Three questions to ask a buyers advocate

Not sure how to evaluate a buyers advocate? Frank Valentic from Advantage Property Consulting offers some angles to consider.

Purchasing a property is no small undertaking. The vendor is represented in their sale, so why shouldn’t the buyer have someone working on their behalf, too? Sometimes it can be difficult to work out what a buyers advocate should be doing for you, though, or how to pick one. During my client meetings, I am still surprised by some of the common questions I get asked – but more often, I am surprised by the questions that are not asked as frequently as they should be.

Here are three questions to consider asking your advocate when you meet with them, to ensure you choose the right person for the job.

1. Who is on your team?

Some advocacy businesses focus solely on the purchase, which might be all that some buyers need. Sometimes, however, other contributing factors are important, and missing opportunities through lack of understanding of particular detail can be frustrating. If a buyers agent works alongside a leasing consultant, or an owners corporation manager, for instance, and can bring that expertise in to play, this can assist after settlement and beyond.

2. Do you have a property portfolio, yourself?

I do not get asked this question enough. The reality is, while buying property for other people is great, there is nothing like having some skin in the game, so to speak. The fact that I have been a property investor myself for 23 years means that I come from a place of not just professional experience but from personal experience in building a successful property portfolio. Buyers advocates who have this experience are always going to bring something valuable to the job.

3. Are your fees negotiable?

The reason for asking this is probably not what you are initially thinking. Since I started my business 18 years ago, the landscape of the industry has changed immensely and the number of new advocates has increased. This sometimes means that they offer lower fees due to their more limited experience. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for and an advocate who drops their fees at your first request will not be an advocate who will push hard for you when they are negotiating on your final purchase price.