Buyers Agent FAQs
12 Buyers Agent Questions Answered
When it comes to buying a property, many people assume that they can navigate the process on their own. However, purchasing a home or an investment property is often a complex and time-consuming process that requires expert knowledge and guidance. This is where a buyers agent can be incredibly valuable. A buyers agent is a licensed real estate professional who specializes in representing the interests of homebuyers.
In this article, we will explore what a buyers agent is and the benefits they offer, as well as when it is appropriate to engage their services. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned investor, understanding the role of a buyers agent can make all the difference in finding your dream property.
What You’ll Learn From This Article
What is a buyers agent?
A buyers agent is a licensed property agent who assists homebuyers or property investors in real estate transactions. Their main role is to help clients find and purchase a home that fits their needs and budget. By working exclusively with buyers, they provide expertise in navigating the complex process of buying a home, utilizing their local market knowledge and connections with selling agents. Buyers agents conduct thorough research on comparable sales transactions to ensure transparency and market value, while also driving due diligence to minimise future problems or stress for the buyer. Their experience in various sales processes and legal and financial requirements gives buyers a competitive advantage.
Working with a buyers agent offers objective advice and representation throughout the home buying process, preventing emotional decision-making. Since they solely represent the buyer’s interests, they can help clients make informed choices without external influences. Moreover, buyers agents employ effective methods and resources to streamline the property search and evaluation process, including accessing off-market or silent listings that may not be publicly available.
What’s the difference between a real estate agent and a buyers agent?
Buying and selling real estate can be complicated. That’s where buyers agents and real estate agents come in. A real estate agent is a professional who sells properties. Who does a real estate agent represent? The seller. Real estate agents are paid through commission from either the seller or the vendor. A buyers agent exclusively represents the buyer. They act in the buyer’s best interest and help them through the process of securing the property they want. But which one do you need?
READ: What’s the difference between a buyers agent vs. real estate agent?
How much do buyers agents charge?
Many buyers agents charge for service like a real estate sales agent ie, a percentage commission. This can make sense if you’re selling a property as the sales agent is incentivized to achieve a higher sales price. Paying more commission to your buyers agent the more you pay for your property can make less sense for buyers In hotter market years such as during 2020- 2021, Unicorn Buyers Agents offered fixed fees, to protect our clients.
In neutral or cooler years we offer a percentage-based fee capped at a pre-agreed rate. This way our buyers may benefit from a lower-than-expected commission whilst also having the peace of mind of knowing the maximum they’ll pay. For maximum flexibility and transparency, we offer clients the choice to lock in a fixed fee or to hire us on a percentage-based fee capped at a pre-agreed amount.
Are buyers agents worth it?
Hiring a buyers agent does make sense but what can you expect for your money, and how will you assess the value of your buyers agent’s services?
When hiring a buyers agent, it’s important to assess the value of their services. A reputable buyers agent in Sydney will customise their offerings and fees to meet your specific needs. They can provide services such as bidding at auctions on your behalf, appraising properties you’ve found, or managing the entire search process from start to contract settlement.
For auction representation, a buyers agent acts as your proxy and uses various strategies to secure the property at the lowest possible price, considering other bidders and the auctioneer’s style. An appraisal and negotiation service involves offering a professional opinion on market value and likely selling price based on recent sales, momentum, and interest.
A comprehensive search goes beyond public listings, utilising outreach to real estate agents, research tools, networking, and more to shortlist potential properties. The buyers agent coordinates inspections, researches property issues, and engages a team of professionals on your behalf. They also handle communication with selling agents and provide a curated shortlist of desirable options.
A top buyers agent not only finds properties that meet your criteria but also suggests low-cost renovations to help you achieve your dream property. They act as a voice of reason, guiding you to avoid psychological pitfalls like analysis paralysis, fear of missing out (FOMO), and buyer’s remorse. Ultimately, a skilled buyers agent ensures you pay the right price, leveraging market conditions to secure the lowest possible price for your purchase.
How much will it cost me not to use a buyers agent?
I know how the sales agent will run the campaign and by deal time I’ll know the minimum price that needs to be paid to secure the property. This saves my clients thousands of dollars of search time and many thousands more by not overpaying. I’ll also buy a better house on a better street which means tens, or hundreds of thousands of dollars more in your pocket. How?
Let’s assume you manage to buy without overpaying and you’ve chosen a good suburb, street, and property type that grows in value at say 4% a year for the next decade. Now let’s assume I could buy you a slightly better property that grows in value at a slightly better 5% for the next decade. That 1% extra on a $2m property means my purchase will be worth $200k more than yours in ten years’ time. Not using a good buyers agent will cost you money.
Do i need a buyers agent in today’s market?
In a seller’s market with FOMO running high it seems easier to understand the value proposition for a buyers agent.
But great buyer agent work is just as critical in a cooler market. Here are a few reasons why:
- Selling agents get much better at returning your calls in a tough market but they still have one thing top of mind – squeezing the highest possible price out of you. That’s their job.
