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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Humberts ex-country house chief switches from selling to buying

The former head of Humberts’ country house department, who has spent 30 years selling homes, has switched to buying.

Jeremy Campbell-Harris was made redundant by the previous management at Humberts in April this year, shortly before the company went into administration. 

In his former role Campbell-Harris was based in central London but worked with what was then a Humberts network of 23 offices, and reported to then managing director Ian Westerling. 

Now Campbell-Harris has resurfaced in his new role at Recoco, a specialist buying agency based in Exeter but covering the south of England: Campbell-Harris will have responsibility for the south east of the country, based at Farnham in Surrey. 

He starts his new role at the beginning of September.

His departure from Humberts came shortly before the company was taken over by vacation property company Natural Retreats, who chief executive Matt Spence says he intents to run the agency via large scale hubs, not branches with staff offering clients a far wider range of property-related services than simply marketing and selling homes.

Recoco, a buying agency in operation since 1999, covers the Cotswolds, London and the south of England.

Its team also includes Robin Thomas, who led the Exeter office of Strutt & Parker for over 30 years covering much of Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. 

Yesterday Estate Agent Today reported that two high-profile prime central London agents had also switched from selling to buying, joining forces to set up the new Hirst Colombo company.

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    This rush of people from the sales to the buying side makes sense. In the South of England / London no one has any confidence in the market today. EAs are overvaluing properties by significant amounts and then advising their clients to accept bids way below asking price. In that environment a buying agent can add massive value. As a potential buyer around £1.5mm mark myself I am now terrified. I know I should be able to get 10% below asking price comfortably. But what if I could actually have got 20% (as now seems increasingly common )? I would feel a right chump for not using a buying agent to get the last few percent reduction.

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