Many people ask, “What is a Buyer’s Advocate?”. A Buyer’s Advocate or Buyer's Agent is a real estate professional appointed by a prospective homebuyer to research, consider and negotiate the purchase of a home. Unlike real estate agents who are working in the best interests of the seller, a Buyer’s Agent looks after you the buyer. In an industry where the majority of services are targeted and tailored to help the seller, it’s good to know that you can get some professional help on your side of the process.
What does a Buyer's Advocate do?
A buyer’s advocate typically offers two types of services:
They can search for properties that meet your specific needs and negotiate the terms of purchase for that chosen property (whether by auction or private sale.) Depending on the list of criteria, a buyer’s agent may be able to narrow down to only a few properties, or a range of properties (typically for investors).
They can bid on your behalf at the auction of a property that you may have found for yourself.
The next question is typically “How much does a Buyer’s Advocate cost?”. Because there is much less involved in bidding at auction for the property you want, as expected this type of service will carry a much lower fee. Conversely, for a full service that involves finding, researching, evaluating and negotiating a purchase, you can expect to pay a higher fee. This is usually partially a fixed amount and a percentage of the purchase price.
Do I need a Buyers Advocate to buy a property?
While it’s not essential to engage a Buyer’s Advocate when purchasing a property, it’ does give you an advantage over the rest of the market. Here’s five reasons why you might consider appointing a Buyer’s Advocate:
You get your time back: Searching for the perfect property can take hours of your time away from doing the things you enjoy. In addition to browsing listings online, you’ll also need to set aside time to view the properties in person. When multiple properties are being shown at the same date and time, it can be exhausting driving from one location to the other. A Buyer’s Advocate can save time by house-hunting for you and narrowing the number of potential properties to look at, based on your requirements.
Bidding at auctions: Auctions are high-energy, an emotional rollercoaster and can be intimidating for someone who’s never participated in one before. A Buyer’s Advocate can put you at ease and prevent overbidding, as well as use some strategies to help intimidate the competition and potentially get a better price for you at auction.
You can potentially save money: A Buyer’s Advocate has years of experience in property and negotiating a better deal on the purchase price. Additionally, they can help you understand how much a property is truly worth. That said, the ability to negotiate the purchase price does depend on each sellers personal situation.
Better access to off-market properties: Lots of people know that some properties just aren’t advertised online, particularly those asking for a higher price or in no need to rush a sale. A Buyer’s Advocate has access to these off-market properties and can provide you with an opportunity that you most likely wouldn’t have been able to discover by yourself.
Emotional detachment: A Buyer’s Advocate has no emotional attachment to the property you’ve selected, which means they can be objective when viewing the home and see it for what it is. As a buyer, you are more likely to pay over market price for something you’ve fallen in love with. A Buyer’s Advocate can help view the property realistically.
There’s no doubt that hiring a Buyer's Advocate to help with sourcing your next property and negotiating the purchase price can be helpful. If you don’t have the skills to objectively value the property or secure a deal, you may want to look into appointing a Buyer’s Advocate and have your own secret weapon.
Lush Property offers a professional Buyer’s Advocacy service for those looking to buy their next property. Contact us now to find out more information.
Luke Jorgensen - Lush Property
Tags - Property Investment; Property Development; Renovation; Valuation; Valuer; First Home Buyer; Buyers Agent; Buyers Advocacy