8 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Buyer’s Agent

Before hiring a buyer’s agent, make sure that you assess and determine whether they are the right fit for you. Knowing a buyer’s agent’s qualifications is important since you will be entrusting your entire home buying journey to them. You can do this by interviewing them and asking them the right questions.

By asking these questions, you’ll be able to assess their knowledge, background, and experiences. Don’t be afraid to ask these questions before you hire a buyer’s agent as a skilled buyer’s agent will be able to answer them with no problem.

1. How long have you been an agent?

How long a buyer’s agent has been in the industry says a lot about his/her experience in real estate. The longer he or she has been a buyer’s agent, the more clients he or she might have already handled. Ideally, hire a buyer’s agent with over 10 years of experience in the real estate industry as a licensed sales agent. These several years of experience have definitely provided the buyer’s agent with enough knowledge that he/she needs to provide the best service to his/her clients.

2. How long do you usually work with buyers, from the first home you see together to the closing table?

It isn’t easy to find your dream home and your buyer’s agent plays a big role in the time it takes to find your perfect home. Although there are many factors that also affect the duration of the home buying process, you should still ask how long it usually takes for the agent to close a deal as you should be wary if the agent often takes six months or longer before closing a deal.

3. Have you helped buyers find homes at these price ranges?

All buyers work within a budget when looking for their new home. You need to to make sure that your buyer’s agent specializes in properties that are within your budget range. Given this, your buyer’s agent definitely has enough experience and knowledge in finding the best properties within your budget. You’ll know that with the property you’ll be purchasing, you’ll be able to get your money’s worth.

4. What is your experience with the neighborhood I am interested in?

It is important that the buyer’s agent you hire is knowledgeable and has had previous experiences in the neighborhoods you are interested in so that they can make sound judgments on whether it is a good fit for your goal.

The advantage of having an experienced buyer’s agent is that they will be able to tell you what type of community that neighborhood is and how it is developing. They should also be aware of where the neighborhood essentials are such as the grocery stores and hospitals, the quality of schools and life in that neighborhood in general, and if it is suited for your lifestyle or if there is another neighborhood that they can suggest. 

5. What is your expertise in the type of property I want to buy?

 Aside from knowing the neighborhood, the buyer’s agent you hire should also be an expert in the type of property that you plan on purchasing. Different types of property require different sets of skills and each has their own considerations and challenges to look out for. Make sure that your buyer’s agent will be able to check the type of property you need to buy for red flags.

6. What’s the most you’ve negotiated from a purchase price in the last year?

Make sure that your buyer’s agent knows how to negotiate. Find out about their negotiation style and experiences to determine whether they are a good negotiator or not. You will need a good negotiator to get the best price you can for the property that you want to buy. This is where their experience is revealed. Top negotiators have been in the industry for many decades which is the best way to gain effective negotiating skills.

7. How do you help buyers compete in this market?

If you are buying in a competitive buyer’s market, you might need to stand out from all of the other offers to ensure your offer is the most competitive in all areas, not just price. This is where an experienced buyer’s agent will really show their skills that will help you determine if your choice of  your buyer’s agent has been the  right one.

8. What are the legal pitfalls I need to worry about?

Although you will be hiring a real estate settlement agent when your offer is accepted, there are still some legal issues that might come up even before the settlement day. Hence, this question will test the agent’s legal knowledge. As a buyer’s agent, he/she should be familiar with disclosures, conditions, paper work, closing issues, and more.

Your buyer’s agent will be your partner in looking for your dream home so it is essential that you hire one who’s reliable and well-experienced in the real estate industry. The buyer’s agents at Buying Perth Real Estate are ready to answer these questions and any other questions that you might have. These experienced buyer’s agents can definitely provide you with the best service. As experts, we will start by learning about the needs of the client and create the best strategy to help you find your perfect home.
Give us a call at 08 6215 0200 or send an email to clive@buyingperthrealestate.com. We’d love to walk you through the whole property buying process.

Understanding Settlement Costs

Purchasing a property can be costly. It is something that you need to prepare for and think about thoroughly before buying it. You need to plan your finances and consider every expense that might arise along the way. Most first-time homebuyers often overlook one important thing when purchasing a property – settlement costs.

When they see a property, first-time homebuyers think that the purchase price is already everything that they need to pay for. Settlement costs can come as a big surprise that they have not been able to prepare for. Therefore, understanding settlement costs is important and should be part of every home buying journey.

What are Settlement Costs?

