Buying a home for the first time seems like a daunting task. It is not as simple as exchanging cash for property. In addition to finding the best location for your budget, you have to assess the general condition of the house, review sales contracts, negotiate with sellers and stay informed of the prevailing laws of the city state on the purchase of real estate property. If you are buying a home for the first time, you should seriously consider hiring reliable property buyers agents.
A buyer’s agent is a licensed real estate professional. In a sales transaction, there are 2 parties: the buyer and the seller. A listing agent works to push the property of the seller in the market. By contrast, the buyer’s agent serves the interest of the buyer.
He/ she will assist you in achieving the goal of finding the best home given the budget and market conditions. The buyer’s agent will attend to all matters related to the purchase of the property from finding prospective homes to the official turnover of the asset to you.
The combination of high demand for real estate and tight supply in Australia has increased the demand for property buyer’s agents. But how do you find reliable agents?
- Educate Yourself
Before looking for a buyer’s agent, educate yourself about the nature of their job, the real estate market and the sales process.
It is never advisable to meet candidates without an idea of what they do. Research will arm you with the knowledge to understand how buyer’s agents work; their benefits and how to qualify the best one to suit your needs.
You will also have a better idea on what to look for in a home and how to come up with a budget.
- Utilize Diverse Avenues
There are many avenues you can use to find good candidates for buyer’s agents. These include the following:
- Referrals – Ask friends, family and associates within your network if they have used the services of a buyer’s agent and to give recommendations.
- Social Media – Post a message in Facebook; ask if anyone can recommend a buyer’s agent. Join real estate community groups in Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus then start a thread on finding reliable buyer’s agents. Review the LinkedIn profile of buyer’s agents and send them a customized invitation to connect.
- Open Homes/ Auctions – An open home and an auction will always bring in buyer’s agents. Attend these events and mingle with the participants. Introduce yourself to buyers agents and conduct informal interviews during the event. Don’t forget to get their calling cards.
- Regulating Agencies – You can also contact regulating agencies such as the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA). They have certified buyer’s agents among its members and you can ask for their recommendations.
- Validate Certifications
Once you have acquired a short list of candidates, ask them to submit copies of their real estate license for verification. You should require the candidates to provide the names and contact numbers of at least 3 clients.
- Conduct Interviews
Invite each candidate to a private interview. Make sure you have a list of questions to ask them.
Here is a list of key questions to ask each candidate:
- “How many years have you been a Buyer’s Agent?”
- “What can you tell me of (name of city state you plan to buy property at)?”
- “How many properties have you sold the past year?”
- “Have you bought property?”
- “What is a realistic time frame for buying a home?”
- “If I were to contract your services, how would you go about finding me a home?”
- “If I were to contract your services, how many homes would we be able to view next week?”
- Go on a Road Trip
Ultimately, the best way to find out if the buyer’s agent is reliable is to ask him/ her to search for homes for one day. By going on a road trip, you will know if you can work with the buyer’s agent. If the candidate is sincere about protecting your interest, he/ she would not mind using up one day without an exclusivity agreement.
People believe they should be able to acquire 2 homes in their lifetime: One as a residence the other as an investment. The harsh reality is that getting by with the first property can be very difficult. If you sell within the first 5 years, it could mean you bought property that did not fit your needs.
A buyer’s agent can help mitigate the risks of home ownership. Many agents are also home owners. They have been in your shoes and know the challenges of owning and maintaining a home. A reliable buyer’s agent can re-orient your perspective so you can properly moderate expectations.
Take your time in finding a reliable property buyer’s agent. It will be time and effort well spent.