Should I use a buyers agent – or can I find all the info I need online?

We often come across real estate buyers who spend a great deal of time scouring property websites and believe that they are very well researched on the property market. Their main question: why should I use a buyers agent?

Sometimes the buyer’s idea on what they can get for their money is often completely out of whack because the internet has its limitations. Think of all those “price not disclosed” sales. When they finally hit the pavement and start physically inspecting properties, there tends to be a significant lag time before they get a handle on property values and stop crying out “tell ‘em they’re dreaming” on every doorstep.

When you rely on internet listings to formulate your idea on prices and values you are only getting part of the picture. For a start, agents usually only publish the most flattering photos of the property, after all, they are trying to sell it! So you won’t be seeing the motor repair shop next door, the mobile phone tower over the back fence or the electrical substation on the other side of the street. If you’re starting to wonder, “should I use a buyers agent?”, consider this – a local specialist has probably been inside most of these recently sold properties. They’ll be able to tell you the pros and cons of each one and how they compare with what’s currently on the market..

Another problem with relying on the internet pictures of recently sold properties is that your idea of price is always historical and this is compounded by the glossy marketing shots of a house, which tends to make any house look like great value at whatever price it sold for. So when you finally do start inspecting properties in person, they very rarely stack up to the image you have built up of what you should be able to get for your money.

And when the properties you are inspecting always seem overpriced, you are unlikely to make offers. Or your offers may be a bit low and end up alienating vendors and selling agents. This doesn’t hurt if the market is slow, as time could well be on your side. But it can be problematic if the market is competitive. In this instance, the market may leave you behind if you take too long to make a decision.

It is essential that you are up to date with what your money can buy you in today’s market. It’s great to speculate on the future and it is wise to consider whether the market is about to fall. However if you do not have a grip on what you need to pay today, you won’t be buying anything. 

Further reading:

When Is The Best Time To Buy A Property And Stop Looking?

What to compromise on when buying a house or apartment

How to make an offer on a house or apartment


Published:– 1 April, 2011

DISCLAIMER: Please note: 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.

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