Buyers’ Agent Mythbusting – What Every Purchaser Needs to Know

Buyers’ Agent Mythbusting – What Every Purchaser Needs to Know

17 February 2020

There are many benefits to engaging a buyers’ agent the least of which are saving time and money, as well as, gaining access to off-market properties. In some scenarios, in particular, it’s incredibly important to call in an expert when buying a property.

Absentee buyers or those unfamiliar with the market particularly need the help of a buyers’ agent. Purchasers who want to acquire a property for a good price but lack strong negotiation skills can also benefit from the help of a professional buyers’ agent.

Yet the idea of engaging a buyers’ agents doesn’t immediately occur to many people. This may be partly due to misconceptions about the role of a buyers’ agent. So we spoke to several leading buyers’ agents about some of these issues and what myths need to be busted.

I Don’t Need a Buyers’ Agent – I Can Do it Myself

Jacque Parker, Director of House Search Australia and REINSW Buyers’ Agents Chapter Committee Deputy Chairperson, says she is surprised why so many purchasers choose not to engage a buyers’ agent.

“It’s interesting that the common public perception when selling is to engage a sellers’ agent however when it comes to buying, buyers adopt a DIY approach, electing to go it alone without an advocate,” Parker says.

“Having independent representation on both sides of the transaction not only reduces personal effort (and often an enormous input of time), but it also reduces risk.”

She says engaging a buyers’ agent can ensure impartiality and increased consumer protection as well as superior outcomes for the client.

Nick Viner, Buyers Agent from Buyers Domain and REINSW Buyers’ Agents Chapter Committee Chairperson says purchasers may underestimate what can be achieved by engaging a buyers’ agent.

“We’re professional property buyers – we do this day in, day out for a living,” Viner says.

“Buyers potentially risk a lot by not using a buyer’s agent. There is so much at stake and a lot can go wrong in terms of paying too much or not being aware of certain problems.” 

Buyers’ Agents Are Just for the Rich

Viner says a common misconception is that buyers’ agents are “only for the really rich and famous” or that they may be too expensive.

He explains that any purchaser can benefit from engaging a buyers’ agent and save more money in the long run.

“We know the market and for how much properties are likely to sell...I have saved some of my clients hundreds of thousands of dollars through astute property selection and superior negotiation skills,” Viner says.

Michael Ossitt, STRAND Property Group Director and REINSW Buyers’ Agents Chapter Committee Member, agrees that a buyers’ agent can save a purchaser money on several fronts.

“Buyers will often save money using a buyer’s agent by negotiating them a better price than they would have achieved on their own,” Ossitt says.

He says a buyers’ agent can also save the purchaser more money by ensuring they don’t buy the wrong property which “costs them more later on”.

“A buyer’s agent’s fee is very justified, especially when the client is time-poor. The buyer’s agent can save them dozens if not hundreds of hours of research, inspections, negotiations, appraisals, due diligence and phone calls.”

I Can Be Impartial

Parker says many purchasers who elect to DIY, struggle to stay objective throughout the buying process.

“Buyers vastly underestimate how they deal with the ‘emotional pull’ of buying property. Even bidding at auction can cost a buyer tens of thousands of dollars, in one ill-conceived bid, due to nerves, high emotions, and irrational behaviour,” she says.

Ossitt agrees that it’s reasonably common for buyers to get emotionally involved and pay more than they’d planned at an auction.

“Auctioneers are trained professionals paid by the vendor to extract the highest price possible at an auction. Once emotions take over, buyers can’t stop themselves!” he says.

“Having a buyer’s agent bid on their behalf takes out the emotion and stops buyers overpaying.”

These are just some common misconceptions that may be barriers to a purchaser engaging a buyers’ agent. Tackling these myths can help potential clients to appreciate the many benefits of using a buyers’ agent.

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