Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find our most frequently asked questions, click on a question to display the answer.
Why should I use a buyers’ agent when I could do it myself?
You will save yourself money, time and stress when you engage a professional buyers’ agent to help you with your next investment property purchase. You will be empowered with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision about the value of a property without all of the sales “hype” often associated with property purchases – we protect you from making an emotional decision. You will have the benefit of our extensive research and analysis into past sales and comparable market data and will be protected from paying too much. You may also gain access to properties not yet advertised, otherwise known as “silent listings”.
Investors will gain access to our wide network of excellent investment opportunities and also get the inside knowledge of the best areas to invest. As property investors ourselves we understand the strict criteria required to buy high performing properties.
Our testimonials describe the ways we have been able to add value to our many clients. Most of our increasing client base stems from glowing referrals given by clients who have been impressed with the value and service we provide.
What is the difference between a buyers’ agent and a selling agent?
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). By law an agent cannot act for (and accept a commission) from both parties in the transaction.
An important question to ask a buyers’ agent is whether they are truly “exclusive” or “independent”. If they accept sales commission from vendors or developers then they cannot be classified as “independent” as they are acting in the interests of the seller. Only deal with a licensed buyers’ agent. You can check licences via the Office of Fair Trading in each state. Our corporation licence number is 1265983. Only use one that is a recognised member of your state Real Estate Institute and the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia.
A buyers’ agent aims to secure the property for the lowest price and best conditions possible for you, the buyer. The selling agent wants to get the highest price and best conditions for the vendor (seller). propertybuyer will give you the best service, time and attention that you need to make an informed property choice. Propertybuyer is Australia’s most awarded Buyers’ Agency, so you will have confidence you are working with professionals who will find your next property faster and at a better price.
Do you source properties for home buyers (owner occupiers) as well as investors?
Yes. Our goal for every client is to find the right property, at the right price, everytime!
Do I have to be “rich and famous” to be able to afford the fees charged by a buyers’ agent?
No. We typically save our clients far more than our fee in the transaction by negotiating well. We assist property buyers of all budgets, saving you money by doing extensive research and analysis, looking at comparable sales and market data, and by negotiating hard to secure the best price, terms and conditions possible. You will make an informed choice and will be confident that you have bought well, whatever your budget. It’s a small investment to make when you consider the savings you will make on your property purchase!
What suburbs do you cover? Do you specialise in any particular areas?
For investors (residential and commercial), we source investment property Australia-Wide. We are constantly researching and reviewing the market for “property hot spots” and look for areas that have consistently performed well for capital growth and rental return or have significant potential for capital growth due to infrastructure and population drivers. Becoming a client of propertybuyer means you can tap into our knowledge bank of current information and gain access to the best investment opportunities as they arise.
For home buyers, prestige buyers and first home buyers, in Sydney, we specialise in the following areas:
(our Buyers Agents are all long-term residents of Sydney, so we know this city very well:)
Eastern Suburbs & CBD
North Shore (upper and lower)
(We also cover other areas on request or we can refer you to our network of trusted buyers agents outside Sydney or in other States)
If I engage the services of propertybuyer, will you guarantee to find me a property?
Yes – as long as your buyers brief is realistic. We guarantee to give you personal and professional service and a detailed analysis on each property we evaluate, based on your specific criteria. At our initial meeting, we will listen carefully to find out your exact requirements. We will advise you before you engage us if your property brief is unrealistic. You will also need to have your finances ready or be pre-approved for a loan before the search can begin. Once these have been established, the search can take as little as a week (up to an average of about 4-6 weeks) depending on your wishlist and the market conditions.
We work with you in partnership to help you achive your goals quickly and efficiently. You may cancel the agreement with notice in writing.
Am I getting value for money when I engage your services?
Yes! We regularly save clients far more than the fee we charge, through our understanding of the property market and our skilled negotiation techniques. We offer a fixed fee service. The advantage of the fixed fee structure is that you only pay the same fee regardless of the price of the property. There are three key areas you will get great value for money by engagingpropertybuyer:
1. Saving Time:
Reduce the time spent searching – You will need to look at between 50 to 100 properties to get a true understanding of the market.
Most buyers take between 6 to 12 months (or more) to buy – we can cut down the process to under 60 days
Lost leisure and family time due to searching and attending inspections on weekends
Time wasted at work calling real estate agents
The time it takes you to get full market knowledge
2. Saving Money
Don’t risk making an emotional decision and pay too much
Negotiating is an art – we know the tricks of the trade to secure a property at the lowest possible price
Leverage your knowledge by tapping into ours
Get a professional evaluation done so you have confidence to pay the right price
3. Saving Stress:
Remove the stress and pressure of dealing with real estate agents in your search
Get the upper hand with a buyers agent by your side
Buy with confidence knowing you are getting totally indepdent advice
Remove the frustration of being constantly outbid at auction
Are buyers’ agents fees tax deductible?
If you are purchasing a property for investment purposes, the cost of using a buyers’ agent is generally tax deductible (forms part of the acquisition or “cost base”). Check with your accountant to see if the fee would be tax deductible in your case. Unfortunately you cannot claim the fee as a tax deduction if the property is purchased to live in.
What is the process and how long will it take?
Our average turnaround time for investors is around 30 days and for home buyers between 40 to 65 days. After the initial meeting, where our services are further explained, questions are answered and your “buyers brief” is established, an engagement fee is paid (this amount varies according to the service you choose). Once your finance is pre-approved, the engagement fee is paid, and you are ready to buy, the search begins. We conduct thorough research and then present you with a shortlist of properties. The decision to buy is then yours.
Is there any limit to the number of properties you will present to me before I make a purchasing decision?
