For a long time real estate agents and consumers have recognised that property at nearly $7 trillion (RP Data) is the major asset class which underpins Australian wealth, it represents one of the most significant transactions a buyer or seller will ever make, so it stands to reason that when making a decision to buy or sell that they engage an expert to represent their best interests.
Whilst the origination of selling agents predates modern day Australia, believed to have evolved from funeral directors as estate holders needed a means to effectively disperse their assets, buyers agents are a relatively new concept having only slowly risen to prominence following a class action lawsuit in the US in the mid 1990’s. What is telling however, is that the need for buyers agents is consumer driven, in a world where people are increasingly time poor, there is a recognition, just as with any professional service, that there are professionals out there, whose knowledge and expertise can be utilised to achieve them a better result. Whether it is through connections or the ability to leverage technology, buyers agents gain consumers access to more opportunities by seeing both ‘On’ and ‘ Off’ market properties, and as professional negotiators, provide clients with the peace of mind to know they are not overpaying on one of the largest purchases they will ever make.
The growth and adaptation of the industry reflects this and the REINSW and Law society further acknowledge it through including a buyers agents field on the latest (2014) contract of sale, however Australia only needs to look to the USA and parts of Western Europe, where up to 80% of real estate transactions now involve independent buyers representation, to realise whilst there is a long way to go, it is not a matter of ‘if’ buyers agency becomes the status quo, but ‘when’. Any successful business, acknowledges a need to constantly evolve and move with the times to stay ahead, and real estate is no different. Simply put the modern day real estate agent can ignore the change that is happening, or they can embrace the change and identify ways to more effectively work with and leverage relationships with buyers agents.
Having personally trained in New York, worked as a selling agent in London and now as the MD of Hunter James, a Sydney based buyers agency, the opportunities unfolding in front of us are clear, so here’s why selling agents often prefer to deal with buyers agents?
Buyers agents are fee for service, they are retained to act exclusively for the client (buyer), but they are also remunerated on success, and like selling agents they have no interest in dealing with unrealistic or uncommitted clients. Therefore, selling agents can rest assured that when a buyers agent is enquiring on behalf of their client, that the client has undergone an extensive qualification process and is ready to buy.
Buyers agents are professionals, who do not want to waste their time or the selling agents time, so not only are they ensuring the clients have pre approved finance, but they are educating them upfront and throughout the process on values, the market and ultimately what is realistic and achievable, so when they find a property that meets their clients best interests, they will move quickly and efficiently and only make genuine offers. In addition, a good buyers agent will have a team of experts at the ready to ensure all other due diligence such as: contract reviews, strata report or building and pest reports are also organised and completed with maximum efficiency, making the selling agents role a great deal easier.
OBJECTIVITY AND CONVERSION:
So you have a buyer who seems qualified, educated and in the position to execute a smooth transaction, what can possibly get in the way? Emotions. Buyers remorse or cold feet are extremely common and are often a result of a seed of doubt being planted by someone completely unqualified or uneducated, but enough to hold up the process none the less. Having been a selling agent, this would absolutely be one of the most frustrating aspects of the role, so to have someone act as trusted advisor to offer unbiased guidance to the buyer, so they can purchase with peace of mind to know they are making the right decision is a huge benefit to all parties. Similarly, good buyers agents know the market intimately and can often provide the selling agent with insight and information they can utilise when educating the vendor, again increasing the selling agents conversions.
Where there is a buyer, there is often a seller and vice versa. Exclusive buyers agents do not list or sell property EVER. They do however often, have clients who need to sell when buying and as such are often in a position to recommend the best sales agent to their clients.