The Block is great TV entertainment and I was pretty excited to see the inclusion of buyers’ agents as judges in the last series. Overall, it’s been great to see the profile of our industry raised. Very soon we will get to see another 5 apartments go under the hammer and I expect we will see a number of buyers’ agents amongst the bidders.
Along with over a million other Aussies, earlier this year I watched the last series of The Block auctions and witnessed the frantic bidding. During the episode my twitter feed was busy as I was chatting with other viewers and most of us expressed amazement at the results, particularly since the memory of the mixed bag of auctions at the end of the previous series was still fresh.
Of course The Block auctions were televised in such a way as to create entertainment (this is, after all, the point of the show!), but I was left wondering what message was conveyed about buyers’ agents and how we as professionals can add value to our clients’ property purchases.
Is perception reality television?
I know better than most that it can sometimes be hard to reconcile the TV producer’s need to create entertainment and an on-camera expert’s need to portray their own professionalism. Auctions make great television but footage of the less emotive stuff, such as the due diligence process and protracted strategy talks and negotiations, hits the cutting room floor simply because it isn’t that entertaining. For this reason I wrote a blog about the backstory of every episode of Location Location Location Australia and Relocation Relocation Australia – just in case anybody was interested in the nitty gritty of property advice, strategy and negotiation that happened behind the scenes.
My worry is that the average viewer doesn’t understand that there is so much more to what a buyers’ agent does than simply perform at auction. I am certainly not the only person concerned about this and I really do not want the general public thinking that buyers’ agents are cavalier with their client’s money! Most are extremely diligent and professional.
There were a number of issues that concerned me. For instance, I was worried that the general public might question whether there were any conflicts of interest, because that was not clear upon watching the show. Viewers might also wonder about the level of due diligence that had been conducted, and whether there was any strategy behind the bidding. As I mention above, this sort of detail doesn’t make great TV, so it’s unlikely to make the episode but I think it is really important for the viewing public to know what a buyers’ agent does behind the scenes.
What does a buyers’ agent really do?
What I want people to be confident in is that any buyers’ agent bidding at any auction, not just on The Block, is working exclusively for their client, has a strategic approach, provides advice to their client on the pros and cons of the property as well as market value, receives clear instructions from them and has no conflict of interest. This is the message that I would love all of The Block fans to get – that a buyers’ agent should have their client’s best interests at heart and is able to professionally advise on property selection, the buying process and the right price to pay.
First published:- 24 Nov 2015
Good Deeds buyers tips are intended to be of a general nature. Please contact us for advice that is specific to your individual circumstances. You may also need to get advice from other professionals such as an accountant, mortgage broker, financial planner or solicitor.