Using a buyer’s agent vs going DIY

Using a buyer’s agent may not always save you money, but it will definitely save you time. It allows you to leverage someone else’s experience to your advantage, and may often save you from making a costly mistake. Here’s a breakdown of how a property purchase scenario could play out, with and without a buyer’s agent; your investment of time is represented in estimated hours.
  Buyer’s agent
Create your personalised investment strategy  
Buyer’s agent handles this as part of their service, in consultation with you
(5–10 hours)
You create based on your own research (3–5 hours)
Research the market in your desired area 30 hours
Create a shortlist and inspect 5–10 properties 10 hours
Arrange finance/pre-approval with your broker or lender  
5 hours
5 hours
Settle on a property, crunch the numbers and make an offer Buyer’s agent handles this as part of their service  
3–5 hours
Negotiate on price, conditions, terms and inclusions
Buyer’s agent uses their skills, expertise and objectivity to achieve an 8% discount on purchase price You negotiate and achieve a 4% discount on the purchase price
Property is listed for $500,000, but you pay…
Buying costs, including stamp duty, lenders mortgage insurance, building inspections, legals, etc  
Buyer’s agent fee of 1.5%  
SUMMARY 10–15 hours
$497,500 total outlay
55 hours
$510,000 total outlay
Using a buyer’s agent vs getting an education: Which is best?

“Your property education is the number one investment you should be making, well before you even look at buying a property or engaging an agent. Lasting property success is about more than just finding one good deal. You need to educate yourself on all the ins and outs of property investing, which doesn’t end when you purchase a property. What about property management, insurance and tax planning? These are all important elements of investing, and if you don’t know what you’re getting into, you could make some costly mistakes.”

– Helen Collier-Kogtevs, director, Real Wealth Australia

“If an agent has been buying and selling real estate for 10 years in one particular area, and they know what sells, what doesn’t and which properties are popular, that’s perspective – and that’s what you should be paying for. By leveraging their perspective and their years of experience, you can find out things such as which side of the street is worth 15% more than the other side, because it’s got better views; or that one end of the street is closer to the highway and is therefore less valuable. The macro bit is easy – it’s the micro bit that is hard to master. And you can’t get that through monitoring properties or getting an education.”

– Michael Yardney, director, Metropole Property Strategists

“I have always been a strong advocate of good-quality education. I’m not talking about seminars or courses offered by people who ultimately want to sell you a property, or make an introduction to someone who does – I mean courses that are truly independent, where there are no property transactions or potential transactions involved. Getting this education is a one-off cost that will then equip you for a lifetime of successful investing, and help you to avoid the spruikers and sharks.”

– Margaret Lomas, director, Destiny Financial Solutions


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