A buyer’s agent may be known by any of the following titles, depending on where you live:
- Property buyer’s agent
- Buyer’s advocate
- Home buyer’s agent
- Real estate buyer’s agent
- Property broker.
But what IS a buyer’s agent?
Although commonplace in overseas countries such as the United States, it is still a comparatively new concept in Australia – and mostly limited to the larger cities, such as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
There is also a misconception that buyer’s agents only work with property moguls with plenty of cash to spare – but they can be just as useful to those starting out on the property ladder.
A Buyer’s Agent is in your Corner!
While real estate agents commonly represent the seller, a buyer’s agent instead works to protect your interests as the property buyer. If you’ve ever been through the hassle of buying property before, imagine how great it would be to have somebody in your corner – advocating on your behalf!
The role of a buyer’s agent, is to find out exactly what you are looking for in a property. During the briefing process, they will ask about all your requirements: from budget, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, car parking, and preferred age of the property, to whether you will be living in it yourself, or are buying for investment purposes.
The buyer’s agent then sources and inspects any properties which meet your criteria, before formulating a short list of recommendations which they pass on to you.
There are many advantages to employing the services of a buyer’s agent, such as:
- Saving you time – Instead of spending hours online or at inspections, the leg work is done for you – so you only have to view properties which are the most likely candidates. In fact, you may not even have to visit the property at all (eg if you live in another state) – as buyer’s agents can arrange virtual tours, and provide written reports and photographs.
- Saving you money – A buyer’s agent can negotiate the best price possible on your behalf. Their expertise includes knowing what a property is really worth, and knowing how to deal with the usual sales tactics. There’s also a lot to be said for having the negotiations done by somebody ruled by their head, and not their heart. How many times have you heard of people “falling in love” with a house, and paying a premium for it?
And because a good buyer’s agent will have all sorts of knowledge and connections in the local real estate industry, they also get access to properties that have not yet even hit the listings!
Think of a buyer’s agent as your project manager for the mammoth task of finding, choosing and purchasing a property. From helping you to identify the areas most likely to be of interest, to dealing with demanding real estate agents, and organising building and pest inspections and conveyancing, a good buyer’s agent is a powerful ally when you need it most.
Buyer’s Agent Fees
You will likely be asked to pay a deposit when you engage the services of a buyer’s agent, with the balance due upon settlement. This fee is usually non-refundable as it compensates the buyer’s agent for their time and effort, should you decide not to proceed with a property purchase.
Although it may seem like an extra expense in the house buying process, you are likely to pay a lot less for your new home when you invest in the services of a buyer’s agent.