Australian investors and homebuyers seem unsure about buyer’s agents and this could indicate a lack of interest in getting educated about property and some “terrible” myths about the profession.

According to a study by Unikorn Commercial Property, Aussies are divided on the necessity of buyer’s agents — 44% said they would reach out to one, while the same proportion said they would not. The remainder were unsure.

Around 40% of those who said they would not use a buyer’s agents said the costs of hiring one is a major factor, which they consider as a “waste of money.”

Meanwhile, one in six of Australians said they would not hire one because they think buyer’s agents are sneaky and have ulterior motives.

Overall, one in 10 buyers find buyer’s agents hard to communicate with as they do not understand what their property needs are.

Unikorn Commercial Property founder and director Helen Tarrant said this reflects the general lack of interest in property education, which buyer’s agents provide.

“What’s really interesting is that the research found 80% of buyers have and would enter the property market without any training or education,” she said.

“In the day and age of information, everyone feels like they can jump onto Google and learn how to buy a house or a commercial block — but for someone who’s actually been through the process, it’s rarely ever that simple.”

Ms Tarrant said a good buyer’s agent provides a much-needed assistance in every aspect of the property journey, from searching for properties, going to auctions, managing contracts to liaising with banks, and educating buyers about the market.

“However, the reason many Aussies may avoid exploring them, is because the industry has grown so much, and many agents out there are not providing such bespoke services,” she said.

Ms Tarrant said there are top three sure-fire tips that can help homeowners and investors find the right buyer’s agent that would cater to their needs.

  1. Not all buyer’s agents are equal
  2. Look for hidden motives
  3. Don’t stop asking questions

When looking for buyer’s agents, Ms Tarrant said it is crucial to know that some might specialise in a certain type of property.

“There are also a range of buyer’s agents across different styles of homes including luxury homes, heritage buildings and development opportunities. So do your research and find someone to suit your needs,” she said.

Ms Tarrant also warned about buyer’s agents who might appear more like a salesperson.

“A buyer’s agent offers a consultative service, they are really in the role of wealth management not just finding you a property,” she said.

“Many buyer’s agents do not understand this — they just try to find you a property that they think you want. Make sure they understand what you want to achieve long term so the property matches.”

Lastly, Ms Tarrant said homebuyers and investors should make sure that they get their money’s worth when they hire a buyer’s agent.

“Challenge them, ask questions and ensure they fully understand your long-term goals for the property portfolio — if they’re just trying to sell you another property with no respect for your overarching strategy, then move on,” she said.

Photo by @linkedsalesnavigator Unsplash.