Should You Hire A Buyer To Find Your Home?
Buying a home is tough - you've got to find your dream property, work out how you're going to pay for it and deal with selling agents who are essentially paid to work against you.
Faced with a range of financial and emotional challenges, is it worth hiring someone to be on your side?
"Australians are generally a bit too cavalier about buying property," says Veronica Morgan, founder of Good Deeds Property
Buyers and co-host of Location Location Location Australia.
"It's a massive outlay and if you do make a mistake, getting out of it is very, very expensive."
The main mistakes are a) buying the wrong property and b) paying too much for it, Ms Morgan says.
A buyer's agent will do the property search for you and advise on what you should pay, which is particularly important in hot markets like Sydney's inner west, where auction clearance rates are at 90 per cent and properties sell for tens of thousands of dollars over the asking price.
"Sometimes people want help finding a property and sometimes people have already found one but don't know what to do next," Ms Morgan says.
"They don't want to play silly buggers and lose it, they don't want to get overenthusiastic and pay too much for it, they've got doubts about what the agent is telling them and whether they're bluffing."
Buyer's agents aren't just for expats or those with big budgets, Ms Morgan says.
Most of her clients are local and more than half spend less than a million dollars.
Her fees range from $15,000 to $35,000, depending on the complexity of your case.
Here are five reasons why you should use a buyer's agent:
1. They know the market and the process.
"It's about keeping abreast of the market, monitoring it and being sensitive to the changes," Ms Morgan says.
A buyer's agent takes care of due diligence - they'll check whether anyone is planning to build apartments down the road, organise inspections and co-ordinate with the solicitor.
2. They can stop you from buying the wrong property.
A buyer's agent finds out what you want, makes sure you want the right thing and searches for a good investment (they can also get access to properties before they're listed).
"Sometimes we get a client hell bent on buying a property that we wouldn't recommend and our role then becomes about making sure they don't pay too much for it," Ms Morgan says.
3. They can make sure you pay the right price.
"We've had so many clients come to us so excited about a property that the fear of missing out makes it go up in value in their heads," Ms Morgan says.
"Negotiating is our day-to-day business so we know how to do it but also, we don't have the emotional attachment so we can look at it objectively."
4. They go into battle for you against selling agents.
"We've heard so many anecdotes of people falling for all sorts of lines from agents but on the flip side, some people are just so suspicious of agents they don't buy anything," she says.
"The experience comes into play when it comes to knowing when to believe what they say or when to call their bluff."
5. They can help you be realistic.
Ms Morgan often comes across people who want more than they can afford, which is why she prefers to meet with potential clients before taking them on, to discuss how realistic their expectations are and whether they need to compromise.
WHAT TO ASK A PROPERTY BUYER:
- Are they a member of the Real Estate Buyers' Agents Association of Australia?
- How long have they been a buyer's agent?
- Have they ever been a selling agent? For how long?
- What qualifications do they have to be a buyer's agent?
- You want someone with selling experience but you don't want a buyer's agent who still acts for vendors as well
- Speak to their past and current clients
Source: Good Deeds Property Buyers