It’s important for consumers to understand; because it means they have bypassed their ‘apprenticeship’ in the industry and don’t have the experience or training required.
If you are considering engaging the services as a buyers agent, note that they may lack the practical experience and knowledge. There’s no professional insight either. Both of these are vital for advising clients correctly.
These fake buyers agents have no understanding of ethics or due diligence. They don’t understand their professional duty to clients; and they haven’t had their skills or knowledge tested by any formal training organizations.
Make Sure the Agent is Licensed
It’s why buyers agents have to be:
- Accredited by one of the leading industry bodies
- Licensed with a government regulatory body, such as the Real Estate Authority.
If a buyers agent isn’t accredited or licensed, then they shouldn’t be allowed to call themselves buyers agents. They are simply buyer advocates, who don’t understand their conflicting duties and obligations under the Fair Trading Act of 1999.
It can be harmful to consumers. If you rely on advice from an unqualified buyers agent (buyer advocates) who hasn’t been Accredited or Licensed, then your property sale may fall through for any number of reasons.
The whole point of buyers advocacy is to protect you. A buyers agent should be able to advise, guide and support you through the process of buying a house. But it’s just not as simple as that.
A buyers agent is no different to any other industry in that you get what you pay for. It’s great to read informative articles. But if you want to be aware of the issues buyers face when purchasing a home, understand how buyers advocates work and how they are different from other professionals such as real estate agents.
Knowing the right questions to ask
Asking the right questions can help you identify a real buyers agent from a fake one. Try some of the following examples as a starting point when you’re looking for a buying agent:
- Do they charge a service fee?
- Do they have an in-depth area of expertise, such as buyers advocacy or vendors advocacy?
- Have they worked in the real estate industry for a minimum of 2 years
- Can they demonstrate their years of experience with case studies and customer testimonials
- Do they work as a buyers agent full time? If not, what is their other profession?
Other ways to check a buyers agent’s credentials
Always consider whether a buyers agent belongs to any buyers advocates association, such as the Buyer’s Agents Association of Australia. The Membership Committee considers applications from aspiring members who wish to become a member of our association.
There are criteria that must be met before an applicant can join the association including:
- Relevant industry experience
- Minimum 12 months full time evidence of work/productivity e.g. written agreement with clients (5 minimum)
- Signed contracts; sample sales agency agreements; written reference letters from previous purchasers (5 minimum);
- Council Rate Accountant certificate – for tax purposes
The above criteria must be submitted with an application for membership in a buyers agent association. The technical skills of buyers advocates are regularly questioned by other industry players including Lawyers, Licensed Conveyancers and Real Estate agents who sometimes have little interest in buyers advocate services, but may have been exposed to buyers advocates that aren’t up to standard.
If you ever get involved in a property transaction where there are no buyers advocate at all … ask questions! If your conveyancer represents both the buyer and the seller, then they are what’s called dual agency. This means they have only one set of eyes watching out for your best interests..
Always take the time to look up a buyers agent’s credentials before using their services. You have every right to ask questions about your experience and knowledge.
These factors can be the difference between you getting a good deal on a house or a poor deal that sees you spending thousands more than what you originally intended.
If you’re ready to engage the services of a reputable, qualified, and experienced buyers agent then contact us today. Here at Wise Real Estate Advice, we locate and purchase Melbourne properties on behalf of buyers.
Whether you’re looking for your first home, investment property or ready to downsize, our team of buyers agents will help make it happen.
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