Buyer Agents or Buyer Advocates
What is a buyer agent or buyer advocate?
A buyer agent, or buyer advocate is a licensed professionals that works solely for the buyer.
They specialise in searching, evaluating and negotiating the purchase of property, ensuring the buyer purchases the best property, in the right location, for the best possible price.
Buyer agents in Australia do not sell real estate. They work only for the buyer, and are paid only by the buyer.
In the US and other countries such as the UK and Israel, buyer agents can also sell real estate. The process is very different. Please contact us for more information about how the system works coverseas, and how to protect yourself from a potential conflict of interest.
What services do buyer’s agents or advocates offer?
A buyer’s agent offers a range of services:
Under the full service a buyer's agent will do everything for you.
- Assessing your individual requirements to make sure you're on the right track with your investments,
- Searching out properties that are both on the market and off market that suit your individual requirements,
- Negotiating the purchase of a property for the lowest possible price, ensuring that your interests are protected every step of the way.
You can also engage a buyer’s agent to bid at an auction, give property investment advice, or assess and negotiate on an individual property of your choosing.
How much does it cost?
Anderson & Cashmore charge a fixed fee that is not based on a percentage of the buyer's budget or the property price.
Our fees are fixed in negotiation with you in advance and do not increase with your budget.
We charge the same rates for all buyers - whether you have less than $300,000 or over $3Mil.
We charge an engagement fee of $1,100 in advance to cover our expenses during the search process. The engagement fee is subtracted from the final fee.
Please contact us directly for more information.
The 7 Things You Need to Know Before Using a Buyer’s Advocate
Not all buyer agents are equal.
There are 7 key things you want to see before handing over your hard earned cash, and the important work to be done around a major purchase like a property.
1 - Make sure you’re paying your advocate. Some buyer advocacy services are promoted as ‘free’. Nobody works for free in real estate.
An agent in Australia cannot (by law) accept a fee from both buyer and seller in any one negotiation.
If you are not paying the agent, the seller is - the agent is not working for you, they are working for the seller. Walk away.
2 - How is your advocate paid? Some buyer advocates will charge a percentage of the purchase price as their fee.
In other words – the more you pay for a property, the higher their fee! (Nice.)
This is a clear conflict of interest. Make sure you find an agent that agrees to fix their fees in advance, regardless of how much you pay for the property.
3 - Is your advocate licensed? The Business Licensing Authority (BLA) in each state regulates the real estate industry.
All real estate agents (including buyer advocates) must be licensed.
Make sure you are engaging with a fully licensed agent. A name check is available on each state’s BLA website. If they’re not licensed – report them.
4 - Don’t sign up with an agent that tries to restrict you to only purchasing within certain areas of the city.
For example, some agents only recommend buying within 5 – 10km of the CBD (very convenient for those offices that are centrally located).
Others recommend just apartments or townhouses (speculating on the myth that we’re all a nation of downsizers).
They do this because it often suits their business model.
There’s an abundance of apartments in the city – too many in fact.
They are a quick and easy buy.
Investors purchase seven out of ten apartments . They are nothing more than rental stock, for students mainly.
Your advocate should be ‘thinking outside the square.’
There are other options available for a modest budget that are as good, if not better, for you as an investor than apartments.
Buying on the doorstep of the CBD is not always the best strategy.
There is no ‘golden egg’ to real estate investing.
Work with an advocate that is flexible enough to suggest and consider all options suited to your needs – not theirs.
5 - Don’t believe the hype. If your advocate starts to sound like a property spruiker or sales agent – run!
Comments such as “all property prices double every 7 - 10 years,” or “there’s a shortage of homes in Australia” (insinuating prices will never crash or drop) are a good indication the agent lacks knowledge and integrity.
6 - Ask to speak to someone the buyer agent has purchased for previously and check testimonials.
You need to understand exactly what their costs are and the level of service you can expect in return for your money.
7 - It’s important you trust the agent you are working with. However, always complete your own due diligence concerning the information you have received.
Don’t feel rushed into making a decision based on the buyer agent’s recommendation alone.
Buyer advocates should be pointing out both the positive and negative in every home – they are not there to sell you the property.
Make sure you sign a contract that enables you to walk away and employ someone else if you’re not happy with the service you are receiving.