Let’s start with what a buyers advocate is (also known as a buyers agent). They are a licensed professional who acts on behalf of the buyer during the property transaction.
Their role can vary depending on what you need from them ranging from bidding at auction, through to a full service including property research and shortlisting, evaluating properties you’ve found and negotiation with the vendor for private sale.
So why use a buyers advocate?
Photo: Nelson Alexander
01 A buyers advocate saves you time
A buyers advocate can put in the hard yards, so you don’t have to. No tramping through countless open for inspections on weekends, trawling through pages of houses online or speaking to salespeople. A good buyers advocate will be able to provide you with a shortlist of properties based on the brief you provide them – just make sure your brief contains what you actually want in a property, otherwise you’re wasting their time and your money.
02 A buyers advocate saves you money
Speaking of money, your buyers advocate is going to save you money too. The cost of utilising their service is usually around 2% of the purchase price (so for a $500,000 you’ll pay your advocate $10,000) BUT given their relationships and negotiating skills, they should be able to save you at least what they cost, in addition to the time you’ll save.
03 A buyers advocate knows the area
A great buyers advocate should intimately know the area they operate in, this will include having access to research on things like capital growth, rental yields, what infrastructure is planned and where there are any developments in the works. They should be able to look at two properties on the same street and help you determine which is going to meet your performance needs, evaluate the properties independently and help you choose the right one.
04 A buyers advocate has access to those elusive off-market properties
Sometimes buyers advocates will have a heads up on properties available before they actually hit the market thanks to their relationships with local real estate agents. And some properties never hit the mainstream market, these properties are known as off-market properties – people may privately reach out to let a buyers advocate know they are available and sell them via this method rather than through the traditional advertising on property comparison websites.
05 A buyers advocate takes away the emotion
Buying a home, whether it be your first or fourteenth can be emotional. It’s a lot of money you’re committing to, but it’s also a place that may be where you raise kids or a starting point to grow your portfolio – whatever the case, it’s hard to be impartial and keep those emotions at bay.
A buyers advocate can help you with this too, whether it’s negotiating on price or contracts or even bidding at auction – your advocate will do this in a cool, calm and collected manner and operate in your best interests.
06 A buyers advocate is not just for investors
Whilst a buyers advocate is a fabulous person to use when you’re looking at investing either locally or interstate because of their intimate knowledge of the area and the assets available, you can also utilise this same expertise when buying your home to live in. all of the above points are still relevant: access to off market transaction, saves you time, saves you money, knows the area and can bid at auction for you. Sweet.
Before you decide to use a buyers advocate (and in all honesty, we think you should ALWAYS use a buyers advocate, they’re super useful), make sure you check their licence is up to date, what their qualifications are and of course, their experience and knowledge of the area you’re buying in.
Entourage has a range of different buyers advocates available within our network and we can recommend someone knowledgeable and experienced within your area. Contact us or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org we’ll hook you up.