Using a Buyer’s Agent for Owner Occupied vs for an Investment

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 / Services

Buyer's agents are becoming more and more popular, and this trend does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon. The idea of having a professional come in and negotiate on your behalf is a very appealing option for many people.

When you think about the complexity of buying a property and the overall cost, it is easily one of the largest purchases that most individuals are likely to make. It is no surprise that more and more Australians are deciding that they are better off having their own expert in the corner when negotiating to buy such a sizeable asset.

Just as there are many motivations for someone to buy property, there are multiple reasons that someone may decide to use a buyer's agent. We thought we would break down the key differences between using a buyer's agent for an investment property and a buyer's agent for an owner occupied property.

In Each Situation Your Buyer's Agent is Shielding a Different Set of Emotions

A buyers agent for an owner occupied home is there to help make sure that when it comes time to start negotiating and making an offer that this is done from a calm and calculated position. They don't have the same emotional investment in the property or the 'idea' of the property. They haven't already pictured what it is going to be like waking up to the view from the windows, or the dinner parties they may host. Their only goal is to make sure that the property will suit your lifestyle, and that you get it for the best price possible. 

The buyer's agent shields you from the sales process that will be used by the real estate agent, who's job it is to make you fall in love with the property and pay as much as possible. Rather than having the vendors agent helping you fall into deep emotional love with the property, the vendor's agent finds them self negotiating on the cold hard metrics with another professional. Both agents have their client's best interests at heart, and both are going to use every ounce of their professional negotiation skills to get the best outcome for their client. 

A buyers agent for an investment property has a whole different set of emotions that they are going to help you with. Their main role in this area is to help separate you from the equation. This may sound a little odd but stick with us. They understand what your goal is and have more often than not been the one to help you with your investment strategy. The remaining obstacle is to help you distance yourself from the nuts and bolts of the house itself.

Each person has their own unique preferences on houses. Some people can't stand conjoined bathrooms, others just don't like particular styles of floor coverings. The buyer's agent in this situation is there to remind you that you are not buying a house to live in. Their role in this regard is to shield your purchasing decision from your personal preferences. Rather than letting your subjective taste in accommodation affect the decision-making process, they will keep drawing you back to harder metrics such as 'is this property a good fit for your portfolio'. 

There Is Often Geographical Differences Between the Two

A buyer's agent for an owner occupied home will quite frequently (not always) be helping you source a new property within the same city you already live in. Generally, this means that you are already going to have a pretty good idea of what suburbs and locations you are interested in, so when you set the buyer's agent off they are already working within a set scope.  

Even in the circumstances in which you are using a buyer's agent to buy an owner occupied in a different city, the suburb preferences are still going to be geared more towards lifestyle factors than anything else. You are still going to be assessing driving time to work, or school, more so than growth rates for properties within the region. 

A buyer's agent for an investment property will be operating in whatever region that suits your investment strategy, which may or may not be the same city you live in. Furthermore, even if it is the same city that you currently live in your personal preferences on suburb location will end up coming in secondary to the data that your agent is going to rely on in order to make strategic decisions. 

Many people have their first encounter with a buyers agent when they are specifically trying to buy an investment property in a different city. If your portfolio is going to be best served by purchasing away from the region you occupy, an investment buyers agent will be your boots on the ground in the new area, ready to act on your behalf. They combine expert local knowledge, with their physical presence into a winning scenario for interstate buyers.​

The Specifications Being Sought Out are Considerably Different

A buyer's agent for an owner occupied home is attempting to find you the perfect property for your lifestyle, at the best price possible. Your lifestyle may have many many variables such as commute times, proximity to specific schools, number of rooms, size of backyard and so on. The agent's job is to take all of your needs and preferences into account, find the most suitable properties, and then help you buy one for the best price possible. 

Now, no one wants their home to be actively reducing in value when they buy it, but the drive and ambition for a property that is going to keep increasing in value is not necessarily as high for an owner occupier. The stronger preference ends up being in whether the property is going to be the best place to build your life in. 

A buyer's agent for an investment property operates from an entirely different set of specifications. Their selection criteria will largely depend on the investment strategy that you are operating under, and which part of your portfolio the property needs to fulfil. Rather than asking you questions such as what type of property feels right or where would you like to be living, they will be asking questions such as 'are you looking for high growth or cash flow positive'. 

The metrics that they then go out and search for are going to be quite different to the owner occupied buyers agent. Rather than spending time on selecting a property that suits a certain lifestyle, they will be looking for a property that fits certain metrics. They are more likely to check things such as rental yields, vacancy rates, proximity to public transport and historic growth averages. 

We Are Specialist Investment Buyer's Agents

It's not that we have never provided buyers agent services for people looking for an owner occupied home, we certainly have. At the end of the day when one of our clients asks us to help them, we always will. We do however take into this field a strong interest in the potential growth of the property that we help source. 

In terms of our skill set and expertise, however, we are much better suited to assisting people with increasing their investment portfolio, rather than finding the most suitable home for their family's needs. 

Our background and experiences are, and always will be investment property and investment lending. We are naturally attuned to the market here in Adelaide and abroad, and pay specialist attention to metrics that are  more concerned with sound investment strategy than they are with that 'perfect home feeling'.

If you are interested in finding out more about how we help investors buy established properties here in Adelaide, you can see more about our processes here.​

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