Settlement costs are the expenses above a property’s contract price that buyers need to pay to complete a real estate transaction. Meanwhile, settlement fees are usually settled at the very end of a real estate transaction when the title of the property is transferred to the buyer. Both the buyer and the seller usually incur settlement costs.

The total amount of a settlement cost ranges from 2% and up of a property’s total contract price although it also varies depending on the costs of different services in your location. Your loan type and mortgage lender will also affect how much your settlement costs will be. Stamp duty on the transfer is quite a big expense.

What are included under Settlement Costs?

1. Borrowing fees

These include costs for administrative fees, application fees, bank transfer, and everything that is related to the processing of your mortgage loan. Your lender might charge a loan application fee. Ask your lender about the details and the associated fees before applying for a mortgage.

2. Valuation Fee

The valuation fee is paid to a professional home valuing company or the bank that assesses a property’s fair market value to determine how much your loan to value ratio. The appraisal fee is a required expense as your lender would want to make sure that your home appraises for the price you are buying it.

settlement costs: miniature house with calculator and coins

3. Settlement Agent’s Fee

A settlement agent in Western Australia prepares all the documents for transferring the property from the seller to the buyer. They adjust rates and taxes and inform the appropriate bodies of the new ownership. They work with the lending company and follow the selling contract right through to the final settlement. Make sure you select an experienced professional company to act for you at settlement.

4. The Initial Deposit

Your initial deposit is held in a trust account by the selling agent or settlement agent. Until the contract is unconditional, it is paid out at settlement by your settlement agent.

5. Interest for Late Settlement

Make sure there is always ample time to meet all the requirements needed for settlement. Late settlements can cost interests that can hurt your budget for buying a property.

Learn more from your buyer’s agent

All this information seems too overwhelming, especially to first-time buyers or if you are inexperienced in the Real Estate purchasing system in Western Australia. Don’t worry as you can always seek help from experts. If you want to know more about settlement costs, let the experienced buyer’s agents at Buying Perth Real Estate help you understand.

Do not hesitate to give us a call at 08 6215 0200 or send an email to clive@buyingperthrealestate.com. We’d love to walk you through the whole property buying process.

5 Qualities of an Effective Buyer’s Agent

You’ve made the right decision to hire a buyer’s agent. But how can you be sure that they are the best buyer’s agent to meet your needs? Does your agent have all the qualities of an effective buyer’s agent?

Not all buyer’s agents are equal. Choosing the right buyer’s agent that will suit your needs and meet your demands throughout the homebuying process is important. An effective buyer’s agent can help save you time, money, avoid stress, and leave you as a satisfied customer.

Here are some important qualities that you should look for in an effective buyer’s agent:

integrity

1. Has Integrity

Having a buyer’s agent that has integrity is important to build trust and to have a good working relationship with clients. You are trusting them to get you the best value for your hard-earned money, so look for a buyer’s agent who is known for high ethical standards. A buyer’s agent who is honest and transparent with their clients goes a long way.

2. Dedicated

You need to look for a buyer’s agent that is dedicated. Being a buyer’s agent is not an easy job. A buyer’s agent should be dedicated enough to meet the client’s needs despite any obstacles thrown in their way. From searching for a good property to negotiating the price and closing the deal, a buyer’s agent should make sure that every step of the client’s home buying process goes smoothly and that the end goal is met.

experienced buyer's agent

3. Experienced

Nothing beats a buyer’s agent with years of experience in the real estate industry. Look for a buyer’s agent that has been handling homebuyers and helping them find their forever home for years. With years of experience, an effective buyer’s agent has strengthened their negotiation skills and has built a strong network. An experienced buyer’s agent also knows the ins and outs of the local area and local housing market they serve in and can give sound advice to homebuyers.

4. Good Communicator

A buyer’s agent who is a good communicator builds stronger relationships with people they work with therefore building trust and credibility. Having good communication skills means that they can give a clearer direction and have more productive conversations with the client and other parties. This will also help them in effectively resolving any problems and conflicts that come along their way.

has attention to details

5. Attention to detail

Look for a buyer’s agent with a sharp eye. Your buyer’s agent will be spending a lot of time looking at different listings, reviewing contracts and agreements, and meeting all of the client’s needs. Having sharp attention to even the smallest detail would help them spot potential problems and lessen the risks of errors. It can also help them spot rare gems and good real estate finds!

