What is your experience with Buyers Agents?

Hi

Out of curiosity what is your experience with Buyers Agents?

In WA a buyers agent will act on behalf of the buyer. A written legal buyers agent authority must be in place listing terms, conditions and commission payable.

The buyers agent is the bird dog, researches for the buyer, inspects property, takes photos, and produces a report to present to the buyer. The buyer can decide to proceed or reject the property. If they decide to proceed the buyers agent can draft up a contract with terms and conditions, negotiate on behalf of the buyer, secure the contract, take the contract to settlement and conduct the final inspection.

You may have visited a home open and a Buyers Agent was doing their inspection?
You may have been competing with a Buyers Agent who was making an offer on a property?
A Buyers Agent may have purchased your property?

My experience with Buyers Agents is okay.

Would you use a Buyers Agent?

What is your experience?
Good, bad, warts and all, or funny?
Heard any stories?
 
Last edited:
My experience has been brilliant. I engaged Propertunity in NSW and Property Searchers in QLD two weeks ago and bought two apartments 14 hours apart yesterday.

In both situations we had to move very quickly. For NSW the property had been passed in at auction 4 days prior to me spotting it. Contracts were already at the solicitors with the underbidder and we had to gazump them. A crazy 24 hours. I didn't get extra photos but then we didn't really have time. I was comfortable to purchase knowing that the BA went through and had a good look at it just before handing over the contract and deposit.

In Brisbane, a unit came on the market on Thursday. It was OFI on Saturday. My BA managed to get in on the Friday and it already had an offer on it sight unseen from someone else. We put in an offer with a 9am Sat deadline and it was accepted - so the property was never open for inspection and she was the only one who got to see it. She moved like lightning to secure it. She took extra pics etc but I haven't seen those yet. As it's the weekend she sent me the info I needed to organise insurance and I guess the rest will be sorted early next week.

The most important thing I learnt, is that you really have to put all your trust into them and allow them to make the call. You've hired them to make the right decisions so you need to let them do their job.

I've been to OFI and seen BA's taking photos and writing lots of notes and a few weeks ago I was at an auction in Thornbury VIC where a BA was bidding - she was very authorative and loud!
 
Property Searchers. Fee was $9900 and I found them very professional and FAST. Had to fill out loads of paperwork but it meant they had a good idea on what I liked. They were instructed to find something that favoured CG over yield and that's exactly what they did. The unit was perfect. In excellent condtion with new tiled floors and fresh paint, but bathroom and kitchen has room to improve in future. Good for someone time poor like me. I'm very happy with the result. Just bloew my mind that it all moved so quickly
 
Am considering using a BA for the next one as we are considering buying interstate... not sure yet. May just buy / build again in Canberra, if we can afford it...
 
I've used big brand name buyers agent with a pretty poor experience.

A property took over 6 months to acquire (in a rising market - Melboure did 20% that year...), I missed out on an amazing deal, was asked to break the max limit we set at auction and now I have this property with hopeless yield and this 'investment grade, high growth, inner presitge,' property has averaged 5% capital growth over the last 4 years.
 
Hi

None personal but MANY with client using their services.

Generally very good, sometimes sensational, and rarely downright sad.

I can report that all the BAs that post here regularly always have happy clients.


ta
rolf
 
I've never used a BA. But I can't help thinking, what if....

A/ They're just in a hurry to flog you the first IP, roughly matching your description, and keep full commission?
or
B/ They have an "arrangement" with a seller and/or developer. Again keeping full commission, maybe even from both sides.

Maybe it's just my suspicious side, but too much money at stake to get it wrong, or for any purchase not to be in YOUR best interest.
Remember, they work for a fee at purchase. How it performs later, good or bad, has no bearing on them.

That said, I would think that a buyers advocate could be of very good use to an inexperienced buyer on an hourly/daily rate ie. looking at opens etc, to help get a good feel for the market.

My opinion only.
 
I guess it depends on experience. Mine was a Melbourne company who is currently flogging their services quite hard at present. Showed me 4 properties in a rather hurried manner and expected me to make decisions the next day. Research to say was not very thorough (did not mention that my unit block had not had a body corp appointed). Did not support me when the unit which was meant to be sold vacant came with a tenant that had a lease that was just signed. Overall very poor for a BA. Also,

Never called back after a year for further revaluation/update on what we could do for the property as part of what they said they will do (though by that time I knew as an investor what to do). Broken promises really.
 
