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What is a Buyers Agent?

Aug 17, 2007
As the name suggests, Buyers Agents are the intermediaries between you the buyer and a vendor or real estate agent, when transacting a property purchase. The theory being is that traditionally the real estate agent operates for the vendor (seller) and the Buyers Agent works for the buyer.

The benefits in recruiting a good Buyers Agent is they can take the emotion out of purchasing, versus the true value of what a property is worth. This is particularly advantageous for the first time investor, whom may have bought their principle place of residence on the feeling and comfort the home offered. From an investors point of view it is purely economic driven. The questions one must consider are, will it appreciate in capital value, will it provide good rental return, does the property offer low maintenance in the future, and is it close to community and public services. These things are much more important than how cute or pretty the property is.

Who uses a Buyers Agent? People that are time poor, particularly if your work or business commitments do not allow you the freedom to search various properties. Interstate investors may find it particularly beneficially in employing a local Buyers Agent whom has a greater understanding of that geographic market. The Buyers Agent can assist you in creating a short list of suitable properties which will allow you to make a quicker more informed decision, especially if you need to fly in to view the search results within a small timeframe.

Corporate relocatees can easily leverage the services of a Buyers Agent regardless if it is company funded or not. Most offer a Home Search Consultant service that not only will help you identify a suitable home, but can also provide exceptional local knowledge that will help you find basic essential services that we take for granted in our old home or suburb. Finding out this type of information before you buy is invaluable, more so when you have no knowledge of the region as is the case with a lot of corporate transferees.

International investors naturally would tap into a Buyers Agent service as the tyranny of distance alone is no match for having somebody on the ground. They can negotiate on your behalf, bid at auction and generally offer all the services that you utilise to make the sale. International investors need to make themselves aware of any government policy as there may be limitations to foreign ownership. An internet search enquiry will help identify if there is a Foreign Investment Review Board, or government department, that can assist with any enquiries.

So what does the Buyers Agent do for you? They will ask you what you are specifically looking for in a home or commercial property, how much you can spend including government and bank charges, and what the intended use is of the property, be it investor or owner occupied. They not only research your specified criteria, they can co-ordinate pest and building inspections, arrange a quantity surveyor, liaise with the relocation management company, refer you to mortgage providers or even recommend an excellent property manager, if purchasing an investment property. They can visit open homes, determine the market value, and most have a registered valuer to provide peace of mind.

Buyers agents generally work on a 60 day contract to find a short list of suitable properties and normally will request a minimum of $500 which is non refundable to start working for you. Their fees vary so do your home work. As a guide most offer three levels of service.
1. Search, evaluate and negotiate.
2. Evaluate, negotiate and bid at auction.
3. Full service includes all the above along with co-ordinating other providers through to settlement date on your behalf.

Fees for auction on average are $1,100 for a successful negotiated sale or $440 for turning up and no sale. The total cost again varies with some charging a flat rate of $1,500 for option 1 or 0.75% to 2% of the purchase price, less the initial deposit.

Generally speaking Buyers Agents are specialists at seeking out your desired property and with their negotiation skills can conceivably save you money, even after their fees are taken into account. Good luck!
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