Sydney is one of the hottest real estate markets in Australia and the entire world. The Sydney metropolitan area has a strong GDP, consistently rising over the past decade. Buying property in this city is on the radar of new and seasoned investors alike. But how successful your investment is may come down to the buyer’s agent Sydney you work with.
While there is a high concentration of real estate agents in Sydney, finding the right buyer’s agent may take some time and effort. And for someone who is working with a buyer’s agent for the first time, like a home buyer or beginner investor, it can be even more challenging.
Understanding what services a buyer’s agent can provide, what commitments they have to you, and what rules apply to such a transaction can help you make the best of such an arrangement.
What to Expect from a Buyer’s Agent?
A buyer’s agent represents the buyer, so their interests are aligned with the buyer. In other words, you should expect them to work for you and you only, not the seller. Sellers may have their agents (seller’s agent).
While a buyer’s agent’s main job is to facilitate you in buying a property, the actual job tasks are much more diverse. Here’s what you can expect a buyer’s agent to do for you:
- Source properties (off-market or listed) that meet your requirements (size, number of bedrooms, neighbourhood, amenities, style, etc.)
- Arrange a showing of the properties that meet your requirements, preferably at a time of your convenience
- Provide detailed information about the property, area, community, and facilities
- Provide detailed information about zoning laws, taxes, and other regulations that apply to the purchase and use of the property
- Complete a market analysis of the property
- Advise on property price (market value and offer)
- Negotiate the price on your behalf with the seller or their agent
- Prepare an offer in writing
- Bid on properties based on your budget if it goes to auction
- Assist with the mortgage/loan application
- Assist with any other paperwork regarding the purchase of the property
Now, some buyers may not need all these services. For example, if you already have a property in your eye you want to buy, you may hire the buyer’s agent to negotiate or bid for you and help you with the paperwork. They don’t need to source properties for you or schedule showings.
It’s important to communicate what you expect the agent to do for you, as that often determines the fee you’ll pay. Some buyer’s agents may charge a lesser fee if you expect them to do only one or more tasks. On the other hand, if you require their services from sourcing to closing, you should expect to pay their full fee.
Once you have established the services you expect the agent to provide, you can have them listed in the contract. That way, there aren’t any conflicts later on if there’s a service you need that they didn’t agree to do. By listing all the services, you bind the agent in a contract.
Of course, you’re also bound by the provisions in the contract for the agent, such as their fee, time, and commitment to buying the property once it’s finalized.
The Rules You Should Know
Here are some rules about working with a buyer’s agent Sydney from property expert Zaki Ameer of DDP Property
While buyer’s agents can use fixed prices or percentages as their fees, there’s no rule that they have to get a fixed commission. So you can negotiate their commission on the purchase. Of course, they have the right to deny it.
Dual Agent Consent
A buyer’s agent may show you properties from the sellers they represent. If you choose to buy a property they represent as a seller’s agent, they must provide you with a Dual Agent Consent Form. This form ensures that you’re aware they represent the seller, too, and outlines that they must have objectivity for both parties. Alternatively, you can request your buyer’s agent not to show you the properties they represent.
Real estate agents in Australia are prohibited from practicing law, so they cannot provide legal advice. They might be familiar with the laws and regulations but cannot legally represent you or answer related questions. You’ll need the services of a lawyer for all legal purposes.
It’s generally a good idea to consult with an attorney and have them look at the paperwork.
Tips for Working With a Buyer’s Agent
The better understanding you have with your buyer’s agent, the better the outcome would be. For this reason, it’s important to work with an agent you trust who fully understands your requirements. Here are some tips to ensure that:
- Ask questions before hiring a buyer’s agent (even the questions you think are unimportant).
- Ask them if they have access to off-market properties, which can sometimes work in your favour and get you a great deal.
- Explain your requirements and expectations, and then have them in writing when signing a contract.
- Discuss the commission/fee before signing any contract, and do not sign without reading.
- Choose someone you believe is passionate about their profession, understands your requirements well, and is willing to deliver on them.
- If you’re looking for properties in Sydney for investment, work with someone with adequate financial and market knowledge. They would understand your investment goals better.