Buyer's agents are licenced real estate agents.  Some buyer's agents are restricted to working as a buyer's agent, while other buyer's agents can work in property sales and property management as well.  Either way, the person who is acting as your buyer's agent ought to be independent.  But what does this mean?

Essentially, it means that the agent should only ever receive fees from one party: either the vendor, or the buyer.  The waters become very muddy when an agent receives fees from both the buyer and the seller.  This occurs in several settings:

  1. The buyer's agent assists with the sale/purchase of new developments / off-the-plan developments by introducing the buyer to the developer - and then receives a fee from the buyer who has retained the buyer's agent to act in their interests; and also a fee from the developer, for making the introduction of a buyer for the new development.
  2. The buyer's agent who works with a selling agent and receives a portion of the sales commission as a fee for introducing the buyer to the property / vendor
  3. Buyer's agents who recommend properties or developments in which they have an interest.  Something similar occurred in this case here.

It's imperative that people who use buyer's agent services ensure that their buyer's agent is impartial and independent.  In short, the best way to know if your buyer's agent is independent is to know that the buyer's agent is paid by one only one person: the buyer.  If the agent is receiving income from other sources, be they developers or selling agents or any other source, the agent may have a conflict of interest and may not be acting in the buyer's best interests. 

Melissa Maimann is a licenced Buyer's Agent in Sydney.  She assists home owners and investors alike with an affordable service that empowers you to make smart purchase decisions.  Melissa's service is fast, efficient and accurate.  If you need a hand with your next purchase, don't hesitate to make contact.