What is a Buyers’ Agent?
Buyers’ agents (or buyers’ advocates) are licensed professionals that specialise in searching, evaluating and negotiating the purchase of property on behalf of the buyer. An exclusive buyers’ agent solely represents home buyers and property investors in purchasing residential and commercial real estate.
Put simply, a buyer agent is someone on your side!
Buyers’ Agents vs. Selling Agents
The key difference between a buyers’ agent and a traditional selling agent is who they represent. A buyers’ agent works exclusively for the buyer, whereas the selling agent works for the vendor (seller). A buyers’ agent is paid for their service as either a fixed fee or as a percentage of the purchase price. A buyers’ agent does not sell real estate. By law an agent cannot act for (and accept a commission) from both parties in the transaction.
Be careful in dealing with a buyers’ agent (or buyer advocate) that is situated within a traditional sales office.
They would have an inherent conflict of interest or bias in recommending their own local stock of listings. Exclusive property buyers’ advocates will search the entire market and not have a vested interest in any specific property or selling agency.
What Does A Buyers’ Agent Do
A good quality Sydney buyers’ agent or buyers advocate should undertake five key steps in delivering their services.
- Strategy. First they should listen to your needs, desires, goals and wants and help you formulate a “Buyer’s Brief”. Without a clear picture of your requirements they will be searching in the dark. If you are a home buyer, the home buyer agent will help you identify the best suburbs that will fit your budget and lifestyle needs. Close to shops, schools and transport is always on everyone’s list. If you are an investor, the investment buyers’ agent will help formulate a property investment strategy to identify the areas/ suburbs that deliver strong capital growth and yield and also be specific about the types of properties that would suit a long term investment.
- Research. The property buyers’ agent will help educate the buyer about the key suburbs they are targeting. They should provide suburb profiles and information about recent sales that match the requirements brief.
- Shortlist. Next the property buyer agent searches for properties that meet the key criteria and summarise these into a best fit shortlist. They should have an extensive network of sales agents to contact to find suitable properties. The buyers advocate would then arrange a suitable time for you to inspect the properties.
- Evaluation. Once the ideal property is found and agreed, the buyers’ agent will complete an appraisal of the property and give a clear indication of current market value. As seasoned professionals, a buyers’ agent offers valuable market insight about the true value of your potential purchase. Whether your purchase is to be the family home or an investment property, you want to make a decision based on sound market knowledge.
- Negotiate and Secure. The last step is where property buyers’ agents really show their expertise. By negotiating well and getting the inside scoop on how the sale is progressing, a buyer agent can save you a lot of money (and prevent you making an emotional purchase). Buyers’ advocates aim to negotiate the best price and terms to secure the property. They will help coordinate the required pest and building (or strata) inspections and help facilitate the exchange of contracts.
Benefits of Buyers’ Agents:
Save Time: A buyers’ agent can shortlist properties faster.
Searching the internet, calling agents, arranging inspections and viewing properties every weekend for months on end can become a very tiring process. Professional buyers’ agents will have an extensive and established network of real estate agents to draw on to produce a qualified list of properties to suit your preferences.
From this list the buyers agent will efficiently cull the unsuitable properties leaving only the most ideal properties for you to view at a convenient time.
The average home buyer or investor typically takes 6 to 12 months to get to know the local market, find properties and eventually secure one (by which time a rising market may have seen prices rise over 10%). Even with all the latest apps and online tools, it still takes time to vet the vast array of options and work out what is worth inspecting. With a qualified Sydney buyers agent on your side, this process can take a little as 30 days.
Save Money: We’ll negotiate the lowest possible price.
A skilled real estate buyers agent will be able to save you a lot of money! As they are in the business of buying properties on a daily basis they become very proficient at negotiating. A Sydney buyers advocate will protect you from making an emotional purchase – they don’t have a vested interest in the property so they can negotiate objectively on your behalf.
Negotiating is an art – especially when dealing with real estate agents. Selling agents have lots of tricks and tactics to use on unsuspecting buyers.
