What’s the difference between a real estate agent and a buyer’s agent? (Q&A)
While most people know what a real estate agent – or seller’s agent – is, it seems not everyone knows what a buyer’s agent is – or does.
So we thought we’d break it down.
What’s the difference between a real estate agent and a buyer’s agent?
In simple terms, a real estate (seller’s) agent represents the seller and the buyer’s agent represents the buyer. Makes sense!
What does a real estate agent focus on?
- Strives to sell the property at the highest price in the shortest timeframe
- Provides advice and guidance to sellers about how to prepare a property for sale
- Highlights the property’s strengths
- Manages and negotiates offers on behalf of the seller
- Represents the seller throughout the process
What does a buyer’s agent focus on?
- Strives to find the right property, for the lowest price, under the best terms and conditions
- Listens to the buyer’s brief – to understand the buyer’s criteria and develop a strategy to meet it
- Searches, evaluates and negotiates the purchase of property on behalf of the buyer
- Offers a central point of contact for related services – due diligence, finance, etc
- Represents the buyer throughout the process
What’s the difference in costs?
To engage a real estate agent, the costs vary from state to state: “Australia’s highest commission rates are in Tasmania (3.26%) and the lowest are in South Australia (2.07%), with a national average sitting at 2.22%… but keep in mind that what you end up paying will depend on your property, the local market and the agent you select. It’s also important to remember that commission rates change over time in line with cost of living, the movement of the market, and inflation” (LocalAgentFinder).
To engage a buyer’s agent, fees range from around 1.5% (plus GST) of the purchase price for a bare basics service to 3% (plus GST) for the full service. Some buyers’ agents set a fixed fee, which varies, depending on the type of property (residential versus commercial), complexity, challenges, criteria, timeframe, etc.
Benefits of a buyer’s agent
So it’s clear to see that real estate agents and buyer’s agents have very different roles, serving the seller and buyer, respectively. There’s plenty of reasons to engage a buyer’s agent, but put simply, they provide:
- Industry knowledge and insights
- Extensive research and analysis
- Knowledge of local council plans, rezonings, infrastructure plans and other growth drivers
- Access to databases of properties, including unlisted/yet-to-be-listed sales
- Advice – to get the right property for your strategy
- Save time – free up your weekends, so you just focus on properties that meet your criteria
- Save money – through their negotiation skills and by securing the right property, at the lowest price, under the best terms and conditions.
Given how time-poor we all are, having a professional on your side to research and find the right property for your investment strategy could save you time, money – and stress!
Need more information?
If you’re keen to invest in the Perth property market and would like some more information, why not download our free eBook, Get Ready to Invest in Property.
To find the right investment property, you need a strategy. If you’re not sure which strategy is right for you or you would like to work out your investment strategy, download our 4 Strategies to Success flyer.
If you’re ready to get the ball rolling, why not complete our Getting Started form.
And, if you’ve got questions about finance, call us for a free Financial Health Check: 08·9381·7450 or download our Finance Services fact sheet.