Make Sure your Buyer’s Agent Has These Qualities

People coming into the industry as buyer’s agents from a different profession or without the right background might not have the proper skills nor experience in selecting, negotiating, or giving proper buyer’s agent service. Make sure that your buyer’s agent has at least 10 years of experience in the real estate industry. Choose those who have a reputation of having high integrity in the industry are known well in the real estate community to get good deals for buyers.

Don’t just settle for any buyer’s agent. Look for effective buyer’s agents with these good qualities and you’ll surely finish your home buying journey smoothly with a satisfied disposition and no regrets.

Get a free consultation with the most experienced Buyer’s Agent in Perth at www.buyingperthrealestate.com.

As A Buyer’s Agent, What Do You Do?

I’ve lost track of the number of times I was asked this question. So someone said, why don’t you put it in writing and answer all their questions?

“Clive, as a Buyer’s Agent, what do you do?”

My quick answer is, “I help people buy real estate property.”

They usually say, “So you are a real estate agent and you sell real estate for property owners.”

No. I am not a real estate agent and that’s the opposite of what I do.

They are surprised when I say “No”. A buyer’s agent is best described as a buyer’s advocate. Instead of selling properties, I help buyers buy the right property. I support them in the process of selection, negotiations, up to the settlement. I am the third party that they turn to for advice and direction in the total process. But it is much more complex than that.

The Process

If you are the buyer, first, I get to know you. I get to learn about your lifestyle and how that relates to the things you would like in your new home. I need to know your expectations so I can assess how I can help you better. If I am not confident that I will be able to help you, I will connect you with the people who can best help you.

The Property Brief

We call the next step The Property Brief. This is where I discover the top priorities like the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, car spaces, area preferences, accessibility to schools, recreation areas, and mode of transportations. These are the things that are non-negotiable in the final decision-making.

Research and Consultation

Once appointed, we move on to Research and Consultation. I will be giving you a good range of properties that fit the brief we have discussed. This gives you a good understanding of which options come close to your requirements and budget. After checking these properties online, you will give your feedback regarding which features you like and dislike. As the buyer’s agent, I will be the one to do all the research and provide you with all the information. Most properties we provide are not even officially in the market yet. So we have the advantage of being the first one to look at them.                          

No need for buyers to spend time searching for possible properties. With my 45 years of experience, I know who can provide ample information on the properties on and off-market. This is something that buyers do not have access to – the buyer’s agents’ advantage.

Evaluation and Communication

Then come the Evaluation and Communication. This is when we shortlist the property options. For convenience, we schedule a private viewing of the properties. Unlike open houses, this will give us enough time to see the advantages and disadvantages of the home. You will have the time to feel the atmosphere and ambiance of the home. Buyers often want to spend time in a room which is often not possible in open houses. In open houses, buyers get to look at rooms with other people in the same area. Also, they feel a bit uncomfortable with salespersons trying to qualify them as they look around.

Usually, the final selection by the buyers is totally different from the original brief. But that is the joy of having this selection process. Buyers get to explore the properties further and make a decision based on their actual visit.

Offer and Acceptance

Once the decision is made, it’s time to do the due diligence of preparing the offer and acceptance. A search of the title often shows many areas to beware of, that often the inexperienced buyer will often overlook. I need to make sure that we know about any easements, covenants, work uncompleted, or not council-approved areas on the property. There are many areas that need to be checked depending on the zoning, age of the home, water and sewerage, and council requirements. 

When the offer is written, it is crucial to protect the buyer with a finance clause and the timing of approval. This also gives confidence to the seller that our offer is genuine, and the buyer will perform. This will make the difference in getting my offer accepted against other offers that may be in competition. I will always recommend a structural and termite report from professional companies that I can trust. If it’s a Strata titled property, there is information that must be obtained prior to writing the offer to ensure everything is in order.

A Buyer’s Agent’s Other Tasks

I will be bidding for the buyer if the property is listed for an auction sale. Of course, if you want to bid yourself, you are most welcome. I find that there is an art to being successful in bidding as I’ve been an auctioneer for many years myself.

If the property is a private sale, I will handle the negotiations for you and be in close communication with the sales agent until we have a result.

Once we have been successful in purchasing, I follow the sale process right through to the final inspection to ensure that everything is in working order. Then, I follow right through to settlement.

Representing the Buyer

Because I am paid by the buyer, I am fully committed to taking the stress, time, and emotion out of buying a property. Whether it’s for your dream home or an investment property, I will make sure that the buying process is smooth.  In short, I represent the buyer. 

