While a selling agent is paid to represent the seller, a buyer’s agent represents the buyer. Let me explain the benefits.
Have you ever used a purchase/buyer’s agent to negotiate the purchase of a property? Is it something you should consider? First up, what is a buyer’s agent and what does a buyer’s agent do? Everyone has heard of real estate agents; a person engaged by someone who is selling a property to sell that property as quickly and for as high a price as possible. A buyer’s agent, though, is someone engaged by the buyer to help them find, negotiate and purchase a property.

What is a purchase agent? What does a purchase agent do?

A purchase agent, also called a buyer’s agent, is a real estate professional hired by a prospective home-buyer to research and negotiate the purchase of a home on behalf of the buyer. A purchase agent represents the interests of the buyer in a real estate transaction, as opposed to a seller’s agent.

If you think you may use the services of a purchase agent for your next real estate purchase, you’ll need to know the right questions to ask the agent. If talking with a buyer’s agent is on your agenda, we suggest that you ask the following questions:

1. What is their experience in the geographic area you are considering?
Local knowledge is invaluable, so you need to ensure that your purchase agent has a good knowledge of the neighborhood in which you are wanting to buy. Ask what and where their most recent purchases have been.

2. Do they operate as an exclusive purchase agent?
Operating as buyer agent

In other words, are they working for and being paid by you and no-one else? Some agents calling themselves ‘purchase agents’ have actually been taking a fee from a selling agent’s commission, yet claiming to work for the buyer, according to the NVM this is a clear conflict of interest because effectively they are representing the vendor, they’re not acting solely on behalf of the purchaser.

3. Are they a licensed real estate agent?
An NVM agency requires for all agents to be licensed.

4. Can they provide recent client testimonials/references?
Check their website as well as google to read their client testimonials.
This process can help alleviate any concerns you may have about your prospective agent.

More tips on how to benefit from a purchase agent
We lined up some of the Q&A we received from our customers:

Q: What are the main benefits for property buyers in engaging a purchase agent?
A: Time, money, and peace of mind are the main benefits which everyone will gain from engaging a specialist. purchase agents have their finger on the pulse and therefore have a lot more knowledge about buying property. The thing about knowledge is that you don’t know what you don’t know. purchase agents know what questions to ask and where to get the information. More often than not, the purchase agent’s own expertise will save the buyer more money on the purchase price than their fees. The buyer will also have saved literally dozens of hours of their own time and be more likely to have made a much better decision on the property that they have purchased.

Q: Are there any particular buyers who benefit most from using a purchase agent?
A: It’s worth keeping in mind that buying a property is arguably the most valuable asset that most people will ever buy. Whilst most real estate agents are professional and good people they are contracted to work for the property owner, so I personally believe that everyone who buys a property will benefit from engaging a purchase agent to represent your best interests. The average person buys a property once every nine years whereas a purchase agent will buy and sell several properties every week – that’s a lot more practice than a DIY. Even if the buyer lives in the same area as where they are buying, they will benefit enormously from engaging a skilled professional. Knowing the market is a lot different to knowing the neighborhood, especially if the property is being purchased for investment purposes.

Q: What should buyers look for in a purchase agent?
A: Buyers should look for evidence to support the purchase agent having skills in the areas that are important to the buyer. For example, if buying for investment purposes the buyer should ask for examples of the depth of the purchase agent’s research. Purchase agents need to be very good communicators which includes listening to their client’s objectives, being able to articulate alternative methods, providing regular feedback throughout the process, and having strong relationships with third parties to the transaction.