Why you need a buyers’ agent when investing in property

Mar 2022Karen Millers

Many people use buyers’ agents when they’re trying to buy their family home, thinking they need their expertise to make sure they’re making a wise decision and paying the right price.

When it comes to their investment property, however, they decide they’d rather go it alone as it’s often for less money, and they don’t have so much emotional capital bundled up in the purchase.

“But buyers’ agents are more relevant with investment properties,” argues Cate Bakos, president of The Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia.

“People should be buying those for one purpose: their long-term performance. If you love a house and plan to live in it, on the other hand, then its value is pretty immaterial.

“Having a buyers’ agent enables you to look at a property objectively, with no emotion, and in the context of all the figures, like yields, vacancy rates, performance of the area historically, demand for different types and sizes of houses, and advise you about paying the right price.”

National property market researcher Simon Pressley, head of Propertyology, specialises in helping buyers of investment properties and is similarly enthusiastic about the value of professional help.

He’s seen buyers regularly pay over the odds because they’re simply not well enough informed, or over-estimate the returns that are likely to flow.

They do so, he says, because they’re so keen on saving the fee they’d have to pay an agent, which is invariably much less than they lose by not having one.

“But the problem is that you don’t know what you don’t know.

“Buyers’ agents have bought hundreds and hundreds of properties, they have huge experience and they know the market and the different areas, which clauses to put in contracts to secure properties and the best conveyancers to recommend, pest inspectors, surveyors … their networks are huge. Buyers can pull up information but they often don’t know the context.”

It’s those networks, the market research they have access to and their understanding of what makes a strategic property purchase that makes buyers’ agents so valuable for investments, believes the chair of the Property Investment Professionals of Australia, Nicola McDougall.

When markets are booming, working with buying experts can significantly improve an investor’s chances of securing a property when demand is far exceeding supply, she says, and when it’s softening, that they don’t overpay.

“This is partly because the most experienced buyers’ agents tend to purchase in select locations – that have been determined to have superior growth forecasts – for a period of time so they have ‘runs on the board’ with local sales agents,” she said.

“These local agent networks also mean they often have access to off-market properties that the average investor would never know about.

“Working with buying professionals also means that investors are not going to overpay for a property because they have let their hearts rule their heads. The very best buyers’ agents and qualified property investment advisors provide tailored and independent advice to their clients that ensure the investment property they purchase suits their budgets and their long-term financial goals.”

Sue Williams, Domain Reporter, 30 March 2022


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