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Many Australians find buyer’s agents to be extremely helpful during the house hunting process, but would you benefit from employing their help?

Many Australians find buyer’s agents to be extremely helpful during the house hunting process, but would you benefit from employing their help?

There are a number of different ways buyer’s agents can help when searching, evaluating and negotiating during the purchase process and you can choose how much help they can provide. Whether you only need help with finding the right property or need the agent to manage the entire process, they can do so. 

Some of the responsibilities of a buyer’s agent include: researching the market, research recent sales data, create an appraisal, inspecting properties to create a shortlist of the most suitable options, oversee price negotiations, oversee exchange of contracts, conduct pre-settlement inspections and assist with the settlement process.

Depending on your experience and needs, you may find that you won’t necessarily need a buyer’s agent for all of these things, but that is up to you to decide. But remember, these services do come at a cost. According to the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA), buyer’s agents’ full service fees usually range from 1.5-3% + GST of the purchase price. While this percentage may not seem like much, remember that 3% of a $500,000 house is $15,000. So, if you are a home buyer struggling to save a sufficient deposit, you will need to think hard about the costs involved.

So what are the pros and cons of employing the services of a buyer’s agent?

Pros

• Have the help of a professional with insider information on the market

• If you are moving to a new area, they can provide local knowledge

• Buyer’s agents may have access to properties that are not listed on the market yet.

• They will keep emotions out of the decision which can be really helpful for investment properties where you need to focus on its return as an investment rather. 

• A buyer’s agent can help save you time and keep stress to a minimum

• Superior negotiation skills along with extensive research of values can help secure a property for much less than what you could have negotiated.

Cons

• The fees can be costly, especially for those struggling to save for a property. Doing your own research and negotiation may be more cost effective.

• Make sure the buyer’s agent is licensed and independent, as some agents have been known to receive a double commission from vendors as well.

• If you are not 100% sure about what type of property you want, the buyer’s agent may come back with a list of properties that are not suitable and it could waste your time and money.

• Even though buyer’s agents take the emotion out of the decision-making, you could miss out on finding the property with the right ‘feel’ to it.