Agent representation when buying?

Have you ever called, emailed or met a real estate agent and had a conversation which has led to a verbal agreement by them that yes we will let you know if something comes available or wondered why in the negotiations you as the buyer have been the one that is pushed to come up to the seller’s terms? Well it comes down to the system; generally here in Australia the code of conduct says that the agent is representing their “principal” which is the person paying them their commission.

There is also another option. You as a buyer can enter into a written agreement with any registered real estate agent for them to act on your behalf in sourcing and negotiating on your behalf the sale of the property.

So I guess now you might be asking, well why would I pay an agent to find me a property when I can do this myself and it won’t cost me anything?

Colleagues in the industry and I have previously worked and are currently working with on these terms and there can be many benefits for you as a consumer. I have outlined a few below:

  • If you are unfamiliar with the market you are entering into your agent can provide you with a wealth of information and experience. They can access past sales, what the seller paid for the property and if it has been for sale before and all its history.
  • For overseas buyers your agent can go and view properties for you and show you in real time via video links while at the property and you can get a greater sense of what you are looking at. They can also visit local government authorities for you also where necessary.
  • Some clients like to remain unknown for differing reasons.
  • If you are not familiar with how agents work, having one on your side to ask the right leading questions can really be of benefit to help gain as much information from the other side to help you formulate a suitable offer. With this, the goal is to secure the best terms and the best price for you.
  • You can take advantage of “off market” transactions as you can give a brief to your agent to go out and target a certain area and then not have to be in competition with other buyers in properties that are openly marketed. This works well for development sites and sought-after property in desirable locations.
  • Also a big value add is TIME. We can all focus on what we do best and the added aspects of family and friends’ time. While you are doing all, this your agent can be out there for you and report back a summary of what is happening. All very similar to if you had your home up for sale.
  • For developers this can also work very well. If you have a proactive agent like this at the start who can actively go out and search for a site for you with a big picture in mind then help with the design, project mix, pricing, feasibility and then start to build a buyer expressions of interest along the way you are already half way there to obtaining any pre-sales you are looking for.

In the current climate of high staffing costs, this is a great way to outsource your acquisitions department within your organisation or if you need more eyes on the ground out there looking for you while you are busy at work. Engaging an agent on a buyer’s agreement could really be worthwhile. And when you do they should be reporting back to you daily or weekly dependant on what is available in the market.
Another great idea when using an agent in this capacity is you could really be specific on what streets or building you would like to live in and they sometimes will have all the contact details of these people to make a genuine request if anyone is looking to sell. This then allows you to purchase a property without competing with others.

So consider the option and see if it would work for you. If you live out of town or overseas or are developers looking for the next new opportunity, this could really work well for you.

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