A good buyer’s agent can make buying your next home or investment property a lot less expensive, time-consuming and stressful. So how do you find a great one compared to the decidedly average or downright awful?
A buyer’s agent or advocate is a licensed professional who can look after your interests when you’re purchasing property. Give them a brief, and they can use their expertise and knowledge to locate suitable properties that tick all your boxes.
Once you’ve found a dream home or investment property, their negotiating skills can make sure you seal the deal at the best possible price.
As with any professional, there can be both pro’s and con’s to using their services. We explore this in more detail here.
A good buyer’s agent can be worth their weight in gold as their expertise can help you buy the right property at the right price. But, as with any industry, there are bad eggs about. At best this can mean paying extra for something you could’ve done yourself. At worst, you might be bullied into making a very expensive mistake.
So it’s important to do your research when you’re choosing a buyer’s agent. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions about their credentials and experience, so you know you’ve got a true professional by your side. Make sure you trust them and feel comfortable with them too. You’ll be working closely with them, so they need to get you as well as they do the industry.
Here’s how you can find a good buyer’s agent:
- Only deal with a licensed buyer’s agency
It’s against the law to practise real estate without a license in Australia. So, as a bare minimum, you should make sure that a prospective agent is licensed for the state you’re buying property in.
- Check if they are a REBAA member
The Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA) is the largest industry body for buyer’s agents in Australia and has strict admission criteria. Members must only work exclusively with buyers, undergo training and have professional indemnity insurance – in case something goes wrong with your property purchase.
- Look for a buyer’s agent with expert knowledge of the local area
In real estate, location is everything. So a good buyer’s agent should know exactly where the good streets are, which neighbourhoods are up-and-coming and which areas might be best to avoid.
- Ask them about their network
The better connected a buyer’s agent is, the more likely it is they can give you access to off-market properties. These are properties that aren’t yet listed for sale, so viewing them early can help you get ahead of any competition.
- Check reviews and customer testimonials
It goes without saying that a good buyer’s agent’s reputation and reviews should speak for themselves.
- Ask about their fees
A good buyer’s agent will always be upfront about their fees, so you don’t get any nasty surprises. Be extremely cautious if they say they don’t charge anything. Everyone needs to get paid somehow, so this is a red flag that their advice is unlikely to be unbiased or independent.