What is a Buyers Agent?
A buyer’s agent acts for a prospective real estate purchaser, so their main aim is to achieve the best price and terms that they can for their client. Therefore, they act in direct opposition to the selling agent who is trying to obtain the best price and terms for the seller.
A buyer’s agent needs to obtain a clear understanding of their client’s needs so that they can research and short list a number of properties that are suitable and that meet the brief provided by their client.
The buyer’s agent can use different methods to locate suitable properties, such as researching online, contacting local sales agents, contacting private sellers, etc.
A buyer’s agent signs an agreement with their client to pay them a fee for their services. This would usually entail an initial engagement fee for the time and effort they put into their search and then a “success” fee if the client purchases a property. The fee is negotiable and could be a fixed fee and/or a percentage of the purchase price. There is also usually a timeframe for the agreement to last and in some cases a limit on the number of properties that the agent will source for the client. All these details are negotiable.
The buyer’s agent can organise viewings for their client and/or view properties on their behalf. They can negotiate price and terms on behalf of their client until an agreement to purchase a property is achieved. During the settlement process they can liaise with the different parties involved (selling agent/solicitor/etc) to ensure this process is smooth and without unnecessary issues or delays.
Types of skills needed to work as a Buyers Agent
A buyers agent will ideally have a large skill set – although if you are starting in an entry level role, you will learn a lot on the job!
Some skills which are beneficial include:
- Being a strong negotiator
- Reasonable numeracy skills (you may be required to provide budgeting)
- Good written and verbal communication skills
- Be able to solve problems and not shy away from them
- Ability to work independently
- Good time management
- Well organised
- Ability to prioritise tasks