- We have relationships with agents which helps us find opportunities in the form of off-market /silent listings by anxious and distressed owners. We also help bring things to market. Potential sellers are more likely to list when a buyers agent walks through the home during an appraisal.
- We assess up-to-the-minute market value. Sydney property prices are volatile. Price action varies from suburb to suburb, street to street. Last night’s sale resets today’s suburb benchmark. On a $2M home purchase overpaying by 3% is a $60,000 mistake and buying at a 5% discount to market is a $100,000 win.
- Cooling markets are a minefield of second-grade properties and unrealistic vendors. We shortlist, inspect and present only the best, most viable options saving you time money, and stress.
How to choose a buyers agent?
Hiring a buyers agent is a significant investment. Understanding how to prepare for the buying process and how to choose the right agent for your search will save you in every respect. Avoid these 12 costly mistakes and you’re well on the way to a profitable, and enjoyable buyers agent experience:
- Hiring an agent before your finance is approved.
- Choosing a buyers agent without a buying team if you don’t have one of your own.
- Not choosing a buyers agent who is completely independent and working for you.
- Not choosing the buyers agent service that corresponds to your needs.
- Not choosing a buyers agent who specializes in your desired area.
- Not paying the right price for the service you’re getting.
- Not assessing the methods your buyers agent will use to find your ideal property.
- Not choosing an agent with auction experience if that’s the likely method of sale for your property.
- Not screening your agent for negotiating power.
- Not having a well-defined brief for your agent.
- Not confirming your buyers agent will be working exclusively on your brief.
- Choosing a larger agency and being assigned a junior or an associate.
What questions should i ask a buyers agent before hiring them?
When you’re hiring a buyers agent, it’s important to ask a few questions to ensure that they’re the right fit for you. Here are some questions you may want to consider:
- What experience do you have as a buyers agent?
- How do you plan to help me find the right property?
- How familiar are you with the local real estate market?
- Can you provide references from previous clients?
- How will you communicate with me throughout the buying process?
- How do you handle negotiations and bidding wars?
- Do you have experience working with first-time homebuyers?
- How do you get paid for your services?
- How many clients do you currently have?
- Do you work full-time as a buyers agent or do you also handle listings?
Asking these questions will help you get a better sense of the agent’s experience, expertise, and approach to working with clients, which will help you make an informed decision when hiring a buyers agent.
Can you claim The buyers agent fees on tax?
If you are using a buyers agent to purchase an investment property, for example, your buyers agent fees may be capitalized into the purchase and be deductible on sale. Even if you are using a buyers agent to purchase a personal residence, it’s worthwhile hanging on to the invoice. Check with your accountant and tax agent to see what portion of fees may be expensed and how.
Can a property seller contact the buyer agent directly?
A property seller who is selling privately will contact the buyer agent directly and we have conducted a number of purchases directly with the seller.
On occasion, a buyers agent may contact a seller directly even if they have a sales agent- but always with the permission of the sales agent. It may be to clarify some detail directly, to give a client peace of mind.
Do i have to sign a buyer agent agreement?
Yes, you do have to sign a buyer-agent agreement. A buyers agent operating in NSW is required to be either a class one or class two real estate agent and must operate under legislation set down in the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act and Regulation. The legislation stipulates that an agency agreement must be in place between an agent and a principal, outlining the terms on which the work will be conducted.
Can you have multiple buyers agents?
Whilst you could theoretically have multiple buyers agents working for you, it would be both unlikely and undesirable for you to enter into this arrangement. Most buyers agents will require you to enter into an exclusive agency agreement which recognizes they alone are working for you and their fee is liable to be paid even in the instance another buyers agent finds a property.
Here at Unicorn Buyers Agents we work with clients confident to trust us to find and purchase their home and as such only enter into exclusive agency agreements. We do not co-opt with other agents. So saying that we do occasionally collaborate with buyers’ agent colleagues outside of our organization to assist us with a challenging brief. In this instance, we negotiate remuneration directly from our commission and no further fee is payable by our clients.
Meet Trusted Buyers Agent Dan Sofo
When it comes to buying property everyone’s needs are different. My proven process will ensure I find you a property you love. You’ll be delighted with the result.
We’ll meet to discuss your needs and how I will work to help you. We’ll create a detailed brief together outlining your must-have’s and nice to have and setting your budget.
You’ll get access to on, off, and pre-market property available to purchase that meets your brief. I’ll share videos and photos and walk you through any property you choose to shortlist.
I apply my stringent 22 point checklists to ensure your purchase is problem-free and co-ordinate contract and strata review, building and pest, and any other reports required.
I’m in your corner to secure your home, on your terms for the lowest possible price I’ll then co-ordinate your solicitor and broker to ensure the transaction is trouble-free, all the way to settlement.
Ready to purchase? Contact me for a no obligation chat.
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If you like me and im in a position to help there’s just a bit of paperwork then I get straight to work.