For people not directly involved on a day-to-day basis with the real estate industry, some of the terms (or “jargon”!) used when buying or selling properties can be a little confusing. A particular example is the use of the terms “seller’s agent” and “Buyers Agent”.
Typically, in any property market, there are plenty of real estate agents involved in the buying and selling of property and it can be quite difficult to distinguish between the roles and services that each real estate agent offers. In any profession, it is best to choose a specialist in the field relating to your needs as they have the knowledge and experience to ensure you achieve your goal.
When it comes to selling property, most agents in Australia are “seller’s agents”, even though they may not necessarily “label” themselves as such. That is, they act for, and are remunerated upon the successful sale of a property, by the seller. Naturally, as they are acting for the seller, their loyalties and interest in terms of getting their best price, terms and conditions rest with the seller.
It may not seem so but, in reality, the interests of the buyer are secondary as the seller’s agent always aims to do their best for his/her client. So, what does a buyer do if they need objective, independent advice, assistance and support in a property transaction? Well, naturally they should turn to a Buyers Agent… and help take the legwork, pain and stress out of buying a property—whether this is for residential property or a commercial business!
Who does the Buyers Agent represent?
A Buyers Agent, or Buyers Advocate as some may know it, is a professional property advocate who is engaged to work exclusively on behalf of a buyer in purchasing property.
They do not work for the seller and only represent the interests of the buyer. Buyers Agents may, however, work with a seller’s agent.
What does a Buyers Agent do?
Amongst other things, a Buyers Agent will:
- be briefed by the buyer on their property requirements, such as location, budget, type of property, any special features or requirements;
- identify property from within its database or search for suitable properties through its network of contacts etc;
- undertake research and analyse opportunities;
- arrange viewings and inspections for the buyer;
- submit approved offers on behalf of buyers, negotiate terms and conditions; and
- liaise with buyer’s legal representatives and close transactions.
Why engage a Buyers Agent?
- Engaging a Buyers Agent saves all of the initial time spent searching, looking for and identifying potentially suitable properties—and saving time clearly saves money and alleviates stress.
- With its established network of contacts of brokers, agents, developers, inspectors, conveyancers and other professionals, a Buyers Agent has excellent access to a wider variety of property opportunities that buyers simply won’t have.
- Buyers will receive objective, independent advice about the current state of the macro and micro/local market and recent activity, recent sale and offers, plus recommendations on prices, terms and conditions.
- Several options are available for buyers, and the Buyers Agent can either provide a full “search, identify and acquire” package, or a more customised service based on buyer’s needs. This may entail negotiating a price or bidding at auctions on the buyer’s behalf or simply just helping with a market update and/or the negotiation process.
What are the fees for a Buyers Agent?
- REBAA, Australia’s leading professional body for property Buyers Agents, suggests the industry average fee is 2-3% of the purchase price + GST. In the overall context of the work involved and the potential savings for the buyer from having a professional advocate on its side well versed in negotiation, this is very competitive.
- At the outset, most Buyers Agents charge a non-refundable engagement fee. Many reputable Buyers Agents use a fixed-fee model so that buyers know what their costs will be from the beginning, and the Buyers Agent is not incentivised on a higher purchase price. For those purchasing an investment property, the Buyers Agent fee may be tax-deductible as a base cost for purchasing an asset.
Interested in knowing more, or just want an informal chat about how we can best help you search for and acquire the property you’ve been looking for or one you may have already identified? Then simply call us now on 0432 771 275 or contact us by email to find out what a Buyers Agent can do for you and why it’s important to have one – whether you are looking to buy your first home, trade up to your dream home or looking to invest for the future.
Brisbane Property Hunters
An Independent Buyers Agent which helps take the legwork and stress out of buying property in Brisbane, the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast.