15 October 2019

Recognition where it’s due for buyers’ agents

Prevalent in the United States, buyers’ agents are becoming increasingly popular in Australia, particularly here in New South Wales.

As the profile of buyers’ agents in the real estate sector grows, it’s clear prospective buyers are recognising the benefits of having a trained professional on their side.

It’s something the State Government has recognised as well.

Fair Trading Fact Sheet

In 2018, Fair Trading invited the REINSW Buyers’ Agent Chapter Committee to review the fact sheet listed on their website and provide an updated version that reflects the correct services a buyers’ agent delivers.

These changes were adopted and made available online under the title ‘Using an agent to buy property.’

This fact sheet is now a go-to-guide for customers explaining the benefits of employing a buyers’ agent, how to select the best agent for them and lays out the specific rules of conduct a buyers’ agent must abide by.

Propertybuyer CEO Rich Harvey said this move by Fair Trading helped give credence to the profession.

“Buyers’ agents are an integral part of the property services industry and provide invaluable and specialist knowledge to consumers. They level the playing field and offer independent representation for buyers, helping them to achieve their property goals,” Harvey said.

He added, “It’s critical that consumers understand the difference between a buyers’ agent and a selling agent.”

The point of difference between selling and buying agents is that a selling agent represents the vendor, while a buyers’ agent acts solely for the purchaser.

Harvey says “consumers can now feel more confident in knowing what will be delivered and use this information to engage an appropriately experienced buyers’ agent to assist them in the delivery of that service”.

Recognised on contract

Beyond being acknowledged by Fair Trading, Buyers’ agents are also recognised on contract.

In 2014, following a request by the REINSW, the Contract for the Sale and Purchase of Land was updated to include the name and details of buyers’ agents on the front page.

Nick Viner from Buyer's Domain said this decision serves as greater acknowledgement of the role of buyers’ agents and increases transparency.

“Since the mid-1990s, more and more buyers have been using buyers’ agents.

“Gaining our own space on the front page of the contract ultimately promotes greater awareness and understanding of the value we bring to the real estate buying process,” Viner said.

“In the interest of transparency, including buyers’ agents’ details provides a record of the involvement of the buyers’ agent, improving accountability for the benefit of the consumer."

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