I hear your concerns Units4me (guess you don't like houses hey ;)) so let me address them from the other side of the fence :)

I've never used a BA. But I can't help thinking, what if....

A/ They're just in a hurry to flog you the first IP, roughly matching your description, and keep full commission?

It's imperative when doing your DD in BA selection to find a trusted advocate who will truly work for you 100% and focus on results, not simply the first old property that comes along. Incidentally, though most of our searches take anywhere between 4-8 weeks with an "average" of 40-60 enquiries and 10-30 inspections it does sometimes happen that the first shortlisted IP does meet the clients requirements and is "the one". Remember that the BA should know the market intimately enough to recognise a good buy or property when they do come along- more so than your average punter.

As we also have access to sophisticated databases that provide further information and we often possess superior local knowledge (we know which streets have the power easements nearby, are predominantly Dept of Housing stock, suffer from valley damp issues or have a "bad rep" etc) it's easier for us to leverage this info by discounting properties that buyers would have otherwise wasted their time by inspecting in the first place.

or
B/ They have an "arrangement" with a seller and/or developer. Again keeping full commission, maybe even from both sides.

This is illegal and in breach of the PSBAA, unless it is fully disclosed to you as buyer upfront. If it is, then may I humbly suggest that you are not dealing with an exclusive BA but a middleman who is only interested in showing you property from which he/she derives a commission (most often new stock). An exclusive and independent BA charges you, as buyer, a fee, and doesn't derive income from any other source.

Maybe it's just my suspicious side, but too much money at stake to get it wrong, or for any purchase not to be in YOUR best interest.
Remember, they work for a fee at purchase. How it performs later, good or bad, has no bearing on them.

That said, I would think that a buyers advocate could be of very good use to an inexperienced buyer on an hourly/daily rate ie. looking at opens etc, to help get a good feel for the market.

My opinion only.

I agree 100% that its a fair sum of money to put at stake- though often much less than the fee vendors are willing to pay to selling agents, when offloading their biggest assets. As sellers, we may be conditioned to forking out 2% when it comes to selling, but when it comes to buying we end up dealing with the very same masters of negotiation we hired to sell, so it's no surprise that the average buyer is a little "rusty" when it comes to assessment and negotiation! (Every 7 years on average, actually) As the saying goes when you do something regularly, you get very good at it. I'd like to think that I'm a better negotiator than the average buyer but you'll have to ask my clients :D

As to how a property performs in the future, surely you're not suggesting we engage in crystal ball gazing and provide cg forecast charts? If we could do this with any degree of accuracy, I'd be sitting on a beach in the Bahamas along with all those who picked last nights winning lotto numbers in a dream :D The very best we can do for our clients is select and negotiate on a property for them, based on budget, criteria, area and parameters that suit their needs.

Sorry for the essay but I did attempt to be succinct :)
 
A/ They're just in a hurry to flog you the first IP, roughly matching your description, and keep full commission?
If you're the client of the BA, then you should never feel under any pressure to buy. You need to feel comfortable with the BA, the process and the property. If not, move onto the next property.

I think the most inspections we ever did with one particular client was 67 actual physical inspections! There were probably 4x that many phone calls to agents and many hundreds of listings investigated - just on desktop. We don't have any issues with that - it is the client's right to be fussy - it is their money they're investing.

Of course the flip side also applies. Sometimes (rarely I might add), we find the 'right property' on the first day out. But we know it is the right property because we've looked at many hundreds in the area before. So it all evens out.

B/ They have an "arrangement" with a seller and/or developer. Again keeping full commission, maybe even from both sides.
As Jacque said, this would be illegal and any agent caught doing this would receive a fine (read LARGE fine) and lose their licence and also risk jail time.

That said, I would think that a buyers advocate could be of very good use to an inexperienced buyer on an hourly/daily rate ie. looking at opens etc, to help get a good feel for the market.
BA's get paid for a result (not by the hour).

Occassionally, we work with clients who view the whole property seach thing as a mentoring exercise. I have no issues with that either. In that case we have high levels of contact and discuss every inspection Pros Vs Cons etc. Others just want to outsource the whole exercise so that the end result is that they own a good selection of IPs - I'm fine with that too.
 
Top