As a buyer’s agent, you need to know how to source properties for sale. Not only that – you also need to know how to source the right property for your client’s property, wealth creation and lifestyle goals.
This applies whether we’re finding a property that will be the buyer’s last home or an investment property.
Anyone with an internet connection can get on the internet and find properties. What they can’t do is find genuine off-market properties, assess the value and potential of properties, understand the complexity of pricing property and tap into their trusted industry contacts. That’s the value a buyer’s agent brings and why there’s so much opportunity now for experienced buyers’ agents.
How to find properties as a buyer’s agent
- Cultivate a real estate agent network
When you’re looking for a property for a client, you will be scouring the internet. However, anyone can do that and as a buyer’s agent you aren’t adding value if that’s all you do. So you want to be working your contacts, be they real estate sales agents or other buyers’ agents. The more you share, the greater your reward when it comes to networking.
Relationships are give and take, so do something nice for your real estate agent mates. Buy them a coffee, refer a sales listing, introduce them to others in your network or recommend them on social media. Once your network becomes a network of trusted mates, those agents will more likely give you first option on properties coming up for sale.
Remember, it’s in their interests, too, to shift a property for sale quickly. If the property is right for one of your clients, you can boost their stats.
- Look at more than one suburb or region
Especially for investment properties, it’s important to spread your net widely. Remind your client that if a disaster hits one area and all the properties are in that area, there’s no buffer. Think about investors who focused only on inner-city apartments and what happened over the pandemic.
- Attend open homes
Attending open homes is not just a way to check out properties but also a soft way of getting to know the real estate agents who deal in the types of properties you’re interested in. Plus, the more open homes you attend, the better feel you will have for what’s on offer in a particular area.
Open homes are also a great way to find new clients, although I urge you to be discreet, and respectful of the sales agent.
How to identify great properties
Before you recommend any property purchase, you should be doing your due diligence to make sure your client won’t have any nasty surprises. So at a minimum, you want to check that your client won’t have issues in the following:
You should check any proposed zoning changes as this could have a huge impact on your client.
Imagine if you recommended and bought a property that ended up being resumed by the government for a major road. Those cases are rarely advantageous to our clients and you could find yourself at the beginning of a lawsuit.
On the other hand, if it’s a possibility that residential property be zoned as commercial, that could increase the value in future years.
Risk includes zoning risk but also demographic trends. If your client is looking to buy in a country town where more residents are leaving than arriving, it may not be a great investment. You also want to look at the median age of the area, and other demographic data.
- Capital growth and yield potential
Property investors will be looking for potential capital growth, or yield, or a combination of both. You can do some desk research to identify past growth and yield and potential current yields.
Properties you can ignore (for now)
At the moment, properties are selling for ‘silly money’, as one owner describes the huge sums she’s been offered for her home. So when you see a property listed for way over what you’d expect the price to be, let it go. The numbers have to make sense, even for your owner-occupier clients.
Note that the advice given here is general in nature only. You should do your own due diligence and also seek the independent advice of an accountant, property adviser or qualified financial adviser.
Want to learn how to find great properties for sale?
Join us at Property Mavens, where we have established networks as well as systems and processes that will speed you in your search.