An agent in your corner

After over a decade in real estate,

After over a decade in real estate, its only been recently that I have had my first real dealings with a genuine buyer’s agent – someone working on behalf of a prospective buyer (as opposed to a seller) to assist them in their property search and ultimately, successful purchase.

Now, as opposed to an agent that conjuncts with the selling agent to introduce a buyer ( often subsequently paid a portion of the selling commission), a buyer’s agent works solely in the buyer’s corner, for a fee paid by the buyer. This might be a flat fee, a percentage of the ultimate purchase price, or a combination of the two, often comprising an upfront retainer, with the balance on success.

Given the already expensive process of purchasing a property – stamp duty (!!), conveyancing, building inspections and of course the price itself, why would a buyer front up MORE money with a buyer’s agent?

For many (sometimes even for agents) it comes down to time. Searching for property takes time, as does dealing with agents, physically inspecting and all the other fun bits of the process. When time is money, it comes down to the same reason you would hire a professional in other aspects of your life – they can do it quicker or better than you can, allowing you to focus on work and know that what you need is happening in the background. Whether you are upgrading within the same suburb or making the move from one side of the country to the other, this can still ring true.

Another (very valid) reason to use a good buyer’s agent is to take advantage of their network and reputation to help further your cause. A (good) buyer’s agent should have a rapport with local selling agents, and open communication that can offer opportunities before they hit the market. That isn’t to say that you would necessarily pay less in that situation, but often just removing competition by getting in early can be worthwhile – knowing that your offer will get the deal done, not just be “in the mix”.

Lastly, while there are those (and I can think of many clients here) that love the thrill of negotiation, there are equally those that just don’t enjoy it or aren’t comfortable. In those cases, it can be worthwhile having someone on your side with a bit more experience to help push where you can (and importantly, know when you can’t).

Buyer’s agents aren’t for everyone or every situation, but credit where its due, I can say I have now seen at least one case where the buyer was delighted with the outcome (and it wasn’t made any harder for me!).