An expert buyers agent will be able to level the playing field and give you the upper hand in negotiations.
Knowing the local property market values intimately they will be able to provide you with confidence you are paying the right price. When it comes to bidding at auction, the buyers agent know which auction tactics to make to prevent you from getting caught up in the heat of the moment.
Save Stress: Don’t let emotions cloud your judgment. Let a professional deal with the agents.
Let’s face it – dealing with real estate agents is not top of everyone’s priority list. Research has shown that selling agents rank poorly on the trust scale of professionals (doctors at the top car salesman and real estate agents on the bottom). Using an experienced and licenced buyers’ agent means you never have to deal with real estate agents.
Underquoting is a common practice that is causing many buyers incredible frustration. A skilled Sydney property buyers agent will be able to determine in a heartbeat if the price quoted is realistic and if you have a chance of securing the property. Having a buyers advocate on your side means you get the truth about the market, the property and what needs to be done to buy it successfully (without the selling agent knowing you are emotionally attached).
Discover silent listings: We can uncover the other 40% of properties sold on the quiet.
Did you know that our property buyers advocates in Sydney can uncover many “off-market” opportunities for you to view?
With a wide network of agents at their disposal, the buyer agent can get access to new listings before they hit the open market. Some vendors prefer to sell on the quiet and avoid the hassle of open inspections or avoid marketing fees. Sales agents like dealing with buyers agents as they present a qualified buyer, with finance approved and ready to buy.
Off market opportunities abound in the prestige market with a very high percentage sold in this manner. Privacy and discretion are the main reasons for luxury property vendors choosing a silent listing method of sale. Buyers agents are usually the first to be notified of these opportunities.
Buy right: Location is everything. Discover the facts about the hot spots before you buy.
Whether you are buying a home or investment property, selecting the right suburb is paramount for your success. Buyers agents that specialise in investment property, will have access to the latest research and statistics to help you pinpoint the best areas for long term capital growth. There is a clear science behind property investing and sticking to the fundamental drivers of population growth, employment opportunities and infrastructure growth means you can optimise your investment decision making.
The investment buyers’ agent will provide research on the areas recommended then commence shortlisting specific properties that fit the investment criteria.
This removes the guess work and provides you with the opportunity maximise your returns.
Buyers’ Agents Costs
Property buyers’ agents charge a fixed fee based on the service you require. Prices are set as
either a flat fixed fee (based on a price range) or a percentage of purchase price. The fees vary depending on the level of service you require. The majority of buyers agent set fees around three main services:
- Full search – Fees are set at around 2% +GST of purchase price (or flat fee equivalent)
- Negotiation only – Fees approximately 1% +GST of purchase price (or flat fee equivalent)
- Auction bid only – Fees typically $500 for attendance and $500 to $1500 success fee.
Most professional buyers’ agents charge an engagement fee as a form of retainer. This is simply compensation for the amount of time and effort the buyers agent will spend searching for properties and undertaking research. This ranges from $1500 up to 50% of the total fee payable.
The total buyers’ agent fee will depend on your specific requirements, search parameters, budget and degree of difficulty. It’s important to understand you are engaging a professional property consultant to act impartially as your representative in searching and negotiating for your next home or investment property. Beware of selling agents masquerading as “Buyers’ agents” within a sales agency and only presenting their own listings.
Propertybuyer is Australia’s most awarded buyers’ agency that helps you locate your dream home or investment property. Established for over 16 years, credited with 30 Awards for Excellence and over 2500 transactions completed, the propertybuyer team has the experience, credentials and utmost integrity to deliver the best buyers advocate service.
Our team of local experts provides independent advice and excellent support to help you find and negotiate your ideal property. Founder and Managing Director Rich Harvey says “Buyers’ Agent should have professional support at each step of the buying process to save time searching, understand current market values, and avoid over-spending by making an emotional buying decision.”
Make sure you get the property you want at the right price by engaging the help of propertybuyer by completing your personal Property Brief.
Call us today on 1300 655 615 for a no obligation fixed price quote.