Guest Blog: Life of a Property Finder by Leonora from Searchwells

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

When you’re ill, you see a doctor. When your car breaks down, you see a mechanic. But when you buy a house – the most expensive and life changing purchase most ever make – you’ll probably try to do it yourself.

Perhaps you’re trying to save money or perhaps you simply don’t know the service exists, either way property finders such as myself can remove so much of the stress that defines buying a house while giving you a crucial advantage in a highly competitive market.

For nine years, my husband and I have been working under the name “Searchwells” providing a highly personal acquisition service built from the ground up for the unique needs of each and every client who wishes to buy a new property.

So what does a day in the life of a property finder involve? As you might expect, looking at a lot – and I mean a lot – of houses, flats, barns, cottages and country estates.

Luckily, I love property and always have. When I would explore the countryside in childhood outings I’d spend more time daydreaming about what life must be like inside the beautiful rural homes than looking at the landscape. If we allow it to, life will always lead us to what we love, and I couldn’t imagine a more perfect job for me.

I want to uncover that same passion in my clients. Everyone has a strong opinion on what makes the perfect home, so with the rare exception of international clients (and there’s always Skype for them) I always spend a lot of time face to face so I can truly understand how they live, how they want to live and what’s most important to them.

Once I’m confident I can see the world through their eyes, the hunt begins. Typically I’ll present around ten houses to my clients but what they don’t see are the upwards of a hundred properties I viewed to pick that special handful. And when I say viewed, I mean viewed. It’s eyes-on, hands-on work.

The properties I present sometimes challenge my clients’ expectations. Finding so many homes over so many years has given me the confidence to play devil’s advocate and show them houses that they would never have chosen themselves yet are love at first sight when whey set foot inside. It’s part intuition, part hard graft.

And I think that’s the main difference between an estate agent and myself. I’m not working for commission, I’m not working to make a sale. I’m working to give my clients the confidence to buy a home that truly makes the most of the incredible investment they put into it. I’m not afraid to speak my mind and take risks if I believe it will find them a better home.

Often, my work isn’t done when the keys are handed over. Searchwells Etc. is our property management service, where we can take care of everything from housekeeping and cleaning to sourcing art and stocking the wine cellar to put the cherry on top of your new home. Thanks to the bulging contact book I’ve built up over the years, I can satisfy the highest of tastes at the fairest of costs.

What’s most satisfying about my work is that I can help to change clients’ lives. I believe a home is so essential to a happy, full life and most of us can remember – or are currently in – a house that doesn’t quite feel like a home.

And I must be getting something right, because in all my years not one of my clients has gone on to sell.

That’s why DGA is my architect of choice for my clients. John and the team he leads have the same passion for brilliant homes along with a deep, personal relationship and commitment to those they serve. When my clients need a renovation, an extension or a whole new build, I have full trust that DGA’s quality of service will match my own.

To find out more about Searchwells, visit, where you’ll find case studies, more about who we are and how we can put the keys to your dream home in your hands.

By Leonora Wollner