25 Nov 2016

How exclusive is your buyer’s agent?

When engaging a buyer’s agent it’s important you choose an exclusive REBAA buyer’s agent. The question of who pays the buyer’s agent is crucial, because that’s where their loyalty lies. If they are paid by a selling agent or a developer, then they are NOT fully representing your interests.

The majority of buyer’s agents act in the best interests of their clients and they are legally compelled with a “fiduciary duty” to provide independent advice.  The job of a buyer’s agent is not solely to secure a property. A good buyer’s agent will advise you on whether the property is worth buying and the right price to pay. If you are simply going to pay a crazy price, you don’t need to pay someone else to do it for you. A great deal of our value-add is in SAVING you the cost (monetary and stress) of buying the wrong property.

Value for money

Most buyer’s agents provide very good value for money and their fees must be set out in writing with full disclosures and an agreed level of service delivery (typically full search/ negotiate only/ or auction bidding).  Many use a flat fee structure so there is no perceived bias in our negotiation strategies. We argue that the costs incurred typically outweigh the time spent searching, the skills needed to negotiate and complete due diligence and the market knowledge required to pay the right price and pick the right asset. An investment in a professional who has been buying property for 10 or 20 years, who has the contacts and knows how to negotiate, is actually making you money and saving you money all at the same time.

Industry standards

As Australia’s only national professional body representing buyer’s agents, REBAA advocates for higher standards and applies its own barriers to becoming an association member. These include a minimum two-year operating experience, state licensing, compulsory registration with the Office of Fair Trading, as well as new-to-industry buyer’s agents having to go through compulsory mentoring to demonstrate adherence to the association’s code of ethics before they can become a full member. 

We have a strict code of conduct for members and consumers can be assured that they are dealing with accredited members that have their best interests at heart – rather than dealing with a sales agent who just wants to make a quick sale or a buyer’s agent who is being paid by a developer to buy off-the-plan stock.

When engaging a buyer’s agent always remember to look out for the REBAA logo.