What Kind Of People Use Your Service?
“Its a mixture. Sometimes it’s locals who are upsizing or downsizing. Mostly I help people who are moving from the cities and want to live in a lifestyle destination like the Byron Shire. Some people are planning their next five to ten-year move. They don’t know the area well or they’re time poor or they need some deep local knowledge before making a major decision like this.”
What’s The Main Reason People Hire A Property Buyer’s Agent?
“It is different reasons for different people. Probably the main reason is for people who are time poor or not able to be in the area while they’re looking. They need a long term local who knows the area well. Some people find the process of buying property quite difficult and adversarial and they want somebody to handle it for them. Some people want to feel that they are buying with certainty so that they have got experience and knowledge upfront for them. So there are various reasons why people would use a buyer’s agent but that’s the main one; people can buy with certainty when they use someone who knows the area and the process”
What Are The Different Types Of Properties You Help People Buy?
“We service the whole Northern Rivers area. We have also been south to Yamba and Coffs Harbour more than a few times. I do homes, units, and commercial.”
Can You Buy Off-Market?
“I do about 20 – 25 percent of my purchases off-market. There are many reasons why a property is off-market. IT varies a bit depending on what the wider market is doing. Some people want privacy and not have too many strangers coming through their house. I also have people who want something specific and since I’ve been doing this for 20 years, I know a lot of properties. I know a lot of owners who I know they may be sellers / they may not, but when I have got something specific, I can go directly to an owner and say are you interested in talking to a potential buyer.”
How Does The Process Work?
“When you contact me and you’re interested in engaging me, I send you my agreement. I need a $2500 engagement fee before I start. The commission is payable at contract exchange and is between 1-2% pf the purchase price – minus the engagement fee. It can take anything from a few weeks to 6 – 9 months. That is fine. I help you make a decision so it usually does not drift out too far into the future.”
How Can You Get Me A Good Deal?
“In a strong market, I can’t guarantee to get you a good deal. If the market is soft that is another matter. What I can guarantee is that you will be making a purchase with full transparency and confidence. This is very important as many people can never be sure of fair market value. I can also guarantee that you will have a better chance of getting the place you want when there are other competitive bidders. I often pick up new clients after they have been looking for a while and see how difficult and competitive the market is.”
Do You Handle Investment Properties As Well As Homes?
“The Byron and hinterland market is mainly for owner-occupiers. Yes, I do buy for investors. That is about 10- 20% of my clients. In many ways it is a spectrum there is a bit of lifestyle and investment in every purchase. Figuring out where you are on the spectrum is important.”
Do I Save Your Commission By The Purchase?
“Sometimes you can save my commission via the purchase, but I don’t guarantee that because in different markets there are different ways of doing a good deal. And yes, a lot of times the value that I bring to the deal certainly compensated in paying a lesser price, but that’s not something I can guarantee. I do get… my major satisfaction for me and my clients is that whenever I get a new client and they’ve worked with a buyer’s agent for the first time, most of them always say, “I’ll never buy a property without a buyer’s agent again.” Because this is the first time that they’ve seen the level of research and the extra information that’s brought to the table, that they’ve never experienced before. It’s like doing something in Technicolor instead of black and white.”
What Advice Do You Have For Sellers?
“Even though I mainly work as a buyer’s agent, I sometimes operate for sellers by being their vendor’s advocate. A vendor’s advocate can ‘reverse engineer’ what I do for a buyer. It’s better for a seller if they go to the market knowing all the information upfront instead of at the end of the process. I will tell you the market price of the property, help you find the right listing agent. I then work with that listing agent through the selling process to make sure it’s being marketed and handled well. Then when we’re getting into negotiations, I help with the decision. This is a growing area for buyers agents to be vendor advocates and it’s a very good service. It doesn’t cost the vendor any more because I work with the vendors and I work with the listing agent and we split the commission. So in a way, you get two agents for the price of one. It’s a very good service and becoming a lot more popular.”