7 Reasons Why You Need an Australian Expat Buyer’s Agent to Buy in Australia
Considering a permanent return to Australia and need somewhere to live? Looking to invest in the Aussie property market? Engaging a buyer’s agent can make all the difference to your purchase.
What’s more, Aussie expats are in a particularly tricky position, given they’re often unable to be on the ground in Australia. There are also particular rules that apply to expats, including tax implications and financing. This is why it’s worth opting for a dedicated Australian expat buyer’s agent who can provide purchasing guidance and services tailored to their clients’ unique circumstances.
Here are seven reasons why, as an Aussie expat, you should use a buyer’s agent when buying property in Australia.
1. You’re busy
Many buyers – including expats – engage a buyer’s agent because they simply don’t have the capacity to navigate the purchase themselves.
There’s a lot that goes into buying property, from trawling through online listings and attending inspections to going through negotiations or bidding at auctions, wading through a sea of paperwork and, finally, settling. The process inevitably takes a considerable amount of time and energy, and as an Australian expat, you’re already handling a high-pressure job, living abroad and, potentially, a family.
A buyer’s agent is able to handle the purchasing process from start to finish, allowing you to focus on other things. They can take things even further, offering planning, purchasing, construction and property management via their in-house team.
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2. You're overseas
A good reason to engage an Australian expat buyer’s agent specifically? The purchasing process is made even harder when you’re living abroad. You’re not on the ground, which means you’re unable to attend inspections and auctions yourself. And you may not have local contacts who can undertake these tasks on your behalf.
An Australian expat buyer’s agent can offer as much of an ‘on-the-ground’ experience as possible without you needing to actually be on the ground.
While many online listings now include virtual tours, you’re often only given a generic video that provides a broad overview of the property. But a buyer’s agent can take you on a personal tour of the home by helping you ‘attend’ an inspection via video conference or by providing a suite of photos and videos to explore at your leisure.
When it comes to auctions, they can attend on your behalf and act as your representative come bidding time.
3. They understand the local market
Like any property market around the world, the Australian market has its own peculiarities.
Every capital city is as unique as the next, and even at a suburb level, there are marked distinctions that only a local would know. There are huge differences between buying in cities and regional areas, and there can even be intricacies to the negotiation process that require a local’s insight.
Furthermore, there are consistent policy and economic changes that affect the Australian property market as a whole and the buyers within it. And that’s not to mention the particular challenges that affect Australian expats, including the tax implications of owning property in Australia and organising financing from overseas.
If you’ve been living abroad for more years than you can count and feel out of touch with the Australian property market, a buyer’s agent can help you navigate it. They can also break down complex concepts, so you’ve got a better understanding of what you’re buying into.
4. They can find the very best property
Once you’ve made a shortlist of potential properties, how can you tell which ones – if any – are worth buying? It’s especially difficult to make this decision when you’re limited to an online listing and cannot inspect the property in person. For example, a home may look totally different in the flesh, or there may be structural flaws that make it a dud.
If you’re after a new home, a buyer’s agent will work to understand exactly what you’re looking for – from aesthetic to location. They’ll then uncover a selection of properties that meet your needs and ensure they pass all the regular inspections.
If you’re investing in the Australian market, they’ll gauge your situation and future goals, then determine a property that’ll help you achieve these. Australian expat buyer’s agents also have access to a wealth of data to inform buying decisions, which, for you, can mean increased ROI.
5. They can negotiate a better deal
The process of actually buying a property – that is, negotiating a price or bidding at an auction – can be challenging. It might seem as straightforward as making an offer and (hopefully) having it accepted, but often it requires a lot of grit and gumption to negotiate effectively for the best outcome. Particularly if you’re buying a new place to live, there may be the added pressure of it being an emotional decision – which can result in paying an inflated amount.
A buyer’s agent’s job is to act on your behalf throughout the negotiation or bidding process. Their understanding of the local market will mean you don’t pay beyond a fair price, and their impartiality removes any emotion from the process. Often, you’ll secure a better deal for your property.
6. A buyer's agent can optimise your purchase through their in-house construction team
You don’t always need to buy a property in move-in-ready condition. While they may not look like worthy purchases on the surface, many properties can be enhanced through smart construction – be it a cosmetic or structural renovation, extension, rebuild or subdivision.
Sometimes, though, it can be hard to discern which properties can be optimised through construction and which aren’t worth pursuing. But a buyer’s agent knows what to look for in a property and has the backing of their in-house construction team to ensure it’s a sound purchase, even if it needs an update.
For example, if you’ve got a structurally sound investment property but severely dated, they may advise a thorough renovation to appeal to prospective tenants.
If you’ve found your dream block in your dream location, a buyer’s agent could recommend knocking down and rebuilding the property to transform it into your dream home.
Or, if you’ve got a large block of land and want to get the most bang for your buck out of it, they might suggest subdividing it.
7. An Australian expat buyer's agent provides complementary services and has strong industry contacts
Buyer’s agents don’t usually work in isolation. They’re part of a wider in-house team that works across the property lifecycle, including property managers, designers, builders, legal services, economists, maintenance services and more. This means that by engaging a buyer’s agent, you can connect with a number of reputable experts without needing to research or locate them yourself.
If you’re purchasing an investment property, a buyer’s agent has in-house property managers who can rent out your property and oversee your tenants. If you want to build a new home for your family, some agents also have their own design and construction team who can bring your property to life.
And if you’re making any kind of property purchase in Australia, you can be assured that your acquisition is backed up by the expertise of a robust and broad property team.
The benefits of using an Australian expat buyer’s agent can’t be underestimated. If you’re looking for a local buyer’s agent with unparalleled knowledge of the Australian property market, a wealth of purchasing experience and a team of in-house economists, valuers, designers, builders, property managers and project managers, Odin Mortgage can help you connect with one that suits your needs.