The NSW property market is among the busiest and most expensive in Australia, so it’s not uncommon for homebuyers to feel a little bit stressed at times. To make the hunt for their dream home easier, many people these days turn to a buyer’s agent service.
Also known as buyer’s advocates, these are licensed property experts who — as the name suggests — work exclusively for property buyers. Using their local knowledge and network of industry contacts, they can help buyers navigate the market and make offers on the perfect property.
What services does a buyer’s agent offer?
A buyer’s agent can handle as little or as much of the property-buying process as you like. Typically, their services will include:
- Determining what type of property you need: Whether you’re looking for an investment property or your next family home, a buyer’s agent will work with you to pinpoint the type of property that would best suit your needs.
- Finding suitable properties: Once they have a clear picture of your preferences and budget, a buyer’s agent will go out and create a shortlist of properties that are worth your attention.
- Providing access to off-market properties: Through their real estate contacts, an agent might be able to show you properties that haven’t yet hit the market, giving you a chance to sidestep the competition.
- Arranging inspections: If they find the right property, a buyer’s agent will set up a time for you to inspect it in person.
- Conducting appraisals: An agent will look at comparable sales in the area to give you a property’s current market value. They will also perform due diligence to make sure it’s without any major issues.
- Negotiation: With their knowledge of the market and objective appraisal, an agent will try to secure the best possible price when it’s time to negotiate with the real estate agent for your ideal property.
- Settlement: A buyer’s agent will make sure the settlement process goes smoothly by liaising with the conveyancer or solicitor and ensuring all paperwork is completed accurately and on time.
If you like, buyer’s agents can manage the property search from start to finish on your behalf. This is known as a full search, and it’s the priciest item in a buyer’s agent’s repertoire.
How much does a buyer’s agent cost in NSW?
The cost of a buyer’s agent in NSW will vary depending on the agent’s expertise and the services you require. The fee structure can also differ. For example, some agents might charge a fixed fee while others charge a percentage of the eventual purchase price (usually around 2-3% + GST).
Given this, costs can vary a lot depending on where in NSW you’re buying. There is a big price difference between Newcastle and the upscale Sydney areas like the Eastern Suburbs and North Shore, where this can be quite exorbitant. But it’s important to keep in mind the potential savings.
A good buyer’s agent can keep the process stress free, prevent you from making poor investment decisions, point you in the direction of worthwhile properties (including off-market ones), and negotiate a better purchase price than you might have on your own.
All this is not to mention the time and effort you’ll have saved by engaging a professional to handle all or part of the home-buying process for you.
What should you look for in a buyer’s agent?
When partnering with a buyer’s agent, it’s important to look for someone who is knowledgeable, experienced, and trustworthy. Here are some key factors to consider:
- Experience: Look for an agent who has years of experience in the area you intend to buy and consider seeking out previous clients who can vouch for their skills and professionalism.
- Transparency: Agents should be upfront about their fees and any potential conflicts of interest that may arise. If you’re unsure about anything, make sure to ask for clarification.
- Industry contacts: The best buyer’s agents will have a large network of industry contacts at their fingertips, including solicitors, property managers, mortgage brokers and accountants. Just make sure to ask if they receive any fees for these referrals.
- Client-focused: Your priorities will differ whether you’re a first home buyer, a property investor, or someone looking to upgrade the family home. Whatever buyer profile you fit, you’ll want an agent by your side who is focused on your needs and committed to securing the best property for the right price.
How can I make sure a buyer’s agent is independent?
Before you engage a buyer’s agent to help you with your property purchase, you’ll need to make sure they’re not receiving kickbacks or rebates from any other parties, such as selling agents or developers.
A licensed buyer’s agent is technically not allowed to receive payment from both sides in a real estate transaction, so check with your state’s department of fair trading to make sure they have their license.
You should also find out if they’re a member of the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA). This is the only national association for buyer’s agents in Australia, and it requires all members to adhere to strict rules of conduct.
OwnHome Buyer’s Agent Service
At OwnHome, our expertise is home-buying. when you take out a Deposit Boost Loan, you are assigned your own dedicated personal Buyer's Agent. We know the ins and outs of the NSW market and can do the leg work needed for you to make a confident decision. Our team considers market trends, independent valuations, comparable properties and more to help you find ‘the one’ at the right price.