While the real estate agent, who is paid by the seller, is committed both morally and legally to act at all times in the seller’s interest.

So, what I ACTUALLY do, I take the stress, time, and emotion out of buying property and I represent YOU.

Hopefully, in reading this you have a sense of what I do.

Then people ask me…

Why do I act as a Buyer’s Agent instead of a Real Estate Agent?

After many years as a real estate agent, I’ve employed and trained salespeople not only how to sell real estate, but how to do it ethically and maintain a high standard of integrity. Many salespeople who did not have that benefit of good training find it very hard to look after buyers.                                                                                                                 

As a result, I registered Buying Perth Real Estate in 2017 to help buyers purchase with confidence. I do not want buyers to feel that they have made the wrong decision, because of emotion, time restraints, or pressure from a salesperson. I get excited and very satisfied when I’m chosen to help buyers through the process of Selecting, Negotiating, working through the due diligence to reach a positive outcome when buying either their dream home or investment property.

As a buyer’s agent, I work hard to produce amazing life-changing outcomes for my buyers, and that gives me great confirmation and satisfaction. This is why I chose the concentrate on being one of the most experienced Buyer’s Agents serving the Perth Buying public.

Do you need to buy a home soon? Get a free consultation from Buying Perth Real Estate today.

Is An Experienced Buyer’s Agent Worth It?

You might think that hiring a buyer’s agent will cost you more, but in reality, buyer’s agents offer many ways where you can save up on costs and fees. Aside from money, buyer’s agents can also save you a lot of time, effort, and stress through handling the buying process.

So, is hiring an experienced buyer’s agent worth it? Read more to find out.

An Experienced Buyer’s Agent is a Buyer’s Advocate

If you think that a real estate agent is on the buyer’s side, you are wrong. A real estate agent is hired by the homeowner to sell their property. They are legally and morally committed to work in the seller’s best interests. They will try to get conditions that are most profitable for the seller and not for the buyer.

Meanwhile, a buyer’s agent is a buyer’s advocate. They will do everything for the best interest of the buyer both in checking the quality of the property and in negotiating the lowest price with special conditions that best suit the buyer. They act as a third party in the final decision and help take away the emotion associated with making the final decision, which can often save making big mistakes or losing your negotiating advantage.

An Experienced Buyer’s Agent Can Lessen Your Time In Looking For The Perfect House

Some buyers take years in looking for a house. Although this is a normal scenario, most people wouldn’t want to spend most of their precious time looking at different houses that eventually don’t meet their requirements. In finding the perfect home, you need to consider a lot of things.

When you have a buyer’s agent, they can do the initial leg work for you. They will find different properties that fit your criteria. Afterward, they will shortlist options based on what they think are the best opportunities for you based on the detailed brief that they have complied after spending quality time in discussion with you at the time you engage their services. This will save you a lot of time and effort that you would need to spend if you were looking for properties by yourself. Your buyer’s agent will do that for you. Moreover, they have more knowledge and will surely be able to find the best properties.

An Experienced Buyer’s agent is knowledgeable especially when it comes to negotiations

With years of vast experience, the right buyer’s agents are sharp negotiators. Aside from providing you with the best property options, they can also provide you with the best deals. They will help you make the right offer that will lead you to finally getting the property at the best buying price.

They can often save you tens of thousands of dollars in the final negotiations for the property you are buying.

buyer's agent house  with key

What Can I Save by Hiring an Experienced Buyer’s Agent?

The buyer’s agents service fee, to you the buyer, is more than covered by:

  • the time and stress you are saved in the searching and checking the properties for due diligence with all the authorities
  • negotiating the best possible price
  • including the necessary special conditions in the contract to protect you
  • arranging building inspections to be done by experienced licensed builders
  • helping where necessary in your search for finance at the best rates
  • plus a host of behind the scene checking and searching and communicating regularly with you throughout the whole process. 

So, is a buyer’s agent worth it? An experienced buyer’s agent or advocate can really offer you good value for their services.

The objective of a buyer’s advocate will always be for the benefit of the buyer. It is good to have a real estate expert that is on your side. They will help you become rational about your decisions. They are knowledgeable, they have access to off-market listings, and they are sharp negotiators. With all these values brought by buyer’s agents, hiring one is definitely worth it. They will save you money, time, and most importantly – relieve you from stress.

Reach out to Buying Perth Real Estate to know more about the benefits of hiring a buyer’s agent.