Buyers Agents are fast becoming a secret weapon in the property market as home buyers realise the benefits of having a professional advocate on side, according to the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA).

Spokesman Byron Rose said 10 years ago, buyers’ agents were only for the rich and famous looking for homes in the multi-million dollar price-bracket and anonymity. Today, home buyers are using buyers’ agents to buy properties for as little as $350,000 and they’re willing to pay for the service, he said.  “A buyers’ agent should be able to establish market value by reviewing a property sold database,”” said Mr Rose. “A good buyers’ agent will also have developed a system to communicate with a broad range of agents to have access to unlisted properties before they come on the market. One of the single best reasons to use a buyers’ agent is they have the access to unlisted properties. They know who’s out there, who’s made a bid, who hasn’t and they know how to negotiate the best price.””.

Realty on Gold principal Betty Dunn said many people used buyers agents simply because they were too time poor to do the leg work themselves. “‘More people are using them. A lot are working hard and long hours and don’t have time tos it on the internet looking through listings or go out on the weekends and view homes looking for something that doesn’t suit them,”” she said. “‘Our clients are people who are just too busy.” She said she catered to commercial, industrial, residential and rural clients, those looking for investment properties as well as owner-occupiers. Many of her clients were doctors looking for properties in Brisbane or the Gold Coast. Ms Dunn said with the new Gold Coast Hospital being built, Moledinar and Parkwood were good places to buy, but also identified Labrador, Southport and Runaway Bay as go-to areas for her clients. “Of course, people love to be close to the beach, but you always pay a premium for that,” she said. Ms Dunn said she undertook market analysis and inspections for her clients and also did much of the research for them. “It’s a lot of fun actually but you do have to ask a lot of questions,” she said. “You need to know how much they can spend and what their time frame is. “I always bring along qualified buyers to the selling agent and tell my clients to sell their property first and before they start looking. It’s a waste of time looking at a property when you have a property of your own to sell.”

Tony Coughran, of VFM (Value for Money) Property Group, said there were more people using buyers’ agents and had purchased six properties in the last month for clients ranging in price from $225,000 to $1.26 million. He cited an example of four-level villa purchased for $2.15 million 2010: “The neighbouring villa was bought for $1.5 million 14 months ago, and we just bought the same product for $1.26 million. We have a very happy client.” Mr Coughran said clients ranged from first home buyers to investors to owner-occupiers who wanted to “insulate themselves from selling agents and have a professional independent agent represent them.” “They use us for negotiation purposes,”” he said. “Many people feel more comfortable whey they have someone represent them. “Our company has registered property values (not all are doing that) and we inform buyers of what is happening in the marketplace so they confidently make a peace-of-mind decision. We have no alliances with any real estate agencies and we fight for our buyers. Buyers agents give buyers confidence to sign a contract.”

Mr Rose said that “as a very general guide”, buyers agents’ full search service fees are typically 1-2 percent plus GST of the purchase price. “”This cheaper than what most selling agents charge for selling a property,” he said. “”If you want to hire a buyers’ agent purely to bid at auction without conducting due diligence, fees vary from $500 to $1000 for each auction.”

“We argue that the costs associated with using a buyer’ agent are offset by savings on the purchase price and avoiding costly pitfalls down the road if proper due diligence has not been conducted,” he said.

“We know how long a property has been on the market, what i sold for in the past, what comparable houses have sold for recently and whether it’s been been on the market and taken off again.”

“The classic mistake is for unwary buyers to visit a property without carrying out the the property inspections. We research the property to find out if a housing estate or multi-storey development is likely to spring up in the backyard or if the property is subject to flooding.”

“As an exclusive buyers’ agent you only act for the buyer not the seller. That’s a very clear distinction.”


Click here to read the article published 30th March 2013 New Secret Weapon Out in Property War