A practice that has dominated the U.S., Canada and Europe for years is fast emerging in Australia, with many Australian house-hunters now opting to seek out buyers’ agents to help them find their dream homes, of which many are off market.

Whether it be due to lack of supply or simply because the buyer knows exactly what they want and it’s not listed, the buyer’s agent – an advocate who negotiates on behalf of a buyer, works to seek out prestige properties and investments which would usually be traded quietly off market and never advertised for sale i.e. a “whisper listing”.

Although starting in Sydney and Melbourne twenty years ago, there were only approximately fifteen agencies in the industry at that time. Now, there are currently fifty-five listed with the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia indicating that the trend has really gained momentum over the last few years across major cities.

Recently speaking to Metropole Property Strategists Chief Executive Office, Michael Yardney, Mansion Global reported “…many people think they know how to buy a house and they don’t need our services until they recognize the vendor has a trained negotiator working for them.”

However the service comes at an additional cost, often between 1.5% to 2.5% of the purchase price.

So how exactly do buyer’s agents help?

According to Sydney prestige real estate agent Ben Collier, when you’re dealing with top end properties, many potential vendors choose not to be on the market due to the public process of a traditional marketing campaign, however will be open to the idea of selling or starting discussions if you have a pre-qualified buyer. Mr Collier said that off-market deals represented approximately 40% of his overall transactions.

This is a pertinent point when it comes to the Home Live technology, as by opting for live broadcast inspections, the agent has the ability to preserve the vendors privacy, whilst qualifying potential buyers.

The two main advantages of using a buyers agent is having unprecedented access to properties not listed by conventional means—such as online listing sites and the other is their network of pro-active agents who have an equally long list of “A-list clients”.

The prevalence of off-market sales in the Australian residential market is underpinned by declining buyer interest and sellers seeking a low-profile sale without publicity, whilst at the same time avoiding marketing costs and open houses.

During the Sydney and Melbourne property boom, vendors were more likely to auction their homes because rising buyer competition allowed them to fetch higher prices.

However, the market slowdown over the past nine months has resulted in fewer buyers and knocked the wind out of the auction sails.

It has also been noted that property seekers are using buyer’s agents as they don’t want to end up paying too much for a property, or buy the wrong property to begin with. A buyers agent can help mitigate these types of risk factors whether they be prestige properties or otherwise.

If you are an agent and would like to trial Home Live prior to its official launch in the coming months, please contact info@home.com.au