7 Pitfalls Faced by High-Net-Worth Property Buyers
The word’s population of High-Net-Worth (HNW) individuals is growing and expected to increase by 41% before the end of 2025. There are risks involved in any property acquisition or relocation, but these risks are amplified when the buyer is HNW.
Galleon Property Search are a leading international buying agency, specialising in the search and acquisition of prime and super prime property in the UK, France, Monaco, Spain, and Portugal. Solely representing the buyers and their interests, the team at Galleon advise, source the best assets on and off-market, use their market expertise to negotiate the best price, and manage the conveyancing process through to completion.
Lost Boys Detective Agency are a group of world class specialists in investigation, security, risk and crisis management. Lost Boys was founded with the idea of working pro-bono on high-profile miscarriage of justice cases and then using the same skills, experience, and network to assist clients in the corporate and HNW world. These cases have assisted in them creating a team of exceptional investigators, cyber and physical security operatives, as well as extensive relationships in PR, journalism and film making. Lost Boys believe in the value of cognitive diversity in a crisis and have a team fluent in numerous languages, including French, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese and Russian.
By partnering together, Galleon and Lost Boys provide comprehensive and innovative protection for HNW individuals acquiring a new home. To understand the challenges, Galleon and Lost Boys have drawn up 7 pitfalls commonly faced by HNW buyers, and how to safely overcome each one.
1. Being unrepresented
Buying a home or an investment property is one of the most important decisions we will make, both financially and emotionally. However, buyers are currently fully unrepresented.
They have to deal with selling agents who are mandated by and are representing the vendor’s interests. This leaves the buyer quite exposed. It is therefore paramount to be properly and independently advised. This is the role of a buying agent: privacy, advice, market access, negotiation, peace of mind.
2. Limiting access to property market
The key objective of any buyer is to know that their chosen property is the best one available matching his/her criteria at that specific time. That is nearly impossible to do on their own. Let’s take the London W1 postcode for instance, there are between 40 - 50 selling agents covering the area. It will be very time consuming for HNW buyers to engage with every single one of them and will, by default, expose their privacy. Limiting themselves to the three or four main ones will mean limiting their own access to the market. Being fully independent, an experienced buying agent will have access to the entire market, including the off-market segment. They will produce a shortlist of the most relevant properties saving their clients time, stress and making the decision process much more efficient.
3. Not evaluating reputational risks
HNW clients will often use due diligence software or focus solely on financial checks. However, proper due diligence on the other side should investigate reputational risks of purchasing a certain property from the given owners. Deep-dive research of the reputation of the place and the seller via adverse media should be carried out. Don’t forget the neighbours, as their reputation can ruin your enjoyment of the property.
4. Not ensuring cybersecurity at all stages of the acquisition process
High-value property purchases, especially if in the public eye, attract cyber attackers. It is vital to use secure portals and devices when partaking in the property purchase and being aware of a multitude of phishing scenarios that can be specifically tailored to the transaction at hand. Recent high value purchases in the Cotswolds and Central London are known to have been monitored for months prior to the date of transaction, then email addresses cloned resulting in monies unknowingly paid to global organised crime groups.
5. Not conducting adequate security risk assessment
Organised crime begins canvasing the targeted property as early as the client’s viewings of the home. If there is no adequate security in place the moment the purchase is complete, this leaves a gap of opportunity before proper residential security checks and CCTV systems have been established. Therefore, it is vital to ensure a full intelligence and security risk profile is conducted prior to move in order to map the area for the presence of organised crime or parties that attract significant publicity. High-level residential security should also be installed prior to move in.
6. Not having the right team in place
HNW buyers, especially when buying in a territory outside of their own, need a bespoke team of experienced experts to support their purchase. Not having this team in place can lead to mistakes that could not only jeopardise their purchase, but their family’s privacy and reputation. The team should include a crisis management connection whom to call in case of an emergency or a crisis. Be it liaising with the police in case of a suspicious incident or managing reputational damage in case of a media scandal related to the recently acquired property, it is always worth knowing who to contact in the middle of the night, even if it is just for peace of mind in a new environment.
7. Not managing social media risks accordingly
It is a fact that global organised crime groups monitor HNW social media channels for signs of planned or recent property acquisition, since relocation into a new property creates major opportunity for burglary and theft. In many cases, young family members leading a public life can create risk prior to even arriving at the address. During the acquisition stage, it is of crucial importance to maintain one’s privacy on social media channels.
With careful consideration of the potential pitfalls and a clear strategy in place, it is possible to purchase a home or relocate securely. Constructing a team of experts who will guide you and manage each step on your behalf saves on the stress usually associated with a prime property acquisition.
Lost Boys Detective Agency offer private investigation, crisis management and risk assessment, alongside security and cyber consultations for private clients and corporations. Lost Boys are proud to have a world class network of experts they can turn to for all your security needs. To discuss a concern, contact them on:
T: +44 (0) 20 4524 4416
M: +44 (0) 750 114 5289
Galleon Property Search specialise in the search and acquisition of prime and super prime real estate in the UK, France, Monaco, Spain and Portugal. To discuss your own or your client’s property purchase plans, contact them on: