News

The latest happenings in the Melbourne property market. For our Essays and The Secret Agent Report, see our Research page.


Category Archives For: Buyers Advocates

The Secret Agent Report – EOFY Review

We have just released a special mid-month Secret Agent report! In this release, we take an in-depth look at the property market over the last financial year.

Start reading this report by clicking on the link below:

Register to receive our report monthly and access the EOFY review now!

EOFY Review 2014/15

 


Acting from the balcony

Being a Buyer Advocate service –  we often view the acquisition of property as ‘acting from the balcony’.

By acting from the balcony, means looking at the situation from a birds eye view without emotion.  The buying process often becomes ‘cloudy’.

Much is at stake when acquiring real estate and it’s easy for the non rational elements of the process to appear.

We see people buy the wrong homes because they are frustrated,  we see people buy investment properties because they can earn an extra $20 per week in rental income,  we see people get ‘cold feet’ on the right one and veer off course all together.

Doesn’t have to be a buyer advocate – Yet someone ‘acting from the balcony’ on your behalf can be valuable assistance to your property buying aspirations.


Buyers Agents Melbourne – Buyers Advocates – Selling Agents – What’s the difference?

Buyer Agent and Buyer Advocate are used interchangeably.  We see ourselves as a Buyers Advocate or Buyers Agent where someone down the road offering seemingly the same service sees themselves and refers to themselves as a property finder.  So what is the difference?

The difference to me is one of perception.  Real Estate Selling Agents represent sellers whilst Buyer’s Agents, or Buyer’s Advocates represent Buyers.   To us the term Buyer’s Advocate better captures the passion we have for what we do, and in part explains why we seek to represent buyers as opposed to sellers.

We are qualified real estate agents … so we could quite easily be out there selling property.  It’s a much easier job than that of a Buyers Agent. You represent the seller,  and usually they have three priorities, namely:

a.     Sell my property for as much as possible.

b.     Sell it is as quickly as possible

c.     Do this, whilst keeping costs as low as possible.

Armed with this agenda a real estate selling agent’s role is very clear.  Portray their client’s property as best as possible, draw attention to the positives of a property and gloss over any shortcomings a property may have.  You’d be hard pressed to hear a real estate agent tell a potential client:-

“Look, just down the road is a halfway house for recovering drug addicts, your offer should take this into consideration.” or-

“The owner is trying to sell quickly because he knows the roof needs replacing soon.”

“Oh… you’ve got kids right?  Well, its 8 kms to the nearest school and there is no public transport…. Let’s look at something else.”

None of this information is likely to endear you to a property and convince you to buy it … but you aren’t THEIR client!  The seller is.   A real estate agent will only offer you properties they have for sale, and it’s unlikely they’ll have exactly what you are looking for and they certainly won’t recommend you go down the road to see another agent who might have something more suitable.

We are not so limited.  Every property for sale, even properties only just coming onto the market are ours to find for a buyer.  We can work with the most detailed of brief’s eg:-

“We want to buy within 10klms of the city, we are looking to renovate and live in the property and need a garage and a car space”

We can seek out such a property,   get some ballpark figures on renovation costs,  compare sales of similarly priced renovated properties’ to make sure you don’t over capitalise.   You don’t want to spend $150,000 on a renovation that only increases your house value by $100,000.  We can negotiate firmly on your behalf to get the best price.   Because we’re not personally attached to the property, we will never waiver from our goal of getting you the best deal.  We can represent you at an auction and ensure you don’t overbid, and if the property is passed in … negotiate to try and buy the property on your terms.

So you see …

Buyers Agents – Buyers Advocates – Real Estate Selling Agents?   Many people in the real estate industry see them as one and the same. We  believe the difference is too great to use in the same breath.

At Secret Agent, we are your advocates.  Your real estate partner.  Your local buyer agent.


Are we Buyer Advocates, Property Finders, Buyer Agents or Property Brokers?

We are still searching for definition in the market place as to what we do.  I like to look at our stats and how people come across our business.

Here are the following ways people have searched to find our business by service name :

Buyer Advocate, Buyers Advocate, Buyers Advocate, Buyer Advocates, Buyers Advocates, Buyers Advocates, Property Finders, Property Finder, Home Finder, HomeFinder, Home Finders, House Finder, House Finders, Investment Property Finders, Property Advisory, Property Advisors, Investment Advisors, Property Investment, Buyer Representative, Buying Agent, Advocates, Buyer Broker, Buyers Broker, Property Broker, Buyer Agent, Buyers Agent, Buyer Agents, Buyers Agents, Buyer Agent, Buyers Agent,  Property Acquisition consultant, Auction bidding consultant, Auction Bidders, Property Bidder, Auction Bid Consultant, Property negotiators, Home negotiators, Apartment brokers, Home brokers.

