The most common question we are asked when speaking with people who are new to engaging a Buyer Advocate (also known as a Buyers Agent) is “can you get us a cheaper property?”. The short answer is yes, under some circumstances we do have the ability to negotiate hard on a property and can identify when a property is selling at a slightly under market level. However, when asked this question it can take all the will power within me not to shout “WE DO SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT”. Instead I smile, remember that prison stripes are not my colour, and patiently try to educate. There are dozens of ways a Buyer Advocate can add value to your purchasing journey that are not commonly thought of (we’re superheros, really). Here are just 6 things a Buyer Advocate does for you.
*Disclaimer –Like in any industry, not all Buyer Advocates are created equal. Make sure you do adequate research when appointing a Buyers Agent to ensure that the below points are being undertaken for you. They should be standard practice, but alas, they are not always.
This is the obvious one but is so commonly overlooked. A real estate agent is a trained, practiced negotiator. They are selling properties every day of the week and undertake regular training to ensure their negotiation skills are unrivalled. Their job is to ensure they get every penny out of you to achieve the highest price for their vendor. Unless you yourself are a trained negotiator, you are likely no match and it’s so easy to wind up paying more than you need to. A Buyer Advocate is also a trained negotiator, the advantage to you is that we level the playing field.
Off Market and pre-market properties
Possibly 90% of client enquiries believe that the only advantage of employing a Buyers Agent is because they have access to off market properties (This is true, though not the only advantage). Off market properties are a great thing, and approx. 50% of our purchases are off markets or pre-market opportunities. You Buyer Advocate may still recommend an on-market property over an off market if it proves to be a superior purchase, however the advantage is that you have access to a larger pool of stock, without the competition of an auction.
Knowing true value of property
How many of you can look at a property and then know how/where to access the resources to evaluate it’s true value?… How many base your opinion of worth based on the agent’s quoted selling range?…. When bidding at auction, do you know where to pull the pin to avoid overpaying?
Knowing the true value of a property is crucial when purchasing, especially as an investor. Wouldn’t it be nice to bid at auction and not have to worry about whether you were paying too much? A Buyer Advocate has access to industry resources and will assess the value of the property based on recent sales, location, condition, scarcity value, popularity, vendor circumstances and more.
Bidding at auction is not as simple as raising your hand and signing the contract (though that’s how most manage it). There are easily half a dozen different tactics you can use to better your chances of success, knock out competition, speed up or slow down bidding, and knowing if/when to do them is crucial. Knowing the rules of the auction can also place you at an advantage and assists you in keeping on top of the agents’ antics. Many agents invest heavily in body language training to be able to identify whether you have more in the bank, so anything we can do to make their job harder puts you at an advantage.
Comprehensive due diligence
Due diligence….it’s a term that everybody is familiar with, but nobody really knows what it actually entails. Wondering whether there’s anything you have missed, if you’re interpreting all of the information correctly, or have overlooked something crucial…..you’re not the only one. As Buyers Agents, we eat due diligence for breakfast. Due diligence differs case by case, it can be more or less comprehensive depending on the nature of the purchase, however you can rest assured that in hiring a Buyer Advocate, all your bases have been covered.
Avoiding costly mistakes
Here’s the big one. The pinnacle. The Goliath, if you will. Purchasing a property will be one of the biggest, if not the biggest purchase you ever make. One little oversight can cost you tens of $$$. Hands down the most valuable asset in hiring a Buyer Advocate is to ensure that you do not make a mistake. This stems from targeting the right type of property, in the right suburb, with the right yield expectations for your circumstances, to conducting all necessary due diligence, bidding at auction, ensuring you are fully protected in the contract of sale and settlement. There are so many areas where things can go drastically wrong, often resulting in money out of your pocket. The most valuable role of a Buyer Advocate is to minimize the risk to you and ensure you are acquiring a profitable and sound purchase.
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