How best to work with a buyer’s agent
Employing a buyer’s agent has been on the rise in Australia and New Zealand over the past 10 years, driven by people’s increasingly busy schedules and their reality television popularity.
From young couples to successful property investors, more people are employing property consultants to help them find and purchase the ideal home or investment. We caught up with two experienced buyer’s agents to find out how the relationship between a buyer’s and seller’s agent works.
“Customers who use a buyer’s agent all have one thing in common – they’re having issues with securing a property,” Robert Skeen of Skeen Property Buyers explains. “They may have big budgets but feel wary of overpaying, or may even be a husband and wife who have differing expectations.”
Robert Skeen is a licensed real estate agent, auctioneer and professional negotiator who focuses on the Sydney market, including the Inner West, Eastern Suburbs and Lower North Shore. Over the last five years alone Robert has had in excess of $1 billion worth of property purchased through him.
“There is a need for buyer’s agents because people are making such a big financial decision and they understand the importance of having professional representation,” Robert says. “Without an agent they can of course fall into the trap of paying too much, but I have also seen clients who have bought properties that just don’t suit them.”
Janet Spencer, Founder and Director of Buyer Solutions, has been both a seller’s and buyer’s agent and was awarded Buyers Agent of the Year from 2012 to 2014 by the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV). Operating across Melbourne, Janet represents a range of clients including property developers, investors and expats who are looking to buy before they return home.
“When I started out in Melbourne there were only three or four other buyer’s agents. Now, 15 years later there are a lot more people in the business,” Janet says. “Australians are spending more on property and understand that this is a much higher stakes decision than it used to be.”
A match made in heaven?
Buyer’s agents are far from ‘enemies’ of real estate agents. While it is true they are skilled negotiators, they are equally as keen for a win/win situation as the vendor and the agent representing them.
Janet explains: “I am able to view a house that isn’t styled and look past the towels on the bathroom floor to see if it is in good condition. I also turn up with chequebook in hand, so you know I am serious about making a purchase.”
A knowledgeable buyer’s agent can contribute useful market insights and help set realistic price expectations. With multiple clients on their books at any given time, they are an excellent point of contact for real estate agents who have a new listing.
“Agents may have a home for sale that can’t go on the market,” Robert says, “it could be a celebrity who doesn’t want the general public seeing their home or they could have a funding issue that prevents them from paying for expensive marketing campaigns.”
In these situations an agent can go direct to a buyer’s agent and access a wide database of people who have deposits ready.
Build the connection
Buyer’s agents are becoming bigger players within the local property market. It’s more than worthwhile to build strong connections with the most reputable agents in your area.
Robert’s recommendations for working with a buyer’s agent include:
- staying in touch regularly
- providing well-presented listing updates
- including a floorplan to show the property layout
- consider producing a quality property video
- have the contract of sale ready.
A well-produced property video is particularly useful when dealing with interstate or overseas buyers. If need be, Robert will take his own footage but this won’t showcase the property in its best light.
Janet recommends having the contract of sale available at the open home as she may be ready to make an offer on the spot. She also finds it useful to be advised of quiet listings and those coming up for sale.
“It really helps to have an idea of price ahead of time,” Janet says, “so that I can work to my clients’ budgets.”
Benefits of a buyer’s agent
According to Robert, inexperienced buyers can actually hinder their own property purchase, especially when it comes to a sale by auction. His role goes beyond finding the property, he helps prepare the buyer for purchase and makes the process easier for the vendor.
Buyer’s agents talk the same language and understand the ‘rules’ of trading in property. They can connect you with ready buyers as soon as a property goes on the market.
Janet points out that it’s a two-way street, after a property purchase most of her clients will be looking for a vendor’s agent to sell. By building your industry network and relationships with the right agents you can increase your client referrals.
“The relationship between selling and buying agents should be very constructive, so that they can work together to get the best outcome,” Janet says.
Campaigntrack can work with you to design property marketing campaigns that will appeal to buyers and their agents. Contact us to find out more.
Clea has been writing a regular real estate blog since 2014. She turned her hand to freelance writing after spending eight years as a producer and product manager at Yahoo!7. She has a blast creating eye catching content and her specialties include writing content for websites, ghost blogging and social media.