How to Choose the Best Buyer’s Agent in Sydney: 12 Key Traits

Jane and Tim talked it over last night and agreed: enough is enough.

They’ve been looking for a place in Sydney for seven months, but their busy lives keep getting in the way.

It’s time to get expert help.

Jane types “buyers agent Sydney” and hits Search.

After all, everyone uses a real estate agent to help them sell their home. So why not bring in a buyer’s agent to do the hunting and negotiating?

In less than a second, Google’s results appear on Jane’s screen.

All 7.7 million of them.

“Where do I start,” thinks Jane, “and how do I know who to trust?”

How to choose the right buyer’s agent

Buying a house is a big decision, possibly the largest financial commitment you’ll make.

To avoid wasting time with the pretenders and cowboys, compile a shortlist of strong buyer’s agents.

Here are 12 key traits you should look for in a buyer’s agent, the questions to ask, and how to find information.

By following this process you can be confident you’re choosing the best buyer’s agent for you.

Sound good? Let’s begin …

1. They’re licensed and insured.

Google gives you a list of names, but to be truly confident in choosing the best buyers agent, it’s critical to ensure they’re fully licensed and experienced.

Avoid the growing number of rogue operators or rookie buyer’s agents who treat your money like a game of Monopoly.

Don’t just take their word for it. Easily verify whether the buyer’s agent you’re considering is not only fully licensed but also confirm their professional experience by checking the duration for which they’ve held a licence.

In NSW, you can conduct a straightforward Fair Trading licence check here.

Tip: Choosing a buyer’s agent with less than 5 years’ experience is like letting a novice driver steer your home-buying journey – expect a bumpy ride with unnecessary risks.

2. They’re proven

Some agents say they’re “the best” but lack evidence to support it. Where are their awards?

What do previous clients say about them? How long have they been operating?

Look at agents’ websites for awards, testimonials and ask for customer case studies.

Independent bodies like REB (Real Estate Business) and REINSW (Real Estate Institute of NSW) have details of all of their award winners since 2005.

Tip: When reviewing Google ratings, assess authenticity and use the “sort by” feature to identify lower scores, ensuring nothing is obscured by fake reviews.

3. They have local expertise

Understanding the local market is vital. But simply knowing what house prices are doing and which properties are for sale online isn’t enough.

Like a reporter with a bulging contacts book or a detective with an army of informants, a good buyer’s agent has a deep network of real estate agents and vendors to call on.

The best, however, have proven systems and processes to ensure no stone is left unturned, enabling them, and you, to access the best homes before they hit the market.

Tip: Choose a local buyer’s agent with area expertise, a laser focus, and a methodical approach that consistently achieves strong results.

4. They have years of education and experience

Established buyer’s agents who have bought well for themselves and for their clients are invaluable.

Not only will their experience save you time and stress, but their negotiating expertise will often save you their fee many times over.

Most people buy a property two or three times in their life, yet it is one of the largest – if not the largest – purchasing decisions they’ll make.

By using a buyer’s agent who has honed their skills in searching, valuing, and negotiating, you reduce your chances of making a costly mistake.

To find out about an agent’s education and experience, look at the About page of their website.

Many have profiles of team members. Search LinkedIn for a buyer’s agent or their agency. This often delivers detailed insights about their skills and experience.

5. They work hard for their clients

Great deals are made not found. The best buyer’s agents are proactive. They leave no stone unturned in their quest to secure your perfect place.

To discover how hard an agent works, look at what previous clients say.

Here are two examples from our Google reviews.

Joanne said we’d found her “a beautiful federation house … two weeks before it was due to go online”.

David, who’d been struggling to find an agent who delivered on their promises, said we’d gone “above and beyond”. Comments like these tell you about the lengths to which a buyer’s agent will go and are far more insightful than “fantastic service”.

6. They are well-connected

A great buyer’s agent has a large and trusted network upon which you can piggyback.

Strong relationships with real estate agents are essential. They provide access to information that’s vital in negotiations and can give you a clear head start on the competing buyers through access to pre and off market properties.

But their network should extend to surrounding you with a team of proven and vetted professionals – mortgage brokers, accountants, and solicitors, for example.

When you speak to a buyer’s agent, ask about the support network that’s available to you.

7. They’re tech-savvy and analytical

One thing that separates amateur buyers from professional buyers is the tools at their disposal.

Anyone can look on domain.com.au or realestate.com.au but not everyone knows how to analyse and leverage professional data and tools. Detailed information is crucial for evaluating and negotiating.

At Hunter James, for instance, we have built a proprietary search system (BOS) which helps our clients quickly and comprehensively identify the best properties pre, on and off-market.

We also utilise tools such as 360 videography and live market analysis to provide clients with full transparency that enables them to make informed and decisive decisions when it matters most.

Without good data you can’t make educated decisions, so be sure to ask buyer’s agents about the tools they use.

8. They’re accountable

If a buyer’s agent is a member of REBAA (Real Estate Buyers Agents Association), PIPA (Property Investment Professionals of Australia) or REINSW (Real Estate Institute of NSW), they have been vetted by an independent association.

They have pledged to uphold the highest standards and can be held accountable by these professional bodies if they do not deliver on their promises.

9. They’re responsive

Your buyer’s agent should be easily accessible when you need them.

Delays can cost you money and mean you miss out.

How do they communicate? What do past clients say? Is there evidence in testimonials?

If in doubt, put them to the test with calls, texts and emails to see how responsive they really are.

10. You have a good rapport

When you speak to a buyer’s agent, do you feel comfortable about working with them?

Do they seem able to work well under pressure?

11. They’re trustworthy

By this stage, you’ll have formed a detailed picture of your buyer’s agents.

You’ve researched them, spoken to them, and heard what past clients say.

Now it’s time to follow your instincts. How much do you trust them to deliver the best outcome for you and what safeguards are in place if they don’t?

You’re already ahead of the crowd

With a strong list to choose from and all the info you need, you can make your decision with confidence.

You have an A-grade agent!

That puts you streets ahead of other buyers.

Now enjoy the rest of your journey.

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