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The homebuyers’ secret weapon – Having a buyer’s agent on your side

Normally buying a home is a major experience, filled with excitement, pleasure and pride.

But in many instances and without professional guidance, stress and fear can consume much of your precious time, money and energy.

Choosing the right property for your family comes down to knowing what you need, knowing what you can afford and knowing exactly what's available at the time you are ready to buy.

Many home purchasers feel the landscape is stacked in favour of the sellers because that’s who the agents work for, which is why more and more homebuyers are turning to buyer's agents for help.

Choosing a good buyer's agent helps level the playing field, and at Metropole Property Strategists, we’ve been awarded multiple awards as leading Buyers’ Agents and property strategists.

It's a great feeling having an experienced agent on your side levelling the playing field, rather than working for the seller.

So let’s find out a bit more about this curious breed we call buyer's agents...

What is a buyer's agent?

A buyer's agent or buyer's advocate is the opposite of a selling agent because they work for and are paid by the purchaser.

They are licensed real estate agents and their job is to work for you and protect your interests.

They help you buy the right property for your needs, at the right price, on the right terms and with unbiased advice.

Why pay money for something you can do yourself?

Good question... I'll give you 8 reasons a good buyer's agent will help you;

1. Buyer's agents are experienced, property buyers

They are seasoned professionals in the business of buying properties.

They can help you through the buying process from start to finish rather than getting caught in the traps that many inexperienced buyers fall into.

That's because they know what to look for and what to ask – have seen it all before.

2. Buyer's Agents are expert negotiators

Obviously negotiating is a big part of the buying process and to be successful you need experience.

A professional buyers agent knows how to handle every aspect of the negotiation from communicating with the selling agent and the vendors to knowing when to push forward and went to pull back.

It's important to have a buyer's agent on your side representing you because the seller has a professional negotiator on their side representing them.

3. Buyer's Agents don't get emotional

Whether you're buying a home or investment property you're only human, so it's normal to become emotionally attached to the property.

Your buyer's agent will be able to take a step back and look at the property rationally and assess whether it's the right property for your needs.

They will help you keep things in perspective by adding a constructive, dispassionate layer to the buying process.

They will see your blind spots and help keep out the emotions and tell you if it's the right property to buy, whether it's your forever home or investment property.

4. Your Buyer's Agent's research saves you money

They know what’s really going on in the property market – after all, they’re in it all day.

This is particularly important in the current changing property climate.

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Note: You shouldn't pay more than what a property is worth, that's why it's important to choose a buyer's agent who works "on the ground" in the patch that you're looking at - not one that comes from a different location and definitely not one who flys in from a different state.

Just like a good selling agent should help you sell your property for top dollar because they know the local market ins and outs, a buyers agent who also knows the area well will advise you accurately – they will tell you when it's too good to be true, when to hold and when to fold.

5. Your Buyer's Agent's skills will reduce your stress

Buying a home or investment property can be about as nerve-racking as it gets.

It's emotional, exhausting and sometimes terribly discouraging.

A buyers’ agent’s job is to make the process as hassle-free as possible for you.

They do this by understanding the process and speaking the language of other estate agents.

They also buffer you from the white noise of the property market and help you focus on what you really need to know.

6. Your Buyer's Agent's experience saves you time

And this is one of your most precious assets.

Using a buyer's agent will give you back your weekends because they will do all the preliminary legwork for you, excluding properties that are not right for you and only bring to your attention those to do fit your strategic brief.

7. Your Buyer's Agent's industry knowledge levels the playing field

Selling agents are not your friend, they represent their clients - the seller.

You need someone on your side to give you an unfair advantage.

8. Your Buyer's Agents industry contacts widen your options

They have access to every property for sale and a good buyers’ agent even has access to silent - "off-market sales” that you may never find out about.

And when you use Metropole as your buyer's agent you also have access to our wide range of relationships with local agents, solicitors, finance strategists, building inspectors and our in-house team of property managers, property strategists as well as wealth advisory, renovations and development division.

