How Do You Choose a Buyer's Agent?
Getting an education in real estate may be a viable option as opposed to hiring a licensed buyer’s agent or advocate but it’s not always a practical alternative. To achieve the required level of knowledge can be a full time commitment and many people simply don’t have the luxury of time.
The need for knowledge, expertise and experience is however essential, and without it, investors find themselves making the wrong and very costly decisions, but often too late. This is the gap that a buyer’s agent fills in.
Criteria for Choosing a Buyer’s Agent
With an increasing number of people aspiring to invest in real estate, the number of buyer’s agents has risen as well. An added dilemma to investors is determining a good agent from the crowd of available buyer’s advocates.
Textbook education is one thing. Having real-world understanding is another. While courses, seminars and workshops are extremely helpful, first-hand exposure in the market has incomparable value that formal education fails to provide. It’s these experiences that tests an advocate’s expertise and knowledge, proves and disproves theories and stretches the agent’s analytical boundaries. From experience, qualified buyer’s advocates can gain new learning’s and information that can better guide future real estate investment decisions. Not all buyer’s agents have investment expertise or formal investment qualifications however, so make sure you ask about that when interviewing your selected buyers agent.
The number of residential dwellings in Victoria alone comprised of 2,479,800 as at June 2016. To be an expert on the entire real estate market of Australia is a lot of ground to cover (pun intended). It may not be impossible but it’s highly unlikely. It would be unrealistic to expect that your buyer’s advocate would immediately have sufficient knowledge of every area in the country. Is your agent aware of the present conditions of the market in the locality where you’re looking to buy a property? A hint of the agent’s expertise would be the location of the agents’ clientele and the recent purchases. For example, a buyer’s agent in Melbourne is expected to be familiar with Melbourne, but not necessarily familiar with Sydney.
Some agents calling themselves buyer’s agents receive commissions from the sale of certain properties and work for you for ‘free’. They are in fact selling agents and are illegally misusing the term “buyer’s agent”. This creates the danger of bias when recommending properties as they are working for the vendor, not the buyer. The scenario will likely to deprive you of an objective analysis and fair advice from your chosen agent. In this scenario, there is a high danger of purchasing real estate you’ll be dissatisfied with.
A genuine and licensed buyer’s agent will charge you a fee for service and should be able to independently source property in the established market place that will suit your budget, be a strongly performing asset and produce sufficient returns to meet your financial goals.
Your buyer’s agent should help you get the best value for your investment and during a fast moving market, will employ buying and bidding strategy to ensure a purchase at fair market value. This doesn’t necessarily mean convincing the owner to sell it to you at the lowest price. It means getting you a property that’s most favourable to you in regards to price, terms and also meets your criteria for an investment property.
Access to more properties
It’s their job to know which properties are selling. They can recommend real estate that is off market or pre market, which you might not have even been aware of but would be a better fit to your needs. Many buyer’s agents know about these silent listings, whose owners are selling but haven’t advertised their property or put it up for public auction.
Purchasing property is a long-term investment that usually involves a substantial portion of your finances. It’s essential to be moving at the right pace and resist the urge to rush things or not act quickly enough once sufficient evidence is provided, when required to do so. Your buyer’s agent should be your number one ally when it comes to this. Your advocate should also be the first person to remind you of your financial goals when you start to lose track of why you’re doing this. He/she should be the one to pull on the reins when decision-making seems to be emotion-lead. Having the role of adviser, the agent should always be at the forefront in providing thorough analysis of each property and the current market situation.
Just as you would carefully choose an investment property, you should be cautious when selecting your licensed buyer’s advocate. This is the person who will be giving you the necessary advice, knowledge and skills to facilitate this important financial decision.
Choosing the right buyer’s agent with the right qualifications and expertise is a key to getting the right investment for you.
To find out more, or to arrange an appointment, contact our team of experienced professionals.
We’ll help you find the property to suit your budget, lifestyle and financial goals.
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