10 Tips for Choosing a Buyers Agent in Brisbane

August 11, 2023

Buying a Brisbane property is an exciting life milestone, but it can also be one filled with stress and fear.

Choosing the right investment property or family home comes down to knowing what you need, understanding what you can afford and knowing exactly what is available to you at the time you want to buy.

The problem is that many buyers feel like the property buying process is stacked in favour of the seller because that is who the selling agent is working for.

But the good news is there is a way to level the playing field: using a buyer’s agent.

Having an experienced buyer’s agent on your side will give you the cutting edge – it helps to level the playing field during your property buying experience and ensure you get the best outcome for you as a buyer.

A buyer’s agent can help you buy the right property for your needs, at the right price, on the right terms, and with unbiased advice.

Without one you could leave yourself open to making one of the five most common property investing mistakes – emotional decisions, lack of confidence, time-wasting, lack of understanding, and lack of foresight.

But not all buyer’s agents are equal, and choosing the wrong one can cost you both money and valuable time.

So how do you choose the best one?

Here are 10 tips for choosing a buyer’s agent in Brisbane.

1. Check their credentials and qualifications

As with anything in the property buying and investment process, finding the best buyer’s agent in Brisbane starts with research and due diligence.

And the best place to start is by checking and verifying, their credentials and qualifications.

Buyer’s agents need to hold a real estate licence, hold indemnity insurance and be able to assure you that they are operating to industry standards by being a member of the state real estate institute.

I’d advise against engaging with someone who claims to be a buyer’s agent but doesn’t hold a real estate licence or have adequate experience of working in the property market you’re looking to buy in.

2. Find out if they’re a dedicated buyer’s agent

Is the buyer’s agent a dedicated buyer’s agent or do they work within a real estate agency or on behalf of a builder or developer?

It’s important to ensure that the buyer’s agent isn’t working with or for anyone else who may have conflicting interests because it’ll affect their ability to offer the highest standard possible when looking for and negotiating upon a property if they aren’t working independently.

dedicated buyers agent

3. Determine what experience they have

Would you put such an important purchase in the hands of someone without the experience and know-how necessary to do the best job?

And it’s vital that their experience is in the location and the market segment you’re looking in.

A buyer’s agent might have a wealth of knowledge about the unit market in the Gold Coast, but that won’t help you if you’re looking to buy a house in Brisbane.

If the buyers’ agent is unable to present a strong track record of their experience in the area you want to buy then you shouldn’t engage their services.

A good way to check this information for yourself is to ask for four or five of their most recent and applicable (in your area) purchases for you to review.

4. Research them online

Don’t just take their word for it, also do your research online to check what the buyer’s agent has told you to check out.

This is also a great way to get feedback from people who have engaged with their services.

A word of warning when doing your online research: Be aware of websites claiming to offer up a list of the best or most highly rated buyer’s agents around.

It might look like a verified list but it’s anything but. 

Often you might even find a disclaimer hidden somewhere down the bottom claiming as such – that the buyer’s agents haven’t been reviewed, it’s not a conclusive list or even that the information is just for general use.

And it’s not just that, most agents pay to be listed on these sites.

Yes, you can think of them as paid directories, much like a yellow pages directory, rather than a comprehensive list of all the verified and reviewed agents.

buyers agent check online

5. Check in with past clients

Asking to speak to past clients that the buyer’s agent has engaged with is also a great way to get realistic feedback, and it can be more accurate than online reviews.

6. Enquire about their local network and client list

A great buyer’s agent will be well-connected and respected within the Brisbane property industry so it’s valuable to find out more about their local reputation.

Having great local connections will help to put you in front of more opportunities, and often first, whereas poor connections or a buyer’s agent who isn’t well-liked will put you on the back foot.

A well-connected buyer’s agent should also be able to get access to some properties before they come to market, or ‘silent sales’.

For this reason, it is vital that the buyer’s agent you choose has a good, stable and respectful relationship with real estate agents in the area you want to buy.

7. Ask about fees

It’s vital to ask about both fees and fee structures before deciding what buyer’s agent to go for.

Many buyer’s agents charge an upfront fee and a commission while some charge a fixed rate without commission.

In Brisbane, fees vary but generally, buyer’s agents will charge a commission of 2-3% of the purchase price, while others charge a fixed fee.

It’s important you understand what you’re expected to pay and that you can understand how much it’ll cost you.

Don’t be tempted to engage somebody just because they offer lower fees.

If they can provide great service and add real value for their clients, they wouldn’t have to win new business by offering low fees.

A fixed fee structure can be appealing to property buyers who want to know upfront how much they are paying, and means that there is no disincentive for buyer’s agents to achieve the best price for their clients.

8. Ask if they get any kickbacks or incentives

As I mentioned above, some buyer’s agents charge you a commission, which you need to be aware of. 

But others may receive a commission or kickback from somewhere else such as a seller’s agent, developer or a builder.

If this is the case then they have to disclose this before you sign on the dotted line.

While a fixed fee structure is appealing because you know they’re working to get the best result for you, kickbacks or financial incentives can work in the opposite way.

How do you know if they’re acting in your best interest, or in theirs?

This is a red flag – unbiased and independent buyer’s agents will not receive incentives or kickbacks from third parties.

9. Find out what their process is

A good buyer’s agent should be able to simply and effectively explain their buying process to you.

Ask for a step-by-step guide for exactly what you can expect from the process, what is expected of you and an estimated timeline.

This will help you understand how their buying process will add value to your property purchase, and clarify what you can expect and how quickly.

Having this conversation ensures you’re both on the same page before the process begins

10. Compare the buyer’s agent to their competitors

Now you’ve done all your due diligence, research and asked the right questions, the only thing left to do is compare them to their competitors.

Don’t go with the first buyer’s agent you find, speak to a few and compare their fee structures, qualifications, experience and reviews to help determine which one is best suited to you and your property-buying goals.

Remember… the buyer’s agent should work in your best interest.

Whether you’re a first-time buyer, home buyer or experienced property investor, the most important part of choosing the best buyer’s agent in Brisbane comes down to choosing someone who is working in your best interest.

They don’t just find any old property which is vaguely ‘suitable’, but the best one for your needs.

They should also be happy to answer any questions you have and go through everything you need to know about using a buyer’s agent and the process involved before beginning the process.

Whether it is allowing access to historical clients, providing reviews from happy customers, handing over case studies or even the ease of conversation, the best buyer’s agent for you should be able to give you peace of mind that they’re working in a way that is advantageous for you from the very beginning.

Soho is your expert team in Australian real estate, offering an innovative platform for effortless property searches. With deep insights into buying, renting, and market trends, we guide you to make informed decisions, whether it's your first home or exploring new suburbs.
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Our AI match engine will match you with over 150,000+ properties and you can swipe away or shortlist easily. Making your home buying journey faster and easier.