Do you really need a buyer's agent?

George Raptis

If you're thinking about using a buyer's agent for your next property purchase, you should first consider what they can offer you.

Blogger: George Raptis, director, Metropole Property Strategists Sydney

Buyer’s agents have really come into their own in recent years, as home buyers and investors alike have begun to realise their muscle power in the real estate industry.

Just as a seller’s agent will achieve the most money possible for the sale of a home, a buyer’s agent will negotiate the best buying price on the best terms on a buyer’s behalf.

Yes there’s a cost involved, as you’ll have to pay their fee, but more often than not it’s a worthwhile investment – for a number of reasons.

If you’re new to investing, a buyer’s agent is an invaluable resource as you search for and purchase your first property. If you’re a seasoned investor, a buyer's agent can bring new spark and some different ideas to your investment strategy.

I’ve put together five tangible ways a buyer’s agent can take you from ordinary property buyer, to an extraordinary investor:

1. Buyer’s agents have an ear to the ground

Not only can they access property data that isn’t generally available to the public, but also they’re out and about every day, in the field and actively engaging with buyers, sellers and a full range of properties.

They have an ear to the ground and their feet on the pavement, which means they’re immersed in the world of real estate in a way you don’t have time to be. This gives them the edge over other independent buyers, and gives the smart property investor who uses their services a leg-up too.

2. Buyer’s agents have inside access

Unless you’re a real estate agent, you simply won’t have access to all the data a buyer’s agent does. They’ll know about properties before they’re advertised, properties with contracts fallen through, and have inside information about listings such as desperate sellers.

A good buyer’s agent will also have access to every property that is available, including silent listings and off-the-market properties. They’re frequently contacted by sellers directly, before properties have been officially listed for sale with an agent, which truly gives them an inside edge in a busy, booming market.

Combined, this knowledge allows buyer’s agents to flex their muscle and potentially negotiate a purchase prior to a house hitting the market.

3. Buyer’s agents can enhance your strategy to home in on your ideal property

Sometimes investors can find themselves searching the big wide world of real estate without clear direction. Hunting through endless listings without knowing precisely what you’re looking for is a risky way to invest, not to mention utterly confusing.

An expert third-party casting an eye over your strategy is always a good idea, as it can help you bring your goals into focus and keep you moving forward.

Your buyer’s agent has the expertise to sharpen your strategy and home in on the ideal property type to complement your portfolio, while ticking all the boxes for your current situation. They can take that information and narrow it down further to some suitable properties for you to choose from.

4. They do the groundwork to get the best outcome for you

Most investors and home buyers will only inspect three to five properties before making an offer. Attending inspections and researching potential properties is time-consuming work and if you’re juggling work and family with your property investment career, you’ll naturally have less time on your hands to thoroughly investigate opportunities for your next purchase.

Buyer’s agents, on the other hand, spend a decent chunk of their week inspecting properties. They could review up to 100 properties on your behalf before finding the golden opportunity and they’ll do all the groundwork for you.

They attend all open homes and present you with the best opportunities – and often they’ll have additional data such as council approvals for extensions and any existing renovations to the property.

5. Buyer’s agents negotiate the contract and the sale with your interests in mind

A seller’s agent works for the seller. A buyer’s agent works for you.

If you’re negotiating on your own as an everyday investor, you’re literally pitting your own non-professional skills up against expert negotiators, which is hardly a fair transaction.

Furthermore, usually contract conditions in a property sale agreement are worded in such a way as to benefit the seller, as again, they have an advocate pushing for their clients’ best interests.

A buyer’s agent can renegotiate the contract and add in clauses to reflect your best interests. Since they’re effectively real estate agents, they know all the haggling techniques seller’s agents use, and which methods to employ when countering an offer.

This is only a sample of the types of benefits a buyers agent can bring to the table for you. It seems logical that if sellers use the services of an agent to sell their home, a buyer should consider using an agent also.

Before commissioning an agent, check their references and experience first. It’s not always best practice to go for the lowest fee – you might find that choice backfiring when it comes to the quality of their services.

If forking out a little money to hire an agent is an issue, remember that their expertise will almost certainly save you more money than you’ll pay in fees or commission. Having an expert on your side, doing the hard yards and using their inside knowledge, will ultimately be a boon to your investment portfolio.

George Raptis

George Raptis

George is the director of Metropole Property Strategists in Sydney. He shares his 27 years of experience in the property industry as a licensed estate agent and active property investor to help create wealth for his clients.

Do you really need a buyer's agent?
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