Buyers Agents – They’re All Talking About Us

August 25, 2015 8.27 pm by. Lyndell

An extract from by Yasim Noone
If you don’t have the time, knowledge, or desire to spend months scanning your local property market for the deal of the decade, then a buyer agent might be for you.

Dubbed as the home buyer’s advocate, they act as your eyes and ears on the ground. For a fee of one to two per cent plus GST of the purchase price, a buyer agent will wade through hundreds of home listings, uncover unlisted gems, and negotiate the best buying price possible while the client sits back and relaxes.

But is the process really that simple? Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA) president, Jacque Parker, says there are no secrets to the job. “It is just hard work,” explains Parker, who also works as a buyer agent and director of the Sydney-based House Search Australia.

If you don’t have the time, knowledge, or desire to spend months scanning your local property market for the deal of the decade, then a buyer agent might be for you

The Process

So how do buyer agents achieve the best buying deal?  Parker lists her daily duties.

  • Privately canvas an area or a suburb for interest. As a result, Parker estimates, her business receives between one to two new enquiries from a private seller a week.
  • Gain access to unlisted properties: find out who’s out there, who’s made a bid, who hasn’t, and negotiate the best price.
  • Research listed properties  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.
  • Establish a property’s market value by reviewing a sold database. .
  • Determine how long a property has been on the market; what the property sold in the past; what comparable houses have sold for recently; and whether it’s been on the market and taken off again.
  • Arrange physical inspections; shortlist the selected properties for the client; and complete written assessments.

Parker explains that the process of ‘finding the best buy’ for a client runs a maximum of four months, but most projects are completed in 10 weeks.

In that time, Parker estimates that she will find around 300 properties for her client. “That’s how many we are enquiring about, but when you get down to it, we inspect about 50–60 properties per client. Our record was inspecting 189 properties. That was a big job.”

Just like other professions, a day in the life of a buyer agent is often determined by individual personalities and market happenings.

“The hours are also a challenge because we work most weekends and, with increasing technology, everyone expects immediate results.”

Parker defines a good day as one when “we get an offer accepted for a client at an auction”. She recalls one of her biggest buying successes.

“We were approached by a government organisation to locate a new group home for them in the hills district of Sydney. It was a tough brief and I was reluctant to take it because of the size of the land required, the budget and the broad stroke of the search.

“But we were successful as we secured a property off-market by contacting an agent who had a listing but was very quiet about it. They didn’t want the neighbours to know they were selling. The property came in at an excellent price and the owners were very happy.

“There was no way those people would have found the property if they didn’t engage a buyer agent.”

“It’s like one of my clients recently said: ‘anyone can do anything for themselves if they have the time, resources and skill’. Buyer agents are no different. People hire us to get the best outcome in the shortest time frame possible.”