Why Use A Buyer’s Agent?
Using a buyer’s agent can be an effective way to get ahead in a rising market such as this one.
They may also be able to add more value than you realise, both for buyers and sellers.
In recent years buyer’s agents have become a fixture in Sydney’s real estate market and there are very good reasons for their rising popularity.
Benefits for vendors as well as buyers
Buyer’s agents may not work for the vendor but they certainly help us do our job as selling agents. In fact, by educating buyers and advocating on their behalf they can provide us with a valuable service.
Even though they’re working for the buyer and we’re working for the vendor, negotiating with a buyer’s agent can actually help bring a deal together in a really productive way, as we both speak the same language and have a real knowledge of the market and value, and have a strong desire to connect buyers with sellers.
We also see buyers who use a buyer’s agent as being in a strong position to purchase. They’re “prequalified” if you like, educated about the local market, and genuinely interested in finding the right property.
They have access to off-market sales
Around half of the properties we sell are never publicly advertised. We promote them to our database, and they sell off-market. And one of the first groups we will call when we have an off-market sale are buyer’s agents.
That’s because we can call one buyer’s agent who has access to multiple serious buyers, who are typically ready to act fast to secure the right property.
A good buyer’s agent has access to off-market sales from many real estate agents, and can really give buyers the edge when it comes to finding out about off market or premarket sales.
A great sounding board
Often, a buyer will have missed out on many properties before engaging a buyer’s agent. One reason for this can be that their expectations don’t match up with the realities of the current market. Buyer’s agents can often provide a valuable reality check for buyers on current pricing and their search criteria.
Knowing how much a property is actually likely to sell for helps buyers rule out areas or property types that are beyond their reach. And a good buyer’s agent can often suggest different strategies or new areas that may not be on the initial suburb shortlist.
Engaging a buyer’s agents absolutely saves time in the property search. They shortlist properties that meet the buyer’s criteria, and ask the right questions to narrow the search down. You don’t spend your weekend inspecting dozens of properties – someone else has done all that legwork for you and you just see the best properties that fit your particular requirements. They may inspect 10 properties so you only have to see one or two.
Buyer’s agents are useful in all markets
It’s clear that a buyer’s agent can help buyers get a foot on the property ladder or make a good property move in a rising market such as the one we’re currently in. After all, competition is high, and supply is low.
But a buyer’s agent can help in any market.
For example, in a cooling market, they can help you secure a property without overpaying. They’ll conduct their own independent research into property values, have access to comparable sales and a depth of experience negotiating in all market conditions.
Like real estate agents, one of the vital roles a buyer’s agent plays is that of negotiator. Let’s face it – most buyers don’t negotiate for a living. Employing a buyer’s agent to do it for you (or to bid for you at auction) can save you time and money as well as the heartache of missing out or paying over.
A good buyer’s agent will know how to negotiate, they’ll also know the market value and when to walk away.
The opportunity cost
Like any service, there is a cost involved in using a buyer’s agent. But this cost buys you their expertise, knowledge and skill, and typically outweighs the opportunity cost of missing out on a property or paying too much for it.
How to choose a buyer’s agent
Finding a buyer’s agent is not a one size fits all situation. Different buyer’s agents will specialise in different locations, property types or types of clients. The number of buyer’s agents offering their services has grown in the past few years. When choosing who to use, consider:
- Their knowledge, qualifications and experience in the real estate industry.
- Their understanding of, and past purchases in, the area you’re looking to buy in (some buyer’s agents specialise in different areas of Sydney).
- Their willingness to communicate with you and understand your brief and requirements; but also their honesty when it comes to how this matches with the current market
- Their connections with a range of real estate agents, as well as their negotiation skills and results.
- Their ability to show positive testimonials from previous clients who have recently bought in a similar area.
- The cost and commitment involved when using their services.
- How comfortable you feel with this person or company because the property search can be long and you will need to build a good relationship with the buyer’s agent.
Remember, some of the best buyer’s agents don’t advertise and work quite discreetly behind the scenes. Ask friends and colleagues and those in the real estate industry for recommendations.