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Hear the latest weekly insights into the property market via podcast by Rich Harvey, CEO and founder of Propertybuyer.

 
Fri 14 Jun '24 with Rich Harvey Tax Effective Property Investment Strategies
 
 
Fri 24 May '24 with Rich Harvey Granny Flats: Boost Your Yields & Faster Mortgage Repayments
 
 
Fri 3 May '24 with Rich Harvey Unpacking the Northern Beaches with Incredible Agents
 
 
Fri 29 Mar '24 with Rich Harvey How to build a $7 Million Property Portfolio from scratch
 
 
Sat 16 Mar '24 with Rich Harvey Why Invest in Melbourne?
 
 
Mon 26 Feb '24 with Rich Harvey Sydney’s Inner West – Hotspots and Outlook for 2024
 

 

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How to choose a buyers’ agent - May 2024

May 20, 2024 / Written by Rich Harvey

 

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

Buyer’s agents are worth their weight in gold, especially in competitive property markets, so naturally demand for their services has risen sharply over the past few years.

That growing demand has resulted in an influx of new players into the space, which is great to see. But it can make selecting the right buyer’s agent a tricky and confusing prospect.

How can you make sure you’re choosing the right professional to work with? What sort of questions do you need to ask before you pick the person who’ll help make your real estate dream come true?

Do they know your patch?

You want a buyers’ agent who knows intimately the area you want to buy in. A buyers’ agent can bring a lot to the table when it comes to understanding the nuances of their service area, down to individual streets. Someone with an intense knowledge about what makes your target zone tick will be able to guide you towards the best opportunities.

A good buyers’ agent will have worn out plenty of shoe leather pounding the pavement. They are aware of the good and not-so-good parts of a suburb. They get to know the local businesses and are abreast of any signs of gentrification or change. They’re cognisant of any infrastructure developments or other shifts that could see somewhere swing upwards in future desirability. 

And over time, they get to know where a neighbourhood is sitting on the property clock, which can help inform their approach to negotiations. Local buyers’ agent knows the demographics of the suburb – who’s moving in and who’s moving out and the reasons why. They have a finger on the pulse know about pockets within the suburb are most desirable and what property features will drive the price higher.

They’ll also have their ear to the ground via their long-established local networks delivering you access to off-market opportunities that only well-connected buyers’ agents can source. 

Who do they know?

The old adage that it’s not what you know, but who you know has some merit in this space. But I prefer a slight tweak – that it’s what you know, as well as who you know.

You want someone who’s knowledgeable about all parts of the transaction, from property market drivers, micro- and macro-economic factors, and even interpersonal psychology. You need a representative who understands intrinsically what makes a piece of real estate a good investment – and what makes something a bad deal.

But you also want someone who’s connected, with a broad network of people within the industry who they can lean on for information, tips about upcoming deals, and off-market opportunities.

You need both, though. Relying on someone who simply knows a lot of people but nothing else means you’re only get half of what you deserve. For example, a “cheap” buyers’ agent might unearth an enticing deal… but will they let you pay too much for it?

A quality Buyers’ agent can also provide you with excellent introductions to finance brokers, pest and building inspectors, solicitors, conveyancers, tax accountants and property managers to help your whole property purchasing process run like clockwork. 

Experience is key

This is a profession where you learn a great deal while on the job. I’m not suggesting those who are new to the industry don’t have lots to offer, but someone who has been around will bring much more to the table.

Find out how long the buyer’s agent you’re considering has been in the game. Months? A couple of years? Several years and longer? Did they jump in suddenly to take advantage of a hot market or is their heart truly in it, no matter the state of the market?

In an industry as competitive and dynamic as real estate, few people pass the test of time. Those who’ve become well established and maintained an impeccable reputation will have proven themselves.

Plus, someone with a decade or more runs on the board will have seen a property cycle or two through from trough to peak. They will have experienced what it’s like to operate within different market environments.

Know thy numbers

A really good buyers’ agent is obsessed with all thing's property. Not only will they have a good handle on local values and rent estimates, but they can understand the signals of when a market is slowing, declining or rising and get you in at the right time. 

They’ll be right at home in the depths of a busy spreadsheet, pouring over data on price movements, listing volumes, buyer demand, rent price movements and yields, and more.

They’ll have their finger firmly on the pulse of markets at all times. Not just where prices are sitting and how much they’ve risen and fallen, but indicators of what’s likely to happen next. They’ll love population data and insights on demographics. 

If something is happening, they’ll know about it in fine detail. 

A good buyers’ agent knows that median prices can be quite misleading – the look deeper at stratified median prices - ie to understand what 3 bed vs 4 bed houses have sold for. They don’t just know where to find data – they know how to interpret it and guide their clients. 

They will also be able to help you create a clear buying strategy – pinpointing the right locations and property types that will suit your budget and overall goals. 
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Ask for references

A good buyer’s agent will have a long list of happy clients they’ve helped to achieve their property goals over the years.

And they’ll be happy to share references with you when you’re assessing their suitability. Hearing about the experiences of others who’ve been in the situation you’re in right now is a great way to get a sense of what working with that particular buyer’s agent will be like.

Ask them about the value proposition. How much time were they saved? How long did it take to find suitable properties that fit their needs and wants? Were there many off-market or early access opportunities? What was their buyers’ agent like in the negotiation process?

It’s worth asking the buyer’s agent about their level of repeat business. How many times have they worked with a client again and again? That’s a good sign of the level of service they offer. If someone’s really happy, they’ll return when the time comes to buy again.

Ensure they’re truly independent

The entire point of a buyers’ agent is that they work for you, the buyer – and that’s how it should always be.

Make sure the one you consider enlisting to represent you doesn’t have any conflict of interest. It’s rare, but some might also be selling property on the side or taking commissions or other incentives from developers or agents.

Also check they’re properly qualified and licenced, as well as a member of the peak industry group the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA) and the Property Investment Professionals Association (PIPA).

Choosing the right buyers’ agent can make a huge difference in terms of price, conditions and your experience as a client. Don’t settle for less than excellence when it comes to real estate acquisition. Buying a home or investment is a major life commitment, so its essential you draw on the expertise of specialists like our team here at Propertybuyer. We have the pedigree, knowledge, experience and connections to ensure you get the right property at the best possible price and with minimum fuss.

 

  To have one of the friendly Propertybuyer Buyers' Agents to contact you:

Send us your property brief   or

call us on 1300 655 615 today.

The Propertybuyer
Podcast

 
Fri 14 Jun '24
with Rich Harvey
Tax Effective Property Investment Strategies
 
 
Fri 24 May '24
with Rich Harvey
Granny Flats: Boost Your Yields & Faster Mortgage Repayments
 
 
Fri 3 May '24
with Rich Harvey
Unpacking the Northern Beaches with Incredible Agents
 
 
Fri 29 Mar '24
with Rich Harvey
How to build a $7 Million Property Portfolio from scratch
 
 
Sat 16 Mar '24
with Rich Harvey
Why Invest in Melbourne?
 
 
Mon 26 Feb '24
with Rich Harvey
Sydney’s Inner West – Hotspots and Outlook for 2024
 

 

Listen to many more
podcasts on our
Podcasts page.