Why doesn't everybody use a buyer's agent?

Actually, many people do, especially overseas.

In Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane the numbers are growing and we have seen estimates that up to 1 in 5 buyers now use an advocate or seek independent professional advice.

Why can't a selling agent help me?

A selling agent must act in the best interests of their client - the seller.

They do not, and should not, work for you - the buyer.

We know some agents would like to work for both sides and have it both ways, but when you think about it, they cannot possibly do both effectively as this would create a clear conflict of interest.

How do I find a good buyer's agent

Buyers Agent

Not all buyers’ agents are the same.

Here are some questions you could ask your buyers’ agent before engaging them:

1. Are you a fully licensed real estate agent?

Be wary of hiring someone who doesn’t hold a real estate licence and hasn’t had extensive experience in the property industry.

There are many people out there calling themselves buyers’ agents or buyers’ advocates who are not licensed, estate agents.

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Tips: Don’t risk putting what could be one of the largest purchases in your life in the hands of somebody who hasn’t had the years of experience necessary to negotiate on your behalf.

Don’t be tempted to engage somebody just because they offer lower fees.

If they can provide great service and add real value for their clients, they wouldn’t have to win new business by offering low fees.

2. Are you a member of the State Real Estate Institute?

This should give you the reassurance that they are operating to professional industry standards.

3. Do you have current professional indemnity insurance? 

If something goes wrong with your property purchase you will have absolutely no recourse if this is not the case.

4. Are you a dedicated buyer's agent?

Or are they just a division of a real estate agency or a one-man-band working from home or out of a post office box?

They can’t offer a high standard of service when searching and negotiating for properties for their clients unless they are dedicated professionals focused on this process.

5. Do you specialise in the geographic location and the price range I am looking at?

If the buyers’ agent doesn’t have a strong recent track record of buying in the area you are looking at purchasing in, we suggest you don’t engage their services.

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Tips: Don’t be shy to ask them for the results of at least four recent purchases in the area you are looking at buying in.

6. Do you have access to “silent sales?”

Many properties that are sold never hit the public market.

It is imperative that your buyers’ agent has years of personal relationships with all of the real estate agents in the area you are looking at purchasing in, so as soon as properties come up for sale you have access to these before they go to the general public.

What do I pay a buyer's agent?

Generally, they charge a registration fee between $1,000 and $2,000 and will then charge a success fee when they find the right property for you and successfully negotiate its purchase on your behalf.

This can be a fixed fee, but it is usually a percentage of the final property purchase price.

Their fees should cover: 

  • All communications and meetings with you.
  • Referrals to appropriate consultants such as finance, accounting and legal professionals if necessary.
  • Property searching for a suitable property including communications and meetings with agents.
  • Use of all their research databases.
  • Evaluate properties to ensure they suit your criteria.
  • Preparation of property reports to help you evaluate the properties they recommend to you.
  • Communications with your finance broker, solicitor and accountant.
  • Arranging further due diligence checks - including strata, building and pest inspections as required (you will be required to pay for these separately).
  • Execution of strategies to purchase the property for you at the best price and then negotiate your property purchase.
  • Checking final contracts.
  • Pre-settlement inspections.
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Tips: If you are considering buying a home in the near future, why not employ this secret weapon and get Australia's premier property buyer's agents on your side, working for you and not the seller?

About Brett Warren is Director of Metropole Properties Brisbane and uses his two decades of property investment experience to advise clients how to grow, protect and pass on their build their wealth through property. Visit: Metropole Brisbane

Lesley Different companies have different fee structures. At Metropole we have a much lower if you come to us with a particular property in mind. And as we have our own teams on the ground in 3 states we can help find a property for you interstate

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I enjoyed the article on Buyer’s Agent. I do have a question, what if I have a property or properties in mind and I would like B’s A to negotiate the purchase for me, would I still be charged the same percentage of sale? Also, could I hire a B’s A ...Read full version

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