Even before the Great Virus Crisis landed on our doorstep, the property market had become a very tricky environment.  An area with vast potential to make a huge amount of money has exploded with opportunity, along with a multitude of ‘experts’ telling us what to do and plenty of shonkie players ready to fleece as much as possible from us. 

Where once it was just a place to shelter, in 2020 owning a property is now a key pivot point between financial success or failure for most Australians. 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recently released their findings into home ownership research which showed households where at least one occupant was 65 or over with ownership or paying off a mortgage had a median net worth of $934,900. 

In stark contrast, the median net worth of similar households with occupants who rent was just $40,800. 

So many choices 

While the case for buying over renting is clear, each step in the process has multiple pathways that can amplify outcomes – in either a good or bad way.  Something that can appear deceptively simple, buying property is actually growing in complexity with each funding and Council change introduced to accommodate our changing population requirements. 

In truth, purchasing property was always more complex than buyers realised, which is why there has always been ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ over time.   

Interestingly, another urban misconception can also be addressed here.  There is much more opportunity than most buyers realise.  No matter how expensive some areas become, the property market is always changing and will continue to offer opportunities for buyers to enter the market, succeed in the market, and live off the income that can be generated from the market. 

Your most expensive purchase 

For most of us, buying property will be one of the most expensive purchases we will ever make.  It is definitely a much bigger investment and cost outlay than in the past, much more nuanced and technical than ever before and yet most people will make their decisions based on a whim.  Or worse, they’ll base their decisions on unqualified, outdated or biased advice. 

For example . .it is not true that you ‘make your money when you buy’.  If this was true, then every person who bought into a suburb at the same price would either succeed or fail in a similar way to each other. 

The right purchase price is definitely a key factor in good property selection, but these days there’s so much more to consider including what you do with what you buy. This is critically important, whether you’re buying your home or an investment. 

A major leverage point 

In order to minimise risks and maximise your purchase, a strategic buyers agent can be the leverage point that will make the difference between a good or bad purchase. 

A buyer’s agent is a real estate professional who is legally licensed to represent the buyer and their interests in real estate transactions; that means they represent you, as opposed to seller’s agent who is paid by the seller to achieve the highest price possible and is legally required to have the seller’s best interests at heart. 

It’s a relatively new area that’s growing quickly in Australia.  With the recognition of the importance of property as a significant wealth generator, more buyers are turning to specialists to help them find and purchase their homes, investments and commercial premises. 

Be careful 

If you’re considering using a buyers agent, be careful to avoid being trapped by ‘advisors’ who present themselves as buyers agents when in reality they’re selling you a property from a list, or pushing property that will provide them with a substantial commission.   

Typically, these people will be hyping the benefits of negative gearing and the property types will usually be new constructions, off the plan or house and land deals.  

Real benefits 

A good buyer’s agent will save you time and help you secure a property at the right price, which will be a money saver for those who don’t know what a property is worth or not used to dealing with selling agent tactics. In addition, a good, independent buyers advocate can help in the following ways. 

They’ll get you in the door – An important aspect of a buyer’s agent’s job is to provide you access to properties that interest you. Your agent will take into account your key purchase wants and needs, then work with you to narrow down the properties that fit your search criteria. Once you’ve found properties you’re interested in, they will act as a liaison between you and the seller or seller’s agent to set up appointments for you to get a first look at those houses, or will visit the property on your behalf. 

They’ll streamline the process for you – As an experienced professional, your buyer’s agent will know the key steps you need to take to ensure you save time as well as money, and make the process run more smoothly.  This includes efficiently gathering key information to ensure you can confidently eliminate properties and focus on the best properties for your needs, while managing the offer process so you don’t waste money unnecessarily.  

They’ll have the tough conversations and cut through the noise – Most buyers find parts of the purchase process intimidating.  A good buyers agent will be skilled in gathering information from the selling agent to enhance the negotiation, protect buyers from intimidated sales tactics and provide buyers with the space to think through their decisions.  A buyers agent will also be skilled in negotiating price reductions if required. 

They’re problem solvers – A buyer’s agent will be able to draw upon their property knowledge and contacts to suggest cost effective ways to mitigate potential repairs, and introduce you skilled specialists who can provide good quality results. 

Next level (benefits) 

Of course, at The Property Frontline we take property purchase services to a level others find impossible to match. This starts with our focus on helping clients buy property that will enhance their lives as well as their financial future, and includes the following key benefits. 

Optimising your plan – a myth that snags many buyers is that property success is all about ‘location’ when the truth is that strategy is the real key.  More importantly, your property strategy must be tailored to your specific requirements which means what’s right for your neighbour, won’t be right for you.  At The Property Frontline we ensure our clients consider the full range of property strategies so they can optimise their position – for example, should you buy an investment property, a home to live in or both? 

End to end decision making – these days there’s such a wide range of property opportunities and choices, so we help our clients make decisions at each stage of their property journey.  This includes the critical choice of whether to hold, sell, upgrade or invest after consideration of personal, property, suburb or economic changes.   

Breadth of selection – our clients love our ability to help them purchase all property types Australia-wide – including homes, residential investments and commercial properties.  We believe clients should be able to purchase exactly what they need so they can take advantage of rising markets and buy properties with multiple performance features.  If a buyers agent only focuses on one key area or collection of suburbs, it can be argued they are pushing a narrow property selection in a similar way to the false agents who sell new properties while presenting themselves as buyers agents. 

Proprietary systems and quality of choice – we have developed a new property classification, known as ‘property agility’, to ensure we can efficiently identify property that will perform in any market and withstand negative market impacts.  In addition, we have developed the Modular Investing System, which enables our clients to effectively make the market a side issue so they can build property portfolios that deliver continuous income, sometimes with just one purchase. 

Truly independent and on your side – As mentioned earlier, the selling agent is engaged by the vendor to obtain the highest possible price for each property, and is therefore focused on providing service and advice to the vendor.  A buyers agent will represent your best interests, look at each property from your perspective and ensure you make a competitive offer on the best property for you and your family. 

Minimise risk, maximise value

In a nutshell, using a strategic buyers agent will help you minimise risk and maximise value.  At The Property Frontline, we take this to a level others find impossible to match.  Our end to end approach starts earlier than others, is more comprehensive and covers every spectrum of the property ownership cycle. 

This means our clients achieve goals fast and have the opportunity to be financially independent quicker than they could have imagined.  Bold claim?  Yes.  You’re welcome to give us a try to see if we’re a fit for your needs.

About the author

Debra Beck-Mewing is the Editor of the Property Portfolio Magazine and CEO of The Property Frontline.  She has more than 20 years’ experience in buying property Australia-wide and has extensive experience in helping buyers use a range of strategies including renovating, granny flats, sub-division and development. Debra is a skilled property strategist, and a master in identifying tailored opportunities, homes and sourcing properties that have multiple uses.  She is a Qualified Property Investment Advisor, licensed real estate agent and also holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Business. As a passionate advocate for increasing transparency in the property and wealth industries, Debra is a popular speaker on these topics.  She is also an author, podcast host, and participates on numerous committees including the Property Owners’ Association.

Follow us on facebook.com/ThePropertyFrontline for regular updates, or book in for a strategy session to discuss your property questions. 

Disclaimer – This information is of a general nature only and does not constitute professional advice.  We strongly recommend you seek your own professional advice in relation to your particular circumstances.