Buying blind is the new way to buy property as long as buyers put the search in the hands of a qualified, independent buyer’s agent, says multi-award winning buyer’s agent, Rich Harvey, who is part of the expert team in Channel Nine’s new property show Buying Blind.
Mr Harvey, who is also president of the national industry body representing buyer’s agents – the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association (REBAA) – said buyer’s agents were a growing force in Australia and were increasingly being engaged to search, evaluate and negotiate properties on behalf of eager home buyers.
“A good local buyer’s agent is an expert at finding exactly the right property for the client, performs a tailored search and advises the client which properties to avoid and the best properties to make offers on,” he said.
“They should be giving quality advice without fear or favour. The local expertise and market knowledge is key to success.”
Most buyer’s agents charge the equivalent of two percent of the purchase price for a full service while others will charge an upfront retainer plus a fixed-dollar success fee.
“As experts, we struggle to understand why anyone would enter into a financial transaction of this size without professional representation,” said Mr Harvey.
“Many people wouldn’t think of selling their home without paying a real estate agent and yet they’re happy to buy a home without professional advice.
“Anyone considering a buyer’s agent should ensure they choose someone who is licensed in their state and preferably a REBAA member.
“REBAA has worked hard to raise awareness of buyer’s agents over the past decade and to improve industry standards. Buying Blind will showcase the hard work a buyer’s agent does to help ordinary Australians crack into the property market.
“Our members are committed to offering services with stringent ethical standards and undertaking proper due diligence.
“An important question to ask a buyer’s agent is whether they are truly ‘exclusive’ or ‘independent’.
“A truly independent buyer’s agent acts for you as the buyer and is only paid on the buying side.”
According to Mr Harvey, investors, expats, interstate and foreign buyers more commonly enlist buyer’s agents but with awareness growing, home buyers of all categories are utilising their services (even first home buyers)
The benefits of utilising a professional buyer’s agent are:
• Get the upper hand by using an expert who can interpret sales jargon,
• Access local knowledge if you’re relocating or purchasing in an unfamiliar area,
• Remove the emotion to ensure you don’t make an impulsive buy,
• Access more properties including off-market (silent listings) unlisted or pre-market listings before they’re advertised,
• Save money by securing your property quickly and at a lower price,
• Free up time that would have otherwise been spent searching the internet, calling agents and inspecting open homes every weekend; and
• Eliminate stress.
Mr Harvey said that it makes a lot of sense to outsource the search to a buyer’s agent.
“For a lot of buyers, handing over the responsibility of the property search is a big relief,” he said.
“These buyers are transferring the pressure to a seasoned professional who has the skills and resources to find the ideal property in less time and typically a better price.”