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Choosing the Right Advisors for Your Property Team - May 2022

By Rich Harvey, CEO & Founder, propertybuyer.com.au

 

Going it alone in the world of personal finance and property is both risky and unnecessary.

We live in an age where there are easy-to-contact professionals who are willing and able to assist you across a range of specialities. They will provide guidance and foundational knowledge to help you achieve your goals with minimum risk and maximum outcome.

But here’s the challenge. Like so many things in the world today, there are a lot of distractions and white noise. Our attention gets pulled in multiple direction as everyone clamours for your business.

But financial guidance – particularly in the property space – is bespoke. Your specific needs, wants, resources and tolerances are a huge factor in who should be delivering you assistance. Match with the wrong advisor and you will, at best, find their plans difficult to stick with. At worst, they can leave you a financial wreck.

Here’s what I think it takes to build your ideal team of front-line advisors.

 

Buyers’ agent

It might come as no surprise that I’m advocating for a buyers’ agent as your first call in the property race.

But there’s good reason for this. A buyers’ agent is your point person for all property dealings. We work to understand your aspirations – whether it be to own a home or investment – and find the right property for you. We handle the negotiation and even help manage the process to settlement, co-ordinating your other team members to get the job done. Good BAs also provide ongoing support and advice after sale so you can prepare to make your next move.

The key is selecting a Buyers Agent with experience in your desired location. They need to be well networked and able to unearth property options that others can’t. They will be paid directly by you, not collect a commission off selling agents, so you can be certain they’re always acting in your best interests.

Of course, I think you should contact our office for assistance, but professional bodies such as the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REEBA) are another good source for reputable Buyers Agents.

 

Financial Advisor

A good financial advisor is a big-picture specialist who will look at all your wants, needs and resources, and help map out a plan that can see you achieve the things you wish for.

The financial advisor space is flooded with options, and it can be difficult finding the right advisor for you.

At a minimum, your financial advisor should hold an Australian financial services licence and be on the Financial Advisors register managed by ASIC. Click this link at MoneySmart and you can check on your potential advisor’s qualifications.

Choose your advisor carefully. They should be well versed in the types of assets you wish to invest in. They should also comprehend your tolerance for risk and provide a plan that sets out your path to security.

My tips are never to choose the first advisor you meet – speak to several. Personal endorsements from family and friends can be a start but shouldn’t be the only criteria.

Also, ask how they get paid. It’s not a rude question in this game. Look for those that are fiduciary i.e., ethically bound to act in your interests.

 

Accountant

The account is your go-to advisor for managing all the hard numbers. They’re particularly important when it comes to tax management. They need to be certified and registered with ASIC.

Chartered accountants have an educational background that helps them deliver highly specialised advice, so they’re good to have on board.

Accounting fees for white collar CBD firms can be high, so make sure you choose an accountant that fits your budget and understand what fees and charges you’ll be up for.

Also, make sure your accounting firm has specialists in the field of property investment and ownership. Legislation changes regularly and they must remain up to date.

 

Mortgage broker

Successfully buying and selling property is hinged on finance arrangements, so a good mortgage broker is worth every penny.

They can help you find the best possible loan for your circumstances. For example, it’s not just about low interest rates. Mortgage brokers will factor in other elements such as fees and charges, loan-to-value ratios, the effect of cross collateralisation… there’s a long list of considerations when taking out a loan.

Make sure your mortgage broker is well versed in your type of property dealings. If, for example, you own multiple properties across trusts or company entities with complex loan arrangements in place, your local shopfront broker mightn’t suit. Ask among associates, including your other advisors, to find the best broker for you.

Mortgage brokers need to hold, or be representative of, a credit licence.

Also, double check who is responsible for your mortgage broker’s fees and ask them to set our which lenders they mostly work with.

 

Legal and conveyancing

Having legal on your speed dial means you can get contracts and proceeding underway quickly when opportunities arise. Your legal advisor can ensure the terms and conditions of sale will meet your needs. They will also do necessary searches on the property and advise what to do if things aren’t going to plan.

Find a legal advisor that has speciality in property law in the jurisdiction where you are buying or selling. It’s no good calling on your Brisbane legal advisor to take care of some NSW matter. While they might be capable, they won’t be as expert as a local professional who’s across all the legislation.

 

There are others you will come to rely on in your property journey as well such as building and pest inspectors, surveyors and town planner. That’s said, the five main professionals above are the ones you need to ensure you’re achieving all you wish from your property deals.

 

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