Table of contents
 - featured image
By Leanne Spring

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

Buying a home is a major life experience, filled with excitement, happiness, and pride.

But sometimes it can also be fraught with stress and fear, consuming too much of your precious time, money, and energy, particularly without the right professional guidance.

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.

property buyers agent

Many home buyers feel like the property buying process is stacked in favour of the sellers because that’s who the agents work for.

And that’s why more and more homebuyers are turning to buyer's agents for help.

pencil icon

Note: 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.

Having an experienced buyer’s agent on your side is a game-changer - it helps to level the playing field during your property buying experience and ensure you get the best outcome for you.

Here is everything you need to know about buyer’s agents, what they do, how they work, and how they can help you.

What is a buyer's agent in real estate?

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

They are licensed real estate agents whose sole job is to work for you (the buyer) and protect your interests.

A buyer’s agent can help you buy the right property for your needs, at the right price, on the right terms, and with unbiased advice.

Sounds good right?

Without one, property investors leave themselves open to making one of the five most common property investing mistakes - emotional decisions, lack of confidence, time-wasting, lack of understanding, and lack of foresight.

What does a buyer's advocate do?

A buyer’s agent is often known as a buyer’s advocate, given this is someone who works on your behalf, and can be responsible for as much or as little as you would like - but generally, there are four key areas which they cover.

1. They identify your needs

As with any home buying experience, whether with a buyer’s agent or not, the first step is to identify what you actually need in a property.

A buyer’s agent can help you with this.

2. They do the research and due diligence

Buyer’s agents will thoroughly research the area and property type you’re looking to buy and present you with the data.

3. They search for your next property

With the information of what you need from property under their belt, the next step of a buyer’s agent is to go and search for a property which suits your needs and meets your criteria.

Depending on your needs this could be just one property or even a whole portfolio.

The search can also include organising pest inspections, strata reports and even liaising with lawyers.

4. They negotiate on price

A buyer’s agent works for you and your best interest, and that includes everything down to the price.

Whether by auction or private treaty, a buyer’s agent can bid or negotiate on your behalf for your chosen property to help get you the best possible price.


Are buyer's agents worth it?

Why pay money for something you can do yourself?

That’s a good question... but I can list eight reasons a good buyer's agent is a worthwhile investment.

1. Extensive experience in property buying

They are seasoned professionals in the business of buying properties.

Buyer's agents 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. Professional 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 when 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. Keeping emotions in check

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. Research that 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.

pencil icon

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. Skills that 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 buyer’s 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. Time-saving

Time 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. 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. 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 can't a selling agent help me?

Another good question… but let's remember that a selling agent has been employed by the seller to act in their best interest and on their behalf.

So 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.

pencil icon

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

How do buyer’s agents get paid?

Generally, they charge a registration fee of around $2,000 - $3,000 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

Are buyer’s agent fees tax deductible?

In short, no.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO’s) most recent advice clearly states that while a property investor can claim the cost of fees such as regular management fees or commissions paid to a property agent or real estate agent to manage or inspect the property or collect rent on your behalf.

But you are unable to claim the cost of:

  • Commissions or other costs paid to a real estate agent or another person for the sale or disposal of a rental property
  • Buyer's agent fees are paid to any entity or person you engage to find you a suitable rental property to purchase.

So this means that the cost of your buyer’s agent cannot be claimed in order to reduce your tax for the corresponding financial year.


As the ATO says,

“These costs may form part of the cost base of your property for capital gains purposes.”

That means that the buyer’s agent cost of buying your investment property (this is not applicable if you use a buyer’s agent to buy a home you live in) can be included in the calculation of your investment property’s cost base (how much it costs you to purchase, maintain and hold the property).

This means that your buyer's agent’s fees will be included in tax calculations when you sell the property.


How to choose a good buyer's agent

Not all buyers’ agents are the same.

Choosing the wrong buyer’s agent could cost you both time and money… and a lot of it.

What is the real cost of a buyers agent?

Here are six 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.

bulb icon

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.

bulb icon

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.

bulb icon

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?

5 common mistakes investors make without a buyers agent

Now more than ever, investors have access to unprecedented amounts of information to help them make their property-buying decisions.

At the click of a button, you can review real estate sales data, capital growth history and rental statistics.

It makes it easy to justify being a lone ranger in the hunt for your first – or next – investment property.

But, while the information we can access is very beneficial, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are well-placed to make the best investing decisions.

Without a professional and experienced buyer’s agent on your side, you can easily make poor (and sometimes, very costly) decisions that ultimately create stress in your life, rather than marching you toward financial independence.

Here are some of the most common mistakes that investors tend to make:

1. They make emotional decisions

In theory, you know you should be unbiased but when that one property catches your eye and the decision comes down to you alone, it can be hard to stick to your convictions.


A buyer’s agent starts with your goals and long-term plans in mind, and comes up with an unbiased shortlist of properties that fit the bill; they’ll never be swayed by a beautiful kitchen or spacious outdoor area if the property doesn’t fit the bill in other ways.

2. They lack confidence

Amateur investors – and even many experienced ones – often lack confidence when it comes to negotiating terms and prices with real estate agents.

It is the job of the real estate agent to get the maximum price for their client, the seller – not you.

As a result, you could be walked all over, especially if you are buying from out of town and you don’t intimately know the market.

A buyer’s agent is an independent, professional negotiator who knows the local market inside and out and works on your behalf to get the lowest possible price.

They can also coordinate inspections and due diligence and attend the closing to ensure all of your wishes and best interests are met.

3. They waste time

Property investors who go it alone can waste countless hours researching, browsing, driving and inspecting dozens of properties that are mostly unsuitable.

Investment Time

By working with a buyer’s agent, you are recruiting someone who knows the current market conditions of that local area inside and out, so you don’t have to do all the groundwork in figuring out the best and worst streets, cul-de-sacs and parks.

You may also get access to a wider choice of properties that may not even be on the market yet, thanks to the contacts and networks of your savvy buyer’s agent.

By having someone else do all of the legwork, you can focus on only the most important decisions.

4. They lack knowledge

You may have been to a seminar, read some books and spoken to other investors, but taking that final step to invest in real estate in real life is a completely different story.

The stakes are higher and the decisions are much more confusing and stressful.

A buyer’s agent is often a successful property investor themselves, so you aren’t just paying for a finding service, you are paying for invaluable experience and expertise.

They buy property every day, fully understand current market conditions and can help you come up with an effective purchasing strategy.

They can also help you source the right property in a location with good prospects for capital growth and/or positive cash flow.

5. They have no idea what comes next

You’ve found the property, settled on a price and taken possession of your new investment.

You have the keys in your and – but what’s next?

How do you source a good property manager or find tenants?

Should you renovate or rent it out as it is?

A buyer’s agent can help you work through your options before you start handing over money in monthly mortgage repayments, and they can also suggest reputable partners and contacts in the industry once you’re ready to take your next steps.

About Leanne Spring Leanne is a highly experienced Buyers Agent in the Brisbane Real Estate market. Leanne became a passionate lover of property in 2001. Since then, both professionally and personally, she has been involved in all aspects of property including purchasing, negotiating, renovating, and selling.

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

1 reply


Copyright © 2024 Michael Yardney’s Property Investment Update Important Information
Content Marketing by GridConcepts