When looking for a buyer’s agent in Melbourne, one of your top considerations is the fee. How much do buyer’s agents usually charge in Melbourne? And how much should you pay them?
It’s typically significant, and you ideally want the lowest rates. At the same time, you don’t want someone who doesn’t understand your property requirements or doesn’t work as hard as they should. Therefore, knowing the fee range within the city can be helpful when searching for a buyer’s agent.
Types of Buyer’s Agent Fee Structure
Before we talk about buyer’s agent fees in Melbourne and adjacent suburbs, it’s best to understand the fee structure property agents typically use in Australia. This structure may determine the final fee they will charge you.
There are three pricing models or fee structures buyer’s agents follow:
Percentage Fee (Percentage of Property)
When buying and selling property for a client, many agents use this model for their fee, where they charge a certain percentage of the property price. This can range from one to three percent.
This can also vary as the percentage may be higher if the price is lower, which gives agents an incentive to negotiate a better deal for the buyer.
Tiered Fixed Fee
Another fee structure buyers’ agents use is a tiered fixed fee, where they charge a fixed fee depending on the tier the property price falls in. For instance, they might have a fixed fee of $5,000 for property prices up to $500,000, then $6,500 for properties between $500,000 and $800,000, and so on.
Some agents charge a flat fee regardless of the price of the property. The fixed fee can vary by type of property, for example, residential, commercial, or luxury. Commonly, they charge this fee in installments as they work on finding and negotiating a property.
What Factors Influence Buyer’s Agent Fee?
Buyer’s agent decides their fee based on several factors. However, most rely on the number of hours they’ll need to put in to find you a property. That, in turn, depends on what you expect the buyer’s agent to do for you.
For instance, if you already have a property in mind, you may only need their services for negotiating the price and overseeing the paperwork. However, if you’re looking for properties, they may also need to search and vet listed or off-market properties that suit your needs. That, of course, requires more time, travel, and effort.
Then, there’s also the type of property. For luxury properties, abundantly available in Melbourne, they might charge a percentage price because they might be able to make more money.
Some agencies also charge value-added tax on top of the basic fee, regardless of the fee model. So make sure to inquire about any taxes that would be added to your final bill.
Lastly, it also matters where the buyer’s agents are located and which neighborhoods or areas they focus on.
How Much Is the Cost of a Buyer’s Agent in Melbourne?
Property prices in Melbourne are generally high, much like in Sydney. So the buyer’s agent costs are also comparatively higher. You can expect to pay 1.25 to 2.75 percent of the property price to buyer’s agents charging a percentage fee. Agents with fixed prices may charge up to $10,000.
The fees also differ by the services they offer. A buyer’s agent may charge under $500 plus any tax for auction bidding according to DDP Property founder Zaki Ameer .
Buyer’s agents are also called buyer’s advocates in Melbourne, even though they are not lawyers. However, they are well aware of zoning, building, and transactional laws that you might not know.
There are pros and cons to both percentage-based commission and fixed fee. With percentage-based fees, buyer’s agents are incentivized to get the best prices, especially when they get a bigger cut for a lower price.
On the other hand, with a fixed fee arrangement, you already know what you’ll pay and can better budget your spending on property.
Keep in mind that you may not be able to claim any tax deductibles on this fee, especially if you intend to live on the property. You may be able to claim it as deductible on capital gains tax when you sell the property in the future that you acquired solely as an investor.
Is a Buyer’s Agent Melbourne Worth It?
Melbourne is a great city for real estate investment as prices have been increasing historically. So whether you’re buying a home to live in or investing to get rental income and capital gains, the Victorian capital is a viable option.
That said, demand for property in Melbourne is very high as the city’s population is steadily growing. So finding the ideal property at the best price can be a challenge.
That’s where a buyer’s agent’s expertise comes in, as they are expert negotiators and know market trends. They can help you find the property you want and get it at the price you can afford. More importantly, buyer’s agents may be able to get you off-market property investment opportunities.
Similarly, after you have sealed the deal on a property, a buyer’s agent can ensure that all the paperwork is in order. Using their services can save you from unnecessary bureaucratic tape in buying property and get you a great deal.