The world of Real Estate can be a bewildering place for the uninitiated- are you wondering what a buyer’s agent and other terminology is before you even start the process of actually selling your house? Or are you simply despairing at the thought of handling complex negotiations yourself. Don’t despair just yet, as we’ve got some help for you below.
So, a buyer’s agent is like a normal agent, right?
Wrong. The key difference between a buyer’s agent [sometimes called a buyer’s advocate] and a traditional real estate agent lies in who they work for. The buyer’s agent works for you, the seller, and no one else. They are not in the business of selling real estate. If you’re wondering, this is actually mandated by law in Australia- they cannot accept work for or earn commission from parties on two sides of a transaction. All the same, it is always worth asking this question when engaging your agent of choice, to be extra certain that the individual you choose is acting ethically with you.
So, why would I need one?
A buyer’s advocate can come in considerable use to you, especially if you’re, say buying investment property in Brisbane when you live in Sydney, or even if you’re purchasing from outside of the country. A buyer’s agent puts you in a position of power, as you have access to their considerable knowledge of real estate in their area, of the auction and bidding process [if you’re taking that route], and simply decades of experience with properties and stripping away the ‘hype’ sellers use to drive the sale of their property to the truth of its worth.
It’s easy to dismiss the idea as ‘too expensive’ or ‘not worthwhile’ but it’s worth giving the matter a little more consideration. Firstly, it’s likely that the agent will actually save you money in the long run- perhaps tens of thousands off of the property price! Secondly, particularly if you’re interested in purchasing at auction, you should never underestimate the value of having an uninvested, unemotional party to help steer the course in your best interests. There are a couple of other areas where agents come in handy, too:
- Agents occasionally have access to more properties- including otherwise unlisted ones- then you would be able to discover yourself.
- If your time is scarce, someone else is handling the preliminary legwork and research for you.
- An independent agent is on your side. You’ll also be bypassing time wasted by real estate agents more interested in the seller’s needs then your own.
- If you’re buying for investment, a knowledgeable professional in the area will be an invaluable asset to growing your portfolio and offer property investment advice.
- A professional negotiator is always likely to obtain better results than an inexperienced one.
I’m not sure a buyer’s agent is for me quite yet:
If you’re worried, you should remember that the agent’s fees will be tax-deductible; and you will find both agents who charge a flat fee and agents who will base their commission on a percentage of the purchase price- so there’s bound to be one out there to suit your needs and budget. Typically, buyer’s agents offer two types of service
- Full Search: The agent will actively search the market and negotiate for you, preparing a shortlist of properties.
- Auction Bidding only, or Negotiation services: Whilst you will be responsible for the property search, the agent will handle negotiations for you, whether at auction or between private parties.
In the end, choosing a licensed and professional buyer’s advocate to protect and facilitate your interests in a property transaction can go a long way to saving you time and money, offering you sound property investment advice and making sure the property you purchase is perfect for you.