With a brimming client list which includes Hollywood A-listers, sport stars, heads of industry and even a number of royals, Tim Swannie and Francois-Xavier de Vial’s Home Hunts work as a buyer’s agent – taking the hassle out of house hunting. The many awards won by Home Hunts is proof the company knows its business.
When your job is to help the rich and famous to find their dream home, discretion is key says Swannie. “Over the years, we have worked with countless clients from the entertainment and sports industries, the business and finance world and even royal circles, so we’re used to keeping clients’ identities confidential. We always keep a low profile, it is our role first and foremost to search the entire market and find the best selection of properties to suit our client’s needs.”
Tim and his French business partner Francois-Xavier de Vial set up the company in 2005 and they now have a team of around 35 property specialists in France alone. Home Hunts focus on the top end of the market, and the team cover all the prime property markets in France, as well as Majorca, Ibiza, Marbella, London and New York. Acting purely for the buyer means that the team can focus all their time and energy on the client’s needs. Dedicated consultants search the entire market to find the best properties, both on and off-market, to match the client’s requirements.
“The majority of our clients are very busy people, and we are here to do all the legwork on their behalf: help with travel arrangements, accompany them on all visits, help with negotiations and much more. We do not charge for our property finding service. Once we are successful in finding the dream home, we take a percentage of the sales fee from the selling agents. This percentage is the same with all properties so we are completely unbiased with our advice.
“One of our Hedge fund manager clients recently had just one day to find his dream home in the South of France. We spent many weeks working closely with his assistant, visiting properties throughout Provence and the Riviera. We narrowed down a shortlist of homes, the client flew in, and we chartered a helicopter so we could show him the properties as easily as possible.
The day went smoothly. Each property was prepared in advance, and the journey between viewings was a great chance to discuss the area from above.
“We also managed to arrange lunch at a château en route,” says Tim. “By the following week, we had managed to negotiate a deal on two properties for the client: a modern villa on the Riviera and a hunting estate in the countryside.”
This might seem like spectacular results for 24 hours, but if you speak to Tim, Francois or one of their colleagues, you’ll find this is part of everyday life for Home Hunts.
After more than twelve years of finding luxury homes for their clients, Home Hunts’ help doesn’t stop there. Its service continues throughout the buying process and long after the sale has been made. This includes all the necessities, such as arranging of surveys, renovations, financials tax and currency advice. Additional services include staff recruitment, car purchases, yacht rentals, guidance on the best local schools and healthcare.
“We really offer our clients a bespoke concierge service,” says Tim, “and we’re really proud of it, because no matter how diverse, we’re always able to fulfil our clients’ needs.”
To search for a property visit home-hunts.com. To speak directly to Tim or a consultant about your specific real estate needs call +33 (0)970 44 66 43