As a first home buyer, you are entering the exciting new world of property ownership. You are part of 66% of first home buyers who think now is a great time to enter the Australian property market, so it is time to start house hunting. Many first home buyers find their first purchase a little daunting, and do not know where to start with the process. This is when you need to decide whether a buyers advocate can help you. Consider these three questions to help you make up your mind.
What Is The Difference Between A Buyers Advocate And A Real Estate Agent?
The first thing you need to know about a buyers advocate is what they do compared to a real estate agent.
Real Estate Agent:
- Works for one real estate company.
- Wants to sell you a home that they or another agent in their company has listed.
- Helps both sellers and buyers through a real estate process.
- Does not work for any real estate company. Instead they are a real estate consultant that can source property for you from many different sources. They will use the Internet, newspaper advertising, and personal contacts to find the home you want.
- Only works for you as the buyer. Buyers advocates never represent a property seller.
Both real estate agents and buyers advocates need to be professionally licensed in their state to act on your behalf.
What Can A Buyers Advocate Do For You?
There are quite a few extra services that a buyers advocate can offer you that a real estate agent won't. These services are particularly beneficial to first home buyers who are in need of a little extra guidance:
- A buyers advocate does an assessment of all available properties that meet your requirements, and whittles down a shortlist for you to inspect. This can save you hundreds of man hours of scouring the market to find the property you want. A real estate agent wants to sell you a home, so they may present you with unsuitable properties in the hope of making a sale. This, of course, is an intrusion onto your valuable time.
- While a real estate agent shuffles the contract between buyer and seller, a buyers advocate can actively negotiate with the seller on your behalf. This is particularly useful if the property you want is being sold at auction, as this process can be emotionally overwhelming. A buyers advocate will attend the auction with you and take care of the bidding on your behalf. By doing so you need not worry about making a bidding mistake, or getting caught in the moment and bidding more than you can afford.
In a nutshell, a buyers advocate is a stress reliever. Buying a home is one of the leading causes of stress, so allowing someone else to do the majority of the work allows you to focus your energies on other aspects of your life.
How Does A Buyers Advocate Get Paid?
You are no doubt asking yourself how a buyers advocate gets paid for their services, because no-one works for free! You need not worry that an advocate is only going to present you with properties where they have a vested interest in you buying because they will benefit financially. Unlike a real estate agent, a buyers advocate gets paid one of two ways:
- You agree on a flat fee at the beginning of the search based on the price of the property you wish to buy.
- You agree to pay a percent fee based on the price of the property you ultimately purchase.
As a first home buyer, it makes sense to use a buyers advocate in your search for your first home. They do all the legwork, you avoid the stress, and you get the home of your dreams at the end of the day. It's a win/win situation! It's just a shame that the buyers advocate can't make the mortgage payments for you too.