Real Estate Journal, May 2012
With the niche industry of buyers’ agents growing in Australia in the past 10 years, it’s obvious there exists a need for a service to assist time-poor and inexperienced homebuyers and investors in the market.
Buyers’ agents operate independently and work solely with buyers to search, locate and negotiate the purchase of property on their behalf. They charge their clients a fee for acting in their best interest.
A residential sales agency that offers services that include liaison with buyers should be careful not to incorrectly label their staff as ‘buyers’ agents’.
Licensed buyers’ agent and House Search Australia Director Jacque Parker said some residential sales agencies could be misleading consumers by using the ‘buyers’ agent’ title to describe the roles of some staff.
“Though the concept of agents assisting buyers certainly isn’t new, there are still many consumers who are not aware that there are agents out there who represent buyers exclusively and work very differently from residential sales agents,” Jacque said.
“It is important to differentiate here between exclusive buyers’ agents and ‘buyers’ assistants’ or sales staff employed by the seller’s agency to look after buyers and liaise with them during the sales process.”
Jacque said labelling staff as buyers’ agents within a selling agency can lead to confusion and misrepresentation if buyers are led to believe that such ‘buyers’ assistants’ are providing the same service as an exclusive buyers’ agent, when they are not.
“Buyers’ assistants are there to liaise with buyers on behalf of the selling agent, help out where required and make the job of the seller’s agent a little easier, and it is vital to ensure buyers are aware this is the case,” she said.
“Buyers need to know the agents they are dealing with are representing the seller and selling agent at all times, as they are employed by one real estate agency to assist with their listings only.”