What is a Buyer’s Agent?

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The role of a buyer’s agent is to act on behalf of the property buyer in finding, researching, negotiating and securing the right property; they are effectively the reverse of a selling agent who acts for the seller. The services may vary from buyer’s agent to buyer’s agent because the profession is still relatively new and still evolving. As a baseline, here are 7 functions a good buyer’s agent should perform when representing a buyer. A buyer’s agent will:

Represent the needs of the buyer and only the buyer.

If you hear of a ‘buyer’s agent’ that is trying to sell you a pre-selected list of properties without knowing your needs to begin with, they are not buyers’ agents’. These people are property marketers or are selling agents masked as buying agents. As a rule of thumb, ask how the agent is being paid as their obligations will be to represent whoever is paying them.

Determine your brief.

Needs and wants will vary depending on the purpose of the purchase (for example investment vs home to live in) and how long you plan to hold the property. The buyer’s agent will help you translate the must haves, should haves and nice to haves into a targeted property brief that is achievable with the budget you have in mind.

Coordinate your property team.

The purchasing process can be complex and will require various experts to execute each step. Buyers’ agents have a contact list of professionals and can offer recommendations for solicitors/conveyancers, building and pest inspectors, strata inspectors, mortgage brokers and accountants. It is key to have your team ready otherwise you could lose the property to another buyer – or rush and end up buying the wrong property.

Conduct research and property searches on your behalf.

Buyers’ agents have accumulated knowledge of suburbs and streets in their areas of focus and can find the right property faster! Buyers’ agents can identify blue-chip property not only based on the macro-data, but also based on the level of competition, sale price and speed at which certain types of property sells in in a hot vs slow market. Buyers’ agents have a finely tuned research process because they are professional property buyers. By working in their local property market each day, buyers’ agents also develop long-standing relationships with selling agents which allows them to fast-track the search process. As an insight into the buyer’s agent process, here is a 5 step process of finding property.

Inspect property on your behalf.

Have you walked into a property and thought ‘this place is nice’ or ‘this place doesn’t work’ and struggle to articulate why? A buyer’s agent’s role is to objectively assess property against the buyer’s personal or investment criteria. Objectivity is developed over time from inspecting hundreds (if not thousands) of properties with various layouts and levels of renovation. A buyer’s agent will assess the pros and cons of the property and work through a process of elimination, presenting only suitable properties to the buyer. This also extends to presenting properties that the buyer on their own may initially disregard or overlook but suit the buyer’s needs.

Assess and evaluate property.

A buyer’s agent should critically review and evaluate the property you wish to purchase. This involves assessing the price in the context of the current market conditions and providing an explanation of comparable sales (not just an automated report). The buyer’s agent should highlight the pros and the cons of the property including infrastructure and development changes impacting negatively on the property for example.

Negotiate the best price for you.

The buyer will not need to talk to the real estate agent throughout the entire process and this includes the negotiations. A buyer’s agent negotiates on property regularly and interacts with selling agents every day, so they understand the best methods to secure the property at the lowest price. The selling agent acts in the seller’s best interests to achieve the highest price but engaging a buyer’s agent will ensure a level playing field. Buyers’ agents understand that negotiating is also more than just price. It’s also securing the right terms and conditions including the settlement period. Every property and every selling agent are different so it pays to have an experienced professional on your side so you’re not left behind.

If you don’t have the time or experience to find the right property, call Nick Viner on 0405 134 645.

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