We have daily interactions with buyer’s advocates. We get along very well.

It’s a reciprocal relationship between sales agents and advocates – they rely on us for the scoop on upcoming listings and off market opportunities (a big selling point for them). And we go to them to find qualified buyers for our stock.

We like it when advocates are interested in our properties because, generally speaking, if the home suits the client and is within their budget, they will actively pursue it – often bidding assertively at auction or making compelling offers.

Who needs an advocate?

If you’re time poor, don’t know exactly what you want, or know exactly what you want but can’t find it, are unfamiliar with the market you’re buying into, risk-averse or would just like some peace of mind and a trusted advisor, then a buyer’s advocate could be worthwhile for you.

A good advocate will prevent you from buying a lemon. They generally insist on building inspections and contract reviews, will check for nearby planning applications, and do a deep dive on the value and potential for capital growth.

They have seen and experienced all the traps and potential pitfalls of buying the wrong property and can help you navigate through a stressful exercise with hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line… Or millions.

They may also help you get a better deal via strategy and negotiation.

An advocate will do the legwork for you, actively seeking and shortlisting properties based on your criteria. They may talk you out of a property that looks good on paper but doesn’t stack up or talk you into inspecting a property you had initially dismissed.

Interestingly, buyer advocacy remains a niche service in Australia. Most buyers do their own research and due diligence and are happy to represent themselves. I’d estimate that less than 10 percent of our sales involve an advocate.

Compare this to the US, where every single transaction involves a buying agent and a selling agent. You cannot buy without a buying agent.

Having lived there and completed my real estate license in New York, they find it perplexing that a selling agent could control both sides of the transaction – acting for the buyer and the seller – given that a selling agent’s fiduciary duty is to their vendor.

So, if you want someone on your team, and your team alone, a buyer’s advocate is one way to ensure this.

If you’d like a recommendation, please let me know.

Feature Image: 13 Maitland Street, Glen Iris

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