It was a great question I was asked recently. I was speaking with a client who was lamenting that there were so few properties on the market at the moment. She asked me if this has impacted the demand for buyers agent services, as many people like to do their own online searching, and given that there's not much out there, how can a buyer's agent possibly add value? It was a great question, and I took some time to explain to her the amazing benefit of using a buyer's agent - especially when there's not a lot on the market.
You see, what's on the market - online via www.realestate.com.au and www.domain.com.au, is really only the tip of the iceberg. In parts of Sydney, especially the eastern suburbs, many properties actually sell off-market. Many agents encourage their vendors to try to sell off-market, before putting the property online, to potentially provide a faster sale process without the advertising costs associated with an online campaign.
A buyer's agent leverages off their relationships with real estate selling agents to the point that the buyer's agents are the first to know what is about to come to market - and what is going to remain off market. It is during times of reduced stock on the market that a buyer's agent is actually essential, so that you as a buyer, have access to the full suite of online / off-market / pre-market opportunities.