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Critical questions to ask a buyers’ agent before you hire them

Critical questions to ask a buyers’ agent before you hire them

By Rich Harvey, CEO and Founder propertybuyer

Your buyers’ agent has many critical roles to play in the property purchase process. Whether you’re an investor or a homebuyer, finding the right buyers’ agent is your key to reduced risk, greater savings, clearer decision making and a much shorter and streamlined searching process.

To help you, we’ve put together a list of non-negotiable questions our own buyers’ agents would ask if they had to hire themselves a buyers’ agent, so you can make the best decision possible when choosing yours.

ask a queston

Key Questions To Ask Your buyers’ Agent:

Are you a member of REBAA?  

The Real Estate buyers’ Agents Association of Australia (REBAA) establishes guidelines for the professional conduct of real estate buyers’ agents in Australia.

This is an important first question, as buyers’ agent not registered with REBAA may not be upholding the correct standards of conduct, but are still allowed to practice.

are you fully licenced?

Are you fully licenced?

Be aware that a ‘Certificate of Registration’ is not a full licence in Australia.

Having a certificate of registration simply means that the agent is registered, but it is the most basic entry-level requirement needed to work in the industry.

Agents with this qualification are still required to be supervised by a fully licensed professional and so are unlikely to be at the level of experience you need.

how is your pricing structured?

How is your pricing structured?

Ask the agent if they charge a fixed fee or if they receive a percentage of the sale price.  

A fixed fee prevents biases and is going to ensure you get the best possible deal. Agents who work on commission may have a conflict of interest when negotiating for a better price, so it’s really not the best option for the buyer.

Are you licensed as an exclusive buyers’ agent, or does your current licence permit property sales as well?

This is not usually an issue, however if the buyers’ agent works in a real estate sales office it can pose a conflict of interest as the full real estate licence means they can also sell property.

If they are currently working in the sales side you should think about whether the agent is going to be 100% focused on serving your needs as a buyer.

This is not usually an issue, however if the buyers’ agent works in a real estate sales office it can pose a conflict of interest as the full real estate licence means they can also sell property.

If they are currently working in the sales side you should think about whether the agent is going to be 100% focused on serving your needs as a buyer.

How many silent listings have you secured in the last 2 years?

How many silent listings have you secured in the last 2 years?

A good buyers’ agent will get you access to properties that are sold off-market or in ‘silent sales’.

If your agent is not privy to these opportunities your choices as a buyer may be limited, especially if you’re looking for prestige property.

How long has the process taken, from initiation to sale, for your last 3 – 5 clients?

This will vary greatly from client to client, but asking for the most recent clients will give you a better idea of what you might be in for, rather than getting an average.

Critical questions to ask a buyers’ agent before you hire them

Finding an agent that’s trustworthy and is going to go the extra mile for you is extremely important. Sadly, we often hear from buyers’ who have had bad experiences with underqualified agents in the past, so it remains important to be stringent and uncompromising when selecting the right agency and agent for your purchase process.

 

If you have any questions or concerns about choosing an agent, please feel free to get in touch.

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