What is a Buyers’ Agent and When Should You Use One?

Ever wondered just what a buyers’ agent actually does and how they add value? We’ve got all your questions answered!

What does a buyers’ agent actually do?

In practical terms, a buyers’ agent is someone who acts on behalf of a property buyer to help them find a property. We do everything from conducting property searches, shortlisting and inspecting properties, reviewing strata and building reports, carrying out the comparative sales analysis and negotiating with selling agents right through to attending auctions and bidding on behalf of our clients. You need to have a really good understanding of the property market, but you also need to understand people.

In fact, I prefer to say that I’m not so much in the real estate business, I’m actually in the trusted advisory business. My job is to take the stress away from my clients and to make them happy. They need to have trust in me that I understand their position and that I’ll present the best possible options for their unique situation.

How does the process usually work?

It’s more than just finding out from the client what kind of property they want to buy and how much they have to spend. It might seem obvious, but you don’t just wake up one morning and decide to buy a house – there’s usually something that has happened to trigger that step. I take the time to really understand my clients’ motivations and how that might impact the timeframe, the property location, the finance, etc.

Once we have a picture of the clients’ needs, we research what’s available. This will also include looking for unlisted “off market” properties and/or widening the search into areas that the client hasn’t thought of.

Aside from finding properties for your clients, what are some of the advantages of working with a buyers’ agent?

There are lots of advantages. Time-saving for one. We’ll only put forward properties for the client to inspect when we’ve conducted our own initial inspection and carried out our analysis and due diligence.

But I’d have to say the best thing is having access to our extensive experience in terms of valuations and property risk factors. We know what properties are really worth and can tell straight away when a seller is asking too much. Plus, we conduct a thorough property risk assessment of each property and can quickly identify if there are issues with the property (or could be issues down the track). We also have the negotiation experience to buy at the best price and terms for our purchasers.

Do you handle all parts of the buying process?

Property buying is all about teamwork. It’s part of my job to get the right people together, working as a team, to help the client secure their dream property. For example, having finance approval in place before we start looking for properties is really important. So, if the client hasn’t already spoken to a broker, I’ll make sure I connect them with a trusted partner and get that part of the process underway. I also want to make sure that when we’re ready to buy a property for our client it goes through smoothly, so it’s also about bringing in a solicitor to support that process.

So, while I don’t handle every single part of the process myself, I’m a bit like the project manager who makes sure all the right people are in place at the right time.