A buyers’ agent or buyers’ advocate is the opposite of a selling agent, because they work for and are paid by the buyer. They are licensed real estate agents and their job is to work for you and protect your interests. They help you buy the right property for your needs, at the right price, on the right terms and with unbiased advice.
Why pay money for something you can do yourself?
Good question… We’ll give you 5 reasons a good buyers’ agent will help you;
- Their research saves you money – they know what’s really going on in the property market – after all they’re in it all day.
- Their skills reduce your stress. Buying a home or investment property can be about as nerve-racking as it gets. It’s emotional, exhausting and sometimes terribly discouraging. A buyers’ agent’s job is to make the process as hassle free as possible for you.
- Their experience saves you time – and this is one of your most precious assets. Using a buyers’ agent will give you back your weekends.
- Their industry knowledge levels the playing field – selling agents are not your friend, they represent their client – the seller.
- Their industry contacts widen your options – they have access to every property for sale and a good buyers’ agent even has access to silent – “off market sales” that you may never find out about.
Why doesn’t everybody use a buyers’ agent?
Actually, many people do, especially overseas. In Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane the numbers are growing and we have seen estimates that up to 1 in 5 buyers now use an advocate or seek independent professional advice.
Why can’t a selling agent help me?
A selling agent must act in the best interests of their client – the seller. They do not, and should not, work for you – the buyer. We know some agents would like to work for both sides and have it both ways, but when you think about it, they cannot possibly do both effectively as this would create a clear conflict of interest.
How do I find a good buyers’ agent
Not all buyers’ agents are the same. Here are some questions you could ask your buyers’ agent before engaging them:
1. Are you a fully licensed real estate agent?
Be wary of hiring someone who doesn’t hold a real estate licence and hasn’t had extensive experience in the property industry.
There are many people out there calling themselves a buyers’ agent or buyers’ advocate who are not licensed estate agents. Don’t risk putting what could be one of the largest purchases in your life in the hands of somebody who hasn’t had the years of experience necessary to negotiate on your behalf. Don’t be tempted to engage somebody just because they offer lower fees. If they can provide great service and add real value for their clients, they wouldn’t have to win new business by offering low fees.
2. Are you a member of the State Real Estate Institute?
This should give you the reassurance that they are operating to professional industry standards.
3. Do you have current professional indemnity insurance?
If something goes wrong with your property purchase you will have absolutely no recourse if this is not the case.
4. Are you a dedicated buyers’ agent?
Or are they just a division of a real estate agency or a one man band working from home or out of a post office box? They can’t offer a high standard of service when searching and negotiating for properties for their clients unless they are dedicated professionals focused on this process.
5. Do you specialize in the geographic location and the price range I am looking at?
If the buyers’ agent doesn’t have a strong recent track record of buying in the area you are looking at purchasing in, we suggest you don’t engage their services. Don’t be shy to ask them for the results of at least four recent purchases in the area you are looking at buying in.
6. Do you have access to “silent sales?”
Many properties that are sold never hit the public market. It is imperative that your buyers’ agent has years of personal relationships with all of the real estate agents in the area you are looking at purchasing in, so as soon as properties come up for sale you have access to these before they go to the general public.
What do I pay a buyers’ agent?
Generally buyers’ agents charge a registration fee between $1,000 and $2,000 and will then charge a success fee when they find the right property for you and successfully negotiate its purchase on your behalf. This can be a fixed fee, but it is usually a percentage of the final property purchase price.
Their fees should cover:
- All communications and meetings with you.
- Referrals to appropriate consultants such as finance, accounting and legal professionals if necessary.
- Property searching for a suitable property including communications and meetings with agents.
- Use of all their research databases.
- Evaluating properties to ensure they suit your criteria.
- Preparation of property reports to help you evaluate the properties they recommend to you.
- Communications with your finance broker, solicitor and accountant.
- Arranging further due diligence checks – including strata, building and pest inspections as required (you will be required to pay for these separately).
- Execution of strategies to purchase the property for you at the best price and then negotiating your property purchase.
- Checking final contracts.
- Pre settlement inspections.
If you are considering buying a home in the near future, why not employ this secret weapon