Extract from the Gold Coast Bulletin
Buyers’ agents are fast becoming a secret weapon in the property market as homebuyers 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, homebuyers 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.”“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 to sit on the internet looking through listings or go out on the weekends and view homes looking for something that doesn’t suit them,” he said.“Our clients are people who are just too busy.”
Tony Coughran, of VFM (Value For Money) Buyers Agents, 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 a four-level villa purchased for $2.15 million in 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 when they have someone represent them.” Our company has registered property valuers (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.
Mr Rose said that “as a very general” guide, buyers agents’ full search service fees are typically 1-2 per cent plus GST of the purchase price.” This is cheaper than what most selling agents charge for selling a property,” he said.“We argue that the costs associated with using a buyers’ 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 it sold for in the past, what comparable houses have sold for recently and whether it’s been on the market and taken off again.
” The classic mistake is for unwary buyers to visit a property without carrying out the proper inspections. We thoroughly research the property to find out if a housing estate or multi-storey development is likely to spring up in the back yard 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.”
Article excerpt written by Vanessa Jones