Buyer beware 'free' buyer's agents: Rich Harvey

Buyer beware 'free' buyer's agents: Rich Harvey
Buyer beware 'free' buyer's agents: Rich Harvey

GUEST OBSERVER

It is regrettable that an unfortunate minority was giving the industry a ‘bad name’ and misleading consumers by purporting to be buyer’s agents.

I warned home buyers and investors not to be lured by slick advertising promising deals that were too good to be true.

We always get concerned whenever we see mention of anyone advertising ‘free buyer’s agent services’.

Red flags instantly start waving when words like “the seller pays the fee not the buyer” and “we will find your perfect Investment property for free” appear on websites.

Ultimately property advisors will act for whoever is paying their fee.

Calling yourself an independent “buyer’s agent” while selling property is simply dressing up the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

True buyer’s agents have a fiduciary duty by law to act in the best interests of their clients and this is legislated in each individual state’s real estate law.

Buyer’s agents are licensed professionals who specialise in searching, locating, evaluating and negotiating the purchase of property on behalf of buyers. They do not sell real estate. They are engaged independently and paid for by the buyer to act on their behalf.

REBAA is Australia’s largest independent alliance of buyer’s agents who act on behalf of buyers in property transactions.

The association’s accredited buyer’s agent logo is synonymous with professionalism and best practice and its members are committed to stringent ethical standards.

Each REBAA accredited agency must also carry professional indemnity insurance. REBAA accredited agencies across Australia display their accredited agency logos on their websites to help buyers clearly identify bonafide buyer’s agents.

As a buyer you always need to ask if there is a vested interest in anything. Why are they wanting to act for you for free?

Usually it’s because they want to buy developer stock or take their fee from the vendor – hardly exclusive or independent advice.

Essentially, these “free buyers agents” are selling agents in disguise.

They have a huge financial incentive to help you buy that property and that’s not necessarily in the investor’s best interest.

Consumers should carefully check the credentials of any buyer’s agent and confirm they are firstly licensed and ask questions about their experience, time in industry, research methods, and how they are paid.

For a list of accredited agencies in your local area click here

Rich Harvey is REBAA president and can be contacted here.

Tags: 
Real Estate Sales Buyers Agents

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