A buyer's agent can help you secure a better property, a better price, or both, provided you engage the right one. In days gone past, Australian buyers' agents were something of a rare breed, with only a handful in each city catering to a cashed-up, time-poor executive clientele.
Today it's a burgeoning industry, with everyday homeowners, mum and dad investors and luxury buyers alike increasingly seeing the value in a buyer's advocacy real estate service.
"The concept of using a buyer's agent comes from the fact that most people only buy one or two properties in their life – their home and one investment. They don't have the depth of experience of negotiating, researching and getting things right from only a few experiences, so that's how buyers' agents were able to start demonstrating their worth," explains Michael Yardney, director of Metropole Property Strategists.
"Statistics show that most property investors fail – they want a level of financial independence, but we know that the majority never get past their first or second property. In fact, most of them sell in the first five years, which means they've obviously bought something that didn't suit their needs".
A new infographic from Propertybuyer.com.au shows how the engagement of a good buyers' advocate can take the stress out of buying and selling property in Australia.
click here for full size infograph
Helen Collier-Kogtevs, managing director of Real Wealth Australia, counters that a better investment could be to use the money you would have spent on a buyer's agent for your own financial education.
"When you look at your return on investment, spending $10,000 on educating yourself will pay dividends for years to come, and on multiple investments, whereas spending that on a buyer's agent's fee only generates an ROI for that particular investment," she points out.
"If you are time-poor and wish to make a smart investment, and genuinely don't have the time or interest in sourcing your own investment, then by all means pay for a buyer's agent. Otherwise, educating yourself so you can make your own smart, calculated decisions is the better way to go".
"As a general guide, buyers' agents' full-service fees work out to be 1.5–3% plus GST of the purchase price," reports the Real Estate Buyers' Agents Association of Australia. "This is similar to what most selling agents charge for selling a property. However, some buyers' agents will negotiate a set or fixed fee in advance, depending on price brackets, degree of difficulty and other search criteria".