Buying a property is one of the biggest financial transactions you’ll ever make. Searching for the perfect property, whether as an investor or owner occupier, can be one of the most stressful and time consuming processes and projects you could undertake.
Spending hours scouring online databases, attending inspections, and the nerve-racking experience of bidding at auction or submitting offers through private sale can eat up huge amounts of time and cause enormous amounts of anxiety. Even once a property is found, buyers can still run the risk of missing out or paying more than a property is worth.
To save time, money, and stress, more and more Australians are engaging Buyer Agents (also known as Buyer Advocates) to find and secure their perfect property.
A Buyer Agent is to a buyer as a Selling Agent is to a vendor. Just as a Selling Agent will represent the needs of a vendor, a Buyer Agent will represent the needs of the buyer.
So what do they actually do?
Each Buyer Agent is different, but the process they undertake to find the best property generally breaks down into three stages:
1. Searching within the client’s set criteria.
2. Assessing the value of a property.
3. Negotiating the successful purchase.
They essentially do all of the legwork for the buyer, working to ensure the best possible result is achieved.
The Buyer Agent will first establish search criteria based on the client’s requirements, encompassing factors such as budget, lifestyle, and proximity to amenities.
This comprehensive search will not only cover online databases and industry contacts but also include properties that are not publicly listed. ‘Off market’ properties are listings that aren’t available to the general public and most buyers wouldn’t have access to them, however a Buyer Agent does through their industry connections.
The Buyer Agent will glean a number of options, or even a specific property, from the search, the results of which are recommended to the client. Following feedback from the client the assessment phase will begin.
Having an accurate understanding of a property’s worth is a crucial component of the Buyer Agent’s due diligence. To ascertain the value of a property, the Buyer Agent will conduct a thorough analysis of comparable sales in the area, closely examining things like position, land size, and the overall quality of the property, as well as factoring in the current state of the market.
The Buyer Agent will then recommend the best property based on this assessment to the client and begin the negotiation process to purchase the property at the best possible price.
The purchase process can depend on the type of market – some markets prefer auctions, while others can be sold through a private sale. Either way, Buyer Agents will know the best course of action to take to secure the property for the best price and conditions.
Buyer Agents can also cater their service to fit the buyer’s specific needs. For example, Buyer Agents can represent buyers at auction if they’re not comfortable with bidding, or simply unavailable. They can also provide an assessment of a property and make the purchase if the buyer already has a specific property in mind.
How does all of this benefit the buyer?
Firstly, Buyer Agents save buyers an enormous amount of time. The average buyer can spend over 500 hours searching and inspecting properties, and they still may not end up making a purchase after all of that hard work.
The Buyer Agent will take this burden off the buyer as they undertake the entire search process. Crucially, a Buyer Agent’s market insight and expertise will mean they can more effectively match the best suburbs that meet the client’s budget, saving the buyer a huge amount of time they could otherwise waste by looking in the wrong areas.
Saving all of this time for the buyer also means saving a lot of stress. Buyers don’t get burned out and despondent because they know they have someone taking on the day-to-day grind of property hunting for them.
Moreover, Buyer Agent’s don’t just save the buyer unnecessary stress in the search phase; it’s when it comes time to buy that the buyer will reap the benefits of engaging a professional.
This is particularly true for investor clients whose goal is to make the strongest capital gains possible. Investors benefit from the Buyer Agent’s expertise in the property selection phase to source property with the highest likelihood for capital growth over time.
A Buyer Agent will also help buyers avoid missing out on buying a property or paying too much for it. At best these two scenarios can be incredibly frustrating; at worst it can result in a huge mistake.
The Buyer Agent will know which property they have the best chance of securing no matter what the method of sale, saving the buyer from the heartbreak of continuously missing out. They’ll also know when to back away from negotiations and stop their client from paying too much for the property.
Not only do they know how much the property is worth and will fight to ensure the buyer doesn’t pay any more than that, the Buyer Agent will have the experience at the negotiating table to extract the best result for their client. The Buyer Agent essentially levels the playing field.
Everyone knows buying property is one of the biggest and most stressful transactions you’ll ever make. Considering there is so much at stake when buying a property, let alone the enormous amount of time and effort it takes to purchase, why not engage a professional who is fighting for your best interests?