a bespoke and personalised approach to the property search process. They invest time in understanding the buyer’s lifestyle, preferences, and budget constraints. Armed with this knowledge, they conduct in-depth research to identify properties that meet the buyer’s specific criteria.

Their extensive network of contacts allows them to gain access to off-market properties, which are properties not publicly listed for sale. This exclusive access provides buyers with unique opportunities to explore properties that are not available through traditional estate agent listings.

Estate agents, on the other hand, focus on marketing the properties they represent. They maintain a portfolio of properties listed for sale and prioritise promoting these properties to potential buyers. While they aim to match buyers with suitable properties, their selection is limited to the properties listed by their agency.

Fee Structure:

The fee structure is another aspect that sets property search agents apart from estate agents. Property search agents typically charge a fee for their services, which can be a fixed fee or a percentage of the property purchase price. The fee is usually agreed upon between the buyer and the property search agents before commencing the property search.

In contrast, estate agents are usually compensated through commission-based arrangements with the seller. Their fee is calculated as a percentage of the property’s sale price and is paid by the seller upon successful completion of the sale.


In conclusion, property search agents and estate agents are valuable players in the property market, each offering distinct services tailored to the needs of buyers and sellers, respectively. Property search agents serve as trusted allies for buyers, advocating solely for their interests and providing expert guidance throughout the property search and purchase process.

Estate agents, on the other hand, work diligently to secure the best possible deal for property sellers, employing their negotiation skills and market expertise to maximise the sale price. Whether you are a buyer seeking personalised assistance or a seller looking for effective representation, the expertise of these professionals can significantly impact your real estate experience.