So are any of these definitions of our business any different?  Very little difference exists.  We only really offer two main services:  Our full Buyer Advocate service of the search and acquisition of a property or just the auction bidding leg of the process.

Other than that,  they are all the same.


Buyer Agents and Sellers Agents when it comes to investment

Most people are aware of the two different agents and their functions.

Looking at this from a purely investment mindset, I’d like to go deeper into these two very different roles.

Buyer agents to me are responsible for allocating capital. Even though the client has the end choice as to an acquisition that is made, they are guided by the buyer agent as the end decision.

Buyers Agents, Advocates and Property Advisers are a growing trend in the Australian market. More and more this sector is influencing the market, yet it’s still not quite there yet.

Selling agents are really realising an asset and its value. Their role is to put a property to market and obtain the best outcome for the seller, this is mainly price.

What I’m noticing as more and more people turn to buyer professional services, the highly sought after stock is getting more attraction from this segment. It’s not uncommon to turn up to an auction and have a number of different buyer agents at the same auction.

So does this wok on the reverse? I think so. As values are so much higher today, so much more is at stake. As people turn more and more to adviser services we will see less people hopefully making bad decisions.


Melbourne is still a small town – When I come face to face with the people I bid against

It happens more than you might think. I can’t really explain it either yet on numerous occasions I bump into a property buyers that I may have bid against on the weekend. It happened again on Sunday.

We were up against one aggressive bidder at an auction on Saturday and were both involved from start to finish for a terrific piece of Real Estate.

Turns out we both got pipped at the line. The lady who was successful looked like she was also just about to withdraw, unfortunately for us we had no more firepower to play with.

Picking up some produce on Sunday morning at the Victorian market,  I made my order from a gentleman who looked familiar at one of the stalls. Instantly we both smiled and laughed at the coincidence.  We both had been locked in combat just the previous day

Turns out he is quite an astute investor and we’ve been looking at similar property. He was disappointed to know that we’d also purchased an apartment that he was also pursuing in a private sale situation some weeks prior for an investor client of ours.

These situations tend to happen to me quite a bit.  We might just see each other next Saturday for another auction, and it certainly won’t stop me from shopping at his stall on Sunday.


Vendor Advocate?

A lot of people have asked me what is a Vendor advocate and their role during the sale of a property.

A Vendor Advocate has an important role in helping the vendor who is selling a property obtain the best possible outcome including sale price, terms and relieving much of the stress placed on home sellers. This is done by having usually someone who has been a real estate agent before make the selection process on the right real estate agent to look after the sale of the vendor’s property.

Once the Vendor advocate has advised the vendor on the suitable candidate and the real estate agent has been appointed then the vendor advocate has a role to monitor the entire selling process. This would include being in constant touch with the selling agent, helping the Vendor with strategy and any hiccups, attending Auction day and being by the Vendor throughout any negotiation and bidding and helping the Vendor to establish a reserve price. The most important part of the process is that the Vendor advocate ensures the well being and best interests of the vendor are upheld during the entire selling process of ones property.

Often when a vendor is selling a property this can be their biggest asset and it's no surprise that more and more people are turning towards using a vendor advocate to assist them throughout the sale process.

If its your first time selling, you are not quite confident or simply do not want to deal with selling agents then a Vendor advocate could be ideal for your situation.
For more information visit our Sellers Service in our property services section for any additional Vendor advocate information!

 

{snippet articles}
Read the full post


So what is a Buyers Advocate?

It can be a little confusing I know. According to the Real Estate Institute of Australia the official meaning for a buyers advocate is:

BUYERS ADVOCATE / AGENT – 'Represents a property buyer in negotiations with a vendor or his/her agent. The buyers advocate is paid by the buyer. A buyers advocate should be licensed and certified to act as a buyers advocate'

Think of a normal real estate agent representing the seller and then reverse this process so the agent is acting for the buyer, their role is to make sure the purchaser pays as little as possible for the right property saving the purchaser money.

A buyers advocate is usually employed to act in two ways, the first being secure only where a buyers advocate will either bid at auction for the client or conduct negotiations on the buyers behalf on buyer found properties and the second being a 'full search' which the buyers advocate will also find the right property for the buyer as well as securing it.

By employing a buyers advocate to act on your behalf you get the real benefits of someone who has an in depth understanding of how to negotiate for property while also staying emotionally detached from the outcome which so often gets a buyer into a situation where they pay too much or simply miss out on their desired property. Investors also get the real benefits of being able to claim the use of a buyers advocate as a tax deduction, unfortunately for home buyers this does not apply (we are working on it!)

As a client once told me 'it's like having a heavyweight boxer in your corner', maybe a buyers advocate is worth considering for your next property adventure!

{snippet articles}
Read the full post