Buyer’s agents are property professionals who specialise in finding, evaluating and recommending property to potential buyers. They can be an invaluable part of your team as you search for the perfect property because they have industry knowledge and buy properties every week.
If you’re thinking about hiring a buyer’s agent, here are a few things to consider:
- Knowledge of the local area
Buyer’s agents tend to specialise in certain areas because they have a deeper knowledge about the property there, and have unique insider knowledge. If you’re looking to buy in a particular suburb, search for a buyer’s agent in that suburb and you should find someone who has experience buying in and around that suburb. They can give you insights that an agent from the other side of town would never know about.
Time in the game is one of the most important assets a buyer’s agent can have. You want someone who has seen a few property cycles, the ups, downs and recovery periods. If you’re buying an investment, then someone who can aid you in finding the right property and buying at the right time could make or break your investment. If you’re buying something to live in, they can provide you with advice on whether the place you’re looking at is a good place to live or not.
You should ask a buyer’s agent what they’re network of real estate agents and other buyer’s agents is like. A good buyer’s advocate will have good relationships with the local selling agents and will have access to off-market listings and properties that the general public would never see. Additionally, they will have professional relationships with agents and will be able to negotiate effectively on your behalf.
More and more buyer’s agents are charging flat fees instead of percentages. This is generally the better option because the agent is not incentivised to push a more expensive property on you to maximise their commission. With a flat fee, you know exactly what you are paying upfront, and you can rest assured that your buyer’s agent is looking for the best property in your price range.
The industry standard for a buyer’s agent is around $9000 – $12000. More expensive properties will naturally attract a higher price, but you should not be paying much more than $12000.
If the buyer’s agent charges a percentage, you should expect 1.5-2% of the final property price.
A buyer’s agent is required to have a Real Estate license in Victoria, or at least an Agent’s Representative license. Don’t be scared to ask them directly for their license number, and then do a quick search on the Consumer Affairs website. This 2-minute search will give you some peace of mind and ensure that you are working with a qualified professional.
How a buyer’s agent searches the property market can tell you a lot about their experience. A buyer’s agent should go into a lot more depth than the average person, and they should be able to explain their searching criteria fluently. They should also ask you plenty of questions so that you are on the same page and so that they can find the exact property you are looking for.