It’s an unfortunate reality that there are some buyers agents working in the industry that don’t have your best interests at heart. It’s super important to get the right advice and support about what are often your most significant investments.
Despite many recommendations from industry bodies to ramp up regulation, the property investment space is under-regulated. Associations such as PIPA and REBAA aim to fill the gap with Codes of Conduct with which members must adhere.
Have a look at Kate’s Video on why to use a Property Advisor..
A good buyers agent will give you incredibly valuable insights based on your particular situation
It’s fundamental to have a clear view of your personal circumstances, potential, and risk profile. It’s critical that you take the basic steps needed to ensure you have a clear understanding of all of the considerations, and potential outcomes, for your investment. This is basic common sense of course for anyone making a substantial investment.
Asking yourself the following questions is essential to prevent against substantial risk:
How is your buyers agent being paid?
The old saying ‘nothing is free’ is particularly true when it comes to employing a buyers agent. All buyers agents get paid somehow, so if you want your buyers agent working for you, rather than through kick-backs from developers or agents, they should be paid by you.
Those agents who seemingly require no fee for their service are often earning commission from sales in off-the-plan or house and land packages. This means they have a vested interest. Unlike agents who require a fee for their service, commission-based buyers agents are not unbiased, nor independent.
With buyers agents who work on commission, the buyer pays for this in the purchase price. Sometimes these sales will still, “value up”. However, at the end of the day, they are not giving independent advice.
On the other hand, independent buyers agents who ask a fee are unbiased. They will assess your situation, goals and risk profile – your existing property portfolio if there is one – and your cash flow and capital growth expectations to give the right customised advice.
Who is the buyers agent working with?
Ask yourself if the relationship is with the buyers agent and the other professionals they are working with – such as property developers, accountants, lawyers and mortgage brokers. They could be getting kickbacks, which undermines the integrity of their advice.
By law in all states, buyers agents are required to disclose any conflicts of interest, such as entitlement to commission or referral incentives.
A good way to avoid employing a deceptive buyers agent is to check the following:
Memberships and accreditations:
Check whether the adviser you’re talking to is PIPA accredited by visiting the website www.pipa.asn.au
Are they a member of the Real Estate Buyers Agent Association whose members must follow a code of ethics? Be sure to check this at www.rebaa.com.au/members/
Ask for buyers agent testimonials
Have they won any awards? How long have they been working as a buyers agent? Can they give you several testimonials from clients who have been very pleased with the experience, including the level of personal service, unique personal insights, and of course, results?
Check their real estate licence
All buyers agents must be licensed. The following is a list of links to check whether your property adviser is licenced.
Licenced buyers agents in Sydney, NSW
Licenced buyers agents in Brisbane, QLD
Licenced buyers agents in Melbourne, VIC
Licenced buyers agents in Perth, WA
Licenced buyers agents in Adelaide, SA
There is no online search but you can check the following:
Licenced buyers agents in Darwin
You can check also by phone: