Finding the right buyer’s agent can make a significant difference in your home buying experience. Here’s a step-by-step guide on ‘how to select’ an experienced, reliable, ethical and professional buyer’s agent.
ASK FOR REFERRALS: Starting with word-of-mouth referrals from friends, family, or colleagues is always a good idea. People you trust who have recently purchased property will have firsthand experience and can provide honest opinions.
UTILISE ONLINE PLATFORMS: Use websites to review buyer’s agents, including their experience, areas of expertise, and customer reviews. Review social media platforms, like instagram, facebook, LinkedIn and X for activity, feedback, review and comments. Review those buyer’s agents who understand and know the local area, who have an in-depth understanding of the current market conditions and previous sales history.
INTERVIEW: Once you’ve shortlisted a few residential buyers agents, schedule an interview. Sample questions to ask can include, their experience, qualifications, familiarity with your target local government area, their individual process, their fees, do they own any investment properties them self and if you could talk to or have a reference from a past client. Evaluate their interpersonal skills, including social, people and communication skills as you’ll be working closely with them. Ask questions, such as when and how you will be communicating.
CHECK LICENSING AND CHECK QUALIFICATIONS: All buyer’s agent shall be fully licensed residential real estate agents, in the state that they operate. The state based real estate licensing authority, will provide information on whether a buyers agent is licensed and if there have been any disciplinary actions against them.
For each state you can check below, the licensing department within the governing body:
- Office of Fair Trading QLD
- Office of Fair Trading NSW
- Consumer Affairs Victoria
- Access Canberra
- Consumer and Business Service SA
- Norther Territory Consumer Affairs
- Consumer, Building and Occupational Services Tasmania
- Consumer Protection Western Australia
INSURANCE AND MEMBERSHIPS: Buyers agents are required to have insurance to cover risks associated with their work. It is essential that the buyers agent has professional indemnity insurance, under licensing laws, all fully licensed real estate agents must hold this insurance. Ask for evidence that the buyer’s agent has Professional liability insurance, also known as professional indemnity insurance.
Ask if the buyers agent is a member of an industry, professional or real estate association, such as the Real Estate Institute of NSW, Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) or the Real Estate Buyers Association of Australia, etc.
Each states peak governing body, for the Real Estate Profession:
- The Real Estate Institute of Queensland
- The Real Estate Institute of New South Wales
- The Real Estate Institute of Canberra
- The Real Estate Institute of Victoria
- The Real Estate Institute of South Australia
- The Real Estate Institute of the Northern Territory
- The Real Estate Institute of Tasmania
- The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia
INDEPENDENT ADVICE: Ask the buyer’s agent if they are truly ‘exclusive’ or ‘independent’. If the buyer’s agent accepts commissions from vendors or developers, or recommends any properties without doing any due diligence, then they can not be classified as independent, as they are not acting in the best interest of the buyer.