From the desk of Zoran Solano, REBAA Vice President & Executive Committee Member
The role of the buyers’ agent (BA) has become more prominent in the past decade. Not too long ago it was rare to see a property transaction where a BA was involved. Purchasers had to take on the process solo, while the seller had a specialist marketer and negotiator representing their side of the transaction.
But that’s been changing rapidly and BAs are now far more commonplace.
Still, there’s plenty of work to do. One of the big hurdles is educating buyers and the public more broadly on the value we bring to the purchasing process.
Here are a few of the ways I believe we create a better experience for all, especially our clients.
Much of the benefit we bring begins well before our clients even look at a home listing.
Our BA responsibilities include preparing the client for the purchasing process by helping them both define their needs and corral their resources.
We make sure they set their goals appropriately. We walk them through the important elements a property and location should include to meet their desired outcome.
BAs are also adept at presenting alternatives. Many times, a buyer will have dismissed a certain suburb out of hand without giving it serious consideration. An experienced BA with great local knowledge can be a sounding board to help them realise the full potential of various locations.
BAs also ensure the buyer will be in a strong competitive advantage by ensuring they have their “ducks in a row”. Have they got a pre-approved loan? Do they have a great conveyancer, legal professional, building inspector and accountant on hand? Do they have an adequate deposit ready?
Then there’s mindset. For the average Aussie, buying real estate is a rare event. As such, thinking about committing to the purchase of a home or investment can feel daunting. Our role is to guide them and inject reality and practical advice into the process. This helps buyers proceed in a logical, clear-headed manner.
We get to flex our full range of skills when assessing the viability of a potential purchase for our clients, from title details, town planning and other non-tangibles through to the physical inspection. BAs know what’s worthy of concern and what isn’t, and when to elevate an issue with the seller’s agent.
Then there’s the very important assessment of value. Not only are great BAs fully aware of what other sales have transacted in a location, they also know how to apply sensible comparisons in order to reach a logical conclusion on price.
BAs are a professional buffer between their buyer client and the selling agent.
An experienced BA can use their well-established network of agents to help them source potential listings.
We also know how to communicate with agents. What a selling agent would be prepared to tell a BA is different to what they’d reveal to a potential buyer. BAs get more background and know how to customise an offer based on what’s motivating the seller. This can prove particularly important in multi-offer situations.
We level the playing field in negotiations too. There are no emotional heartstrings for the selling agent to pull when it comes to a BA. We stick to the facts and make reasoned, practical decisions in concert with our client to bring about the best possible outcome for them.
And, as well all know, selling agents love working with BAs. There’s no runaround – our response times are faster and more reasoned than those they receive from the majority of everyday purchasers.
There plenty to do even after the contract is signed. Helping guide the buyer through the settlement process can be sometimes as tough as sourcing the home in the first place.
BAs are on hand to address any issues. Full-service work also means a BA might be at all post-purchase inspections by other contractors. We can also attend a home pre-handover to ensure all contract conditions have been met before settlement day.
Of course, most BAs I know also don’t simply walk away once the buyer takes possession either. We are on hand after the fact to assist in any way.
These are just some of the ways we are adding huge value to the buying process. The next time you’re in discussion about being a BA, feel free to draw on these thoughts and help REBAA elevate your role among property transaction stakeholders.