A guide to using a buyer’s agent

8 minute read. 

Buying property can be a confusing and scary process. There are many tips and resources out there to follow. But it’s hard to know if you have enough information to make an informed decision. Should you decide with your heart or your bank account? Depending on who you ask, the answer can be different. 

What many people don’t realise is that there is a certain type of real estate professional you can rely on for help with the buying process. Just like the way a real estate agent can help you sell a property, it’s the job of a buyers agent to help you purchase property. In many ways, using a buyer’s agent in Melbourne can help you eliminate a lot of the stress involved in buying a house. 

Using a buyers agent

Another advantage is a buyers agent can help speed up the process of finding and buying a house. That’s because they’re willing to go out and inspect properties for you. Spend one weekend looking at properties yourself and you’ll soon realise just how time-consuming the whole process can be. 

Having a professional on your side can also give you quite the competitive edge over other property buyers. A buyer’s agent can often predict the right time to put in a bid or when it’s time to pull out of an auction. If all this information already has you curious about using a buyer’s agent, then let’s dive deeper into the benefits of using one. 

Understanding your goals

When you first meet with a buyer’s agent it’s their goal to understand exactly what you’re looking to buy. You probably already have a clear idea in your head of what you want. But at the end of the day, your buyer’s agent needs to know all the intricate details. Otherwise, how else is a buyer’s agent going to find the perfect property for you? 

The finer details you’ll need to share with a buyers agent will include how much you’re willing to spend, the type of location you’re after, and the features of the house. It’s ideal if you already have a clear plan of what you want. If not, that’s not an issue. Talk it over with your buyer’s agent who can at least narrow down a few options for you.

When your buyer’s agent has a clearer idea of what you’re after they can start creating shortlists for you. At this point, you can start adjusting your expectations. You may find there simply aren’t enough options in the price range you’re after. Or maybe you’ve just changed your mind and decided that certain suburbs don’t have enough options for you. 

What are the main benefits of choosing a buyer’s agent?

Still not sure about using a buyer’s agent? Here are just some of the main benefits that property buyers around Australia enjoy when they choose to hire one. 

Speeding up the entire process

As any first home buyer can reveal, the process of buying a property can be very confusing and time-consuming. A buyer’s agent is able to help you out by answering any tough questions. With more information and less doubt, you can be more confident in the decisions you make. 

A buyer’s agent will also be able to provide shortlists and assist with inspections which help narrow down the search for properties that perfectly match your criteria. In some cases, a first home buyer can spend over a year searching and buying their first property. Using a buyer’s agent can narrow this process down to a few months if the property market conditions are favourable.

Access to hidden properties

With access to more listings, you can definitely increase your chances of buying a property. You’ll have more options to choose from thanks to a buyer’s agent who is able to access private property listings or off market listings. These private listings don’t usually show up on regular platforms like a real estate website. Private listings are generally only handled by real estate agencies. So it’s only the customers of real estate agents that usually get access to these properties. 

However, a good buyer’s agent usually fosters working relationships with these real estate agencies. That’s how they are able to access these private house listings and share them with you. Another method of finding private properties is being subscribed to private listing databases. You’ll find many buyer’s agents have subscriptions to these databases for your benefit. 

Gaining that competitive edge

Have you already spent months bidding for houses at auction? There’s a good chance you wish there was a way to gain a competitive edge. Buyer’s agents can do this for you. First off, a buyer’s agent can attend and bid at auctions on your behalf. Their years of experience come in handy here. They come equipped with tactics and knowledge of how to navigate an auction. They know when the right time is to pull out of an auction or stay the course in order to outbid the competition. 

Another advantage is that using a buyer’s agent can help represent you during a private property purchase. They may even be able to make a deal with the property seller before the house goes up for auction. With a buyer’s agent on your side, you have a real estate professional who knows how to negotiate with a real estate agent and beat off the competition before they have a chance to outbid you. One final advantage is that a buyer’s agent isn’t emotionally attached to your property purchase. They won’t let emotions get in the way of making a life-changing decision like buying your first house. 

Searching & Inspection process.

Searching for your property is one of the most time-consuming aspects of a property purchase. You can spend endless hours scrolling on real estate listing websites or asking real estate agents about new private listings. Your buyer’s agent is essentially here to help you save a lot of time and effort. By simply providing you a shortlist they’ve already saved you countless hours. It’s also likely that you won’t be wasting your time when you go to inspect these shortlisted properties because they will already match your expectations. 

During the property search phase, you are more than welcome to inspect properties with your buyer’s agent. Going to a few open for inspections is actually a great opportunity to see how they assess a property and provide feedback. It can be a true masterclass watching a buyer’s agent walk around and ask the right questions to a real estate agent. 

Another advantage of using a buyer’s agent is how well they can predict the market value of a property. They’re likely to be a local area specialist so they should be able to give you an accurate guess as to what the sale price is likely to be. A buyer’s agent can also tell you if the vendor is asking way too much for a property. This can be beneficial to know. At the end of the day, you don’t want to start getting emotionally attached to properties that will end up being way out of your purchasing comfort zone. 