No, however we will qualify every property against your criteria before we present the property to you – this way, we save you valuable time in the property search. Our buyers agency agreement has an initial period of 3 months (with an automatic 3 month extension) – so we fully expect to deliver a great result for you well within this time frame.
How will you contact me when you have found a suitable property? How soon do I need to make up my mind on whether to buy?
We will contact you via email and phone about suitable properties as soon as they are found and the criteria are matched. We will physically inspect the property before it is presented to you, so that we are sure that the property is suitable. You can take as long as you like to decide on a property, but often, if you are clear on what you want, the decision will be straightforward. Sometimes decisions need to be made quickly to secure lower prices and favourable contract conditions, but you will never be pressured into buying something you do not want or do not feel comfortable about.
Do you ever represent the vendor in selling a property?
We never sell property or accept sales commission from vendors, developers or their agents. This is what sets propertybuyer apart. We work exclusively in our clients’ best interest to find a property that meets their needs. We have no vested interest to sell property. In sourcing brand new properties for clients, propertybuyer is often able to reduce the purchase price by the standard sales commission and then negotiate even further discounts for our buyers.
Where a client is planning to sell their home we can provide assistance with selecting the best local agent and negotiating the best terms for the marketing strategy (this service is called “Vendor Advocacy”).
Do you offer any guarantees with your service?
Propertybuyer is currently the most awarded Buyers Agency in Australia, and this public scrutiny is an unbiased testament to our integrity, value and quality of service.
We guarantee not to waste your valuable time sourcing inappropriate properties. We will deflect all the stress and detail and save you months of endless searching. We will spend time with you up front so that we clearly understand your needs and will target the search based on agreed preferences. With our help, you will save time, money and stress on your next property purchase.
You will gain access to more properties, be better informed about comparable sales, the true value of a property and capital growth projections for the area, and you will make a more informed decision. When you decide on the right property, we will negotiate for you so you will be able to make a rational decision about price without the stress and pressure of dealing with real estate agents or having to negotiate.
How can I know I am not paying too much for a property?
We conduct extensive due diligence for our clients on recent sales and have access to a comprehensive database of past sales. We inspect each property and discuss the positives and negatives of each shortlisted property. Using this information, together with our own expert opinion on the state of the market provides our clients with the assurance they are not overpaying. In fact, our clients usually find they are buying at a price significantly below market and comparable values.
What happens if I change my mind on an area or a type of property once I engage you? Do I have to pay another engagement fee?
We will always be working in your best interests and realise that your ideas about the type of property you want may change. When we meet initially to discuss your “buyers brief”, we will work hard to ensure that your wishlist is achievable and also realistic, so the likelihood of changing your mind is reduced. However, if you change the initial brief significantly, there may be a review of the fee, and an additional fee would be charged to cover the time already spent searching. We will work with you to make sure you are completely happy with your next property purchase, even if you change your mind.
What if I find (or buy) a property myself after I have engaged your services for the full search?
We work in partnership with our clients. It is only natural for many people to still keep an eye on the property market, even while we are looking for you. If you do happen to identify a property that we haven’t seen, then just let us know and we can provide a full appraisal. Once propertybuyer is engaged to find (or negotiate) a property, full fees are payable, even if you find a property (or negotiate) on your own.
With our help, you will make a more informed choice and won’t be swayed by emotional marketing – so you will save yourself money anyway.
One of the requirements of working with us is that you communicate openly and honestly with us at all times.
Does a buyers’ agent need to have a real estate background?
Yes. Rich Harvey, Director of propertybuyer and his team have the expertise, knowledge and real estate background to deliver what they promise – many of the team are ex-real estate agents that have switched sides. Rich is a property investor himself, with a Masters in Economics, a Diploma of Property and is a Licensed Real Estate Buyers’ Agent. He is also a Member of the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales. If you are looking for a buyers’ agent team with exceptional qualifications and over 60 years combined experience, that understands property investment analysis, market trends, and can think creatively and intuitively, then the propertybuyer team is your smart choice. Read our testimonials and you will be impressed by the results – not only with investors, but also home buyers and corporate clients.
I live and work overseas – how can you service my needs from this distance?
We regularly assist overseas buyers and expats. We communicate via phone, email or skype regularly. We are aware of the time differences and will often call an overseas client very late at night or early morning. Once the “buyers brief” is established and you have provided evidence of finance approval, the search begins, as with all of our Australian clients. The only difference is that you may not get the chance to physically inspect the property, although this is encouraged. We can provide you with extensive market analysis as well as digital photo and virtual tours of the property and its location. All features of the property, both good and bad, will be communicated so you can make a fully informed decision. We regularly purchase properties for overseas clients that do not inspect the property prior to purchase. We take extra care to make sure all inspections are completed thoroughly.
Do you have professional indemnity insurance?
We have professional indemnity insurance to $4 million.
Are you a member of a professional industry association?
Yes – propertybuyer is a proud member of the following organisations:
NSW Real Estate Institute: Rich is the Chairman of the Buyers’ Agents Chapter Committeewhich meets regularly to advise the Institute on a range of policy matters to improve the professional standards within the Buyers Agents industry.
Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA). This association aims to raise the profile of the industry and to establish guidelines for the professional conduct of buyers’ agents. Rich Harvey is the NSW State Representative.
PIPA- Property Investment Professionals of Australia – propertybuyer is a qualified member of PIPA and abides by its strict code of practice in representing investor clients.
How do I get started?
Contact propertybuyer today to get started by email, filling out our Buyers Wishlist, or calling us on +61 2 9975 3311. You can also fax us on +61 2 9975 7944. We look forward to helping you build your property portfolio.