14 Mar 2018

Traps for 'mum and dad' property investors

Media Release

Australia’s largest body of professional buyer’s agents is warning home buyers not to listen solely to their parents’ advice when making what is likely to be the biggest investment of their lives.

Real Estate Buyers Agents Association (REBAA) president Rich Harvey said while parents were well intentioned, they were not property experts.

The warning comes in the wake of a recent survey by comparison website finder.com.au which found house hunters value their parents’ advice above the professionals, with 25 per cent of respondents turning to their parents as their first port of call.

According to Mr Harvey, buyer’s agents were seeing an increasing number of first home buyers using family pledge loans or parents paying buyer’s agents fees in the quest to get on the property ladder.

He warned home buyers not to rely on their own research and recommended they take advice from the professionals who work daily in the field and who were not emotionally invested in the process.

“While mum and dad might have the equity or cash to help out with a deposit, they are unlikely to have up to date market intelligence or the skills to research and transact on a property,” said Mr Harvey.

“Many home buyers feel that because their parents have contributed financially to the investment they are obliged to follow their investment advice.

“In many cases, parents are not property investment professionals and often it’s their fear of their children failing that can influence their advice.

“There is definitely a risk to home buyers who rely on the advice of friends and family of overpaying or simply making a bad purchase.

“If you’re unfamiliar with the property market and worried you might overpay, working with an experienced, accredited buyer’s agent can be a great strategy.

“Fortunately these professionals can assist with everything from providing an independent appraisal, researching property to bidding at auction.

“Engaging a buyer’s agent adds yet another level of protection for the insecure buyer by analysing the data, negotiating on behalf of the purchaser and ensuring they make an informed decision rather than emotional one.”