Buyer's Agent Auction Crowd

What is a buyers advocate?

Buying a home is a major milestone in anyone’s life, but while the experience can be incredibly exciting, it can also be incredibly stressful. In fact, research from Allianz Australia has found that searching for a new home affects the mental and emotional wellbeing of more than 51%) of Australian home buyers.

From searching through real estate listings for your dream home, to going to home opens with crowds of other house hunters, to talking to real estate agents who you aren’t entirely sure you can trust; what should be an exciting event can very quickly become overwhelming.

If you’re thinking, “Wouldn’t it be great if there was an experienced professional who can handle all of the stressful and confusing parts of buying a home, while having my best interests in mind?”, then it sounds like you might be looking for a buyer’s advocate.

What does a buyer’s advocate do?

A buyer’s advocate, also known as a buyer’s agent, is a real estate professional who is hired by a prospective homebuyer. Their job is to research, evaluate and negotiate the purchase of a home. Similar to how real estate agents work for the home seller, the buyer’s agent will work for you, the buyer, to ensure you get the best property for your requirements and budget. 

A buyer’s advocate generally offers two types of services:

  • Find properties that meet your criteria, and negotiate the purchase of that chosen property, or
  • They can bid for you, the buyer, at the auction of a property that you may have found for yourself.

While in a similar vein, buyer’s advocates are not to be confused with vendor advocates.

“Wait, what is a vendor advocate?” I hear you ask.

A vendor advocate is a real estate professional that a property seller enlists to to take the angst out of selling your place by essentially taking care of everything for you. Before you put your property on the market, they’ll find out what you’re hoping to achieve and then go search for an agent that’s right for you. So while similar to a buyer’s agent in that theory can take a lot of the stress out of the property process, they work for the property seller, not the buyer. 

What are the benefits of a buyer’s advocate?

As I have mentioned, the overriding benefit of using a buyer’s advocate for your property purchase is that it can take a lot of the stress out of the process. But that’s not all, there are many other benefits to using a buyer’s advocate, including;

  • Gaining local knowledge and accurate information about market value and growth potential for your chosen area;
  • Benefit from their years of experience in negotiating a better deal on the purchase price
  • Accurate appraisals to get the true market value of the property you are interested in;
  • Access off-market properties thanks to their network of real estate contacts ; and
  • Avoiding stressful auctions and making emotional decisions that result in you paying more money than the property is worth. 

There’s no doubt that hiring a real estate professional like a buyer’s advocate to help you to source and secure your property can be helpful. 

What does a buyers advocate cost?

Costs can differ as this can depend on which real estate professional, or real estate company you choose to enlist as your buyer’s advocate. Some buyer’s agents charge an engagement fee before they begin the search for a home, whereas others charge either a flat fee, or instead earn a percentage of the property’s purchase price. 

Using a buyer’s agent just to bid at auction carries a lower fee, as there is much less time involved. Property investors should note that the cost of using a buyer’s advocate is generally tax-deductible when purchasing an investment property. Speak with your accountant to work out the best options for your financial situation.

Are there any buyer’s agent “red flags”?

An important question to ask a buyer’s agent is whether they are truly independent, to ensure they are working for you, and not someone else. If they accept sales commission from vendors or developers, then unfortunately they are acting in the interests of the seller. Independent buyer’s agents generally do not sell real estate or accept any fees for doing so.

Additionally, according to the Real Estate Buyers Association of Australia (REBAA), buyer’s agents need a real estate license to operate in Australia, and buyer agent companies require an agency license.

Make sure you research your buyer’s agent thoroughly to make sure that you are getting what you are paying for. 

Choose a buyer’s agent you can trust; choose Alfy

In an industry where the majority of services are purely designed to help the property seller, it’s good to know that you have someone in your corner. 

At Alfy, we can work towards finding the best property that suits your needs, as well as your wants, and always keep your best interest front of mind. 

So when you want to choose a buyers agent Melbourne property buyers trust, choose Alfy.