20 Nov 2020

The Trump Dilemma: When buyers should concede

Frustrated home buyers are being urged to seek professional help to secure their next property purchase in a time of global and economic flux, recommends Australia’s leading professional association for buyer’s agents.

Real Estate Buyers Agents Association (REBAA) president Cate Bakos said now more than ever, home buyers needed independent representation when purchasing property.

Record low interest rates, low stock levels and the incentive to buy property before Christmas were contributing to panic buying conditions in some states.

“This is not the time to make a rash purchase,” said Ms Bakos.

“Much like the US president Donald Trump’s refusal to concede defeat in the presidential election, buyers need to know when to admit they need professional help from an independent advisor who can help guide them through this volatile time.

“We anticipate further buyer interest to extend into next year, stimulated by historically low interest rates and Australia’s strong position in fighting COVID-19 along with the loosening of responsible lending guidelines.

“There are many buyers out there who have been looking for property for more than 12 months and for a variety of reasons, they keep missing out. There is no doubt heightened anxiety and FOMO can lead to poor purchasing decisions.”

A buyer’s agent specialises in formulating strategy, searching, evaluating and negotiating a property purchase on behalf of an interested buyer. The concept of using a buyer’s agent is common in the US and is fast gaining popularity in Australia.

REBAA is Australia’s largest association of independent buyer’s agents with approximately 84 members nationally, up from 53 in 2014.

To be a member, the operator has to have been working full time as a buyer’s agent for two years; be a licensed real estate agency and not have properties listed for sale or be involved in direct selling.

According to Ms Bakos, COVID-19 had seen more people putting their trust in buyer’s agents to view and purchase properties on their behalf either for interstate purchases or during lockdown. Many regions are now experiencing tight days on market, near-to-zero vacancy rates, and outperformance capital growth as a result of many city dwellers looking for a change.

Brisbane buyer’s agent and REBAA QLD representative, Matt Reeves, said buyer interest in Queensland had risen 18 per cent in the last six months as more people were realising the lifestyle and affordability benefits of the sunshine state.

“I’ve certainly had an increase in enquiries over the past six months but I’ve also had many clients come to me who have been looking for property for more than 18 months who just keep missing out,” said Mr Reeves.

“Most of the time they fall down on the negotiation simply because they don’t know how to price the property.

“To me it’s a no-brainer. Buyers don’t seem to have any qualms about paying a real estate agent to sell their home and yet they don’t see the same value in paying someone to buy them a home.

“In the current climate, buyers need to be decisive or risk losing out again.”