Top Five London Buying
Known for his discretion and prowess in sealing some of the capital’s chunkiest residential deals (most of which are off-market), Bailey is no stranger to the biggest properties, figures and firms in London. He set out on his own in 2005 to found his own buying agency after a long spell at international property heavyweight Knight Frank, where he was head of its private office for ten years and founded its dedicated buying arm, the Buying Solution.
After 35 years in the business, he’s arguably as well-established as his former employer. But small is beautiful for Bailey: ‘I don’t understand how big buying agencies can have ten or twelve people, because when they do, there has to be some sort of overlap and conflict,’ he explains. ‘To have that number of staff, you have to have clients who are fundamentally looking for the same thing. We only take on clients who are looking for properties in a specific area, or if they’re in wider area within a specific price bracket, so there’s no overlap.’
He’s narrowed his own focus lately, having handled a ‘steady stream’ of smaller deals in the past twelve months, and far fewer of the more palatial abodes he’s used to. After all, agents have to move with the currents, even at the top: ‘At that range, the market has quietened,’ he says, pinning the blame on former chancellor George Osborne and the rise in stamp duty. ‘You just have to go with the market is.’
What separates the great from the good in his field? ‘Experience and knowledge of the market,’ he says. Particularly in an unregulated industry: ‘There are lots of people who have very big stories to tell, but I think we have very few equals in our business. I really do.’