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!