Buyer’s agents came to be in the early 90’s. Whilst there were people acting in similar roles before this, in effect, they were merely subagents who were not necessarily working in the buyer’s best interests. Now that the job has gained credence and increased in popularity, it can sometimes prove to be quite difficult to decide on a quality buyer’s agent. How can you go about separating one from the other? What traits should you be looking for to give you the confidence that you are getting the best possible agent working on your behalf? This piece will run through a few of the key factors you should identify to ensure that you will be working with the best possible people.

First Impressions

This seems a strange thing to note as the first point but you can tell a lot about somebody from your first initial meetings. Whilst this is clearly not an exact measure it can definitely deter you away from certain individuals and agencies. It should be emphasised that this is not a means to choose a buyer’s agent but rather a way of separating out the definite no-no’s. If you feel that you don’t like the way that the buyer is conducting himself, or that he comes across untrustworthy or disrespectful then just walk away. There are plenty to choose from and if you have this niggling feeling now, then it is likely to only get worse.

Beware of Dual Agency Agreements

If a buyer’s agent presents you with a contract that stipulates there will be a dual agency agreement then that person is not working solely on your behalf. An agent or agency with these terms within their contract are working for both the buyer and the seller and so their loyalties will be divided. A buyer’s agent has fiduciary duties to the buyer. This states that the agent is legally obliged to work solely in the interests of the buyer.

Go With Experience

Check the buyer’s agency’s website to determine how long they have been operating in this capacity. Property cycles tend to last over quite a considerable number of years. This differs from region to region but a good rule of thumb is to look for one with a minimum of 10 years’ experience. Avoid sites that just claim to have ‘experience’ or that they are ‘long serving’ as these claims are intangible with no real back up.

Make Use of Online Tools

Before even visiting a buyer’s agent you can get some sort of indication what you can expect from them by making use of their onsite tools. Calculators on sites such as Your Property Hound, whilst certainly not being fully accurate quotes, will give you a pointer towards elements of the offers available. Make use of these tools to weed out the agencies which you will absolutely not use and this will help to narrow down your searches significantly.