When inspecting property, an experienced advocate can really shine by reducing your exposure to buying property that requires a lot of potenital maintenance.

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How to choose your buyer’s agent

If you’re already sold on the idea of using a buyer’s agent there should be one big question on your mind—which buyer’s agent will you go with? Sometimes finding the right buyer’s agent can be just as hard as finding the right house. You may find many qualified and experienced buyer’s agents out there. So how do you choose the one that’s right for you? To help you make this decision we are sharing with you some of the most important questions to help narrow down your search.

Do you specialise in a certain area?

You’ll find many buyer’s agents have experience and expertise working in certain areas. There may be three to four suburbs they have been operating in for years. The more specialised a buyer’s agent experience is, the more likely they are to be useful for the services you require. So what if a buyer’s agent admits that he offers his services to a wide range of suburbs spread throughout the state? If that’s the case, then there’s a good chance he can’t offer you the same competitive advantage that other buyer’s agents do when they operate in smaller service areas. 

Are you exclusively a buyer’s agent?

In some cases, a buyer’s agent may also work as a real estate agent. This can be a potential red flag and a very obvious conflict of interest. It can be a sign that they don’t have your best interests in mind. They could be working closely with a real estate agent to help them sell properties. With your best interests taken out of the equation, you could end up paying far too much for a property that’s been rigged to help the buyer’s agent get a higher commission out of the purchase. 

How do I pay for your services?

Most buyer’s agents charge a flat rate when it comes to the purchase of a standard owner-occupied or investment property. The industry standard today sits around 1.5-3 per cent of the property’s purchase price. So for a property worth $700,000, you could be paying a fee of around $21,000. While it may seem like a lot up front, consider that using a buyer’s agent could help you save at least $100,000 on the purchase price by simply finding you the best property that matches your needs. Too often than not, a buyer can be blissfully unaware of how much money they can save when they spend a little more time looking at all available properties in an area. 

Are your fees tax deductible?

In some cases, it may be possible to claim buyer’s agent fees as a tax deduction. A common property type that allows you to do this is an investment property. If a tax deduction is the only thing making it possible for you to afford using a buyer’s agent then it’s essential you confirm your eligibility to do so. 

Can I pay your fees later?

Buyer’s agents today will recognise that their fees are challenging to afford for the average property buyer. But many of them now offer flexible finance options. One solution that many buyer’s agents suggest is offering a 12-month payment plan for their fees. This results in the customer only having to pay for an initial sign-on fee of around $1,500. This initial sign-on fee can include the cost of services such as contract reviews, building reports, and general time and expertise required for their duties. 

Get help from wise real estate advice today

If you’re ready to start using a buyer’s agent then get in touch with Wise Real Estate Advice today. Our team of buyer’s agents are passionate and committed to finding the perfect property for your needs. Whether you’re a first home buyer or property investor, our team of experienced and professional buyer’s agents are ready to assist you. Contact us today to start getting wise and helpful advice on buying property in Melbourne.

Is a buyer’s agent right for me?

There are many types of buyers that can benefit from using a buyer’s agent. In some cases, you may not need to. It all comes down to your expectations, the type of property you’re after, and how the local property market is performing. Personal experience also affects your need for a buyer’s agent. If you’ve bought multiple properties in the last decade then chances are you understand what to look out for. 

The location also has a big role to play in purchasing a property. You’ll find some suburbs are not as competitive as others. By now you’re probably wondering if you really need a buyer’s agent. To help you make the right decision, here’s a list of property buyer types that can benefit from having a buyer’s agent on their side. 

High-end property investors

If you’re someone who is ready to expand on their property portfolio there are many challenges that come with buying multiple properties. High-end investors often don’t have the time or capacity to inspect and look at multiple properties. Especially when these properties are located in different states. Having a buyer’s agent can make the entire search and purchase process much simpler. 

Luxury and high-end property buyers

This category of property buyers tends to include those who are high-income earners and very wealthy. They are usually looking to buy a property for themselves or their family. With their large salaries come unusual and unpredictable work hours that usually prevents them from attending house inspections and sifting through various property listings. These property buyers tend to favour using a buyer’s agent due to the access they have to privately listed properties that the general public doesn’t know about.

Buyers from interstate and overseas

It’s not unusual for property buyers to try purchasing property from interstate or overseas. Reasons can range from their decision to move or invest in property that’s interstate or overseas. Without the ability to travel across states or countries, they rely on a buyer’s advocate to do all the heavy lifting for them. This includes searching for and inspecting properties.

Commercial property investors

If you’re a busy business owner then chances are you already have your hands full. It can be very challenging to find the extra time to research and inspect residential properties that are up for sale. Commercial properties have to tick a lot of boxes from easy access to foot traffic to having the right fixtures and permissions from the council like a liquor licence. A buyer’s agent can make sure all of your unique credentials are met before they start recommending property options to you.

Speak to a buyers agent today. 

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