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Buyers Warned of Unqualified Property Experts

The Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA) has warned buyers about the potential risks of following advice from unqualified property experts, particularly those seen on reality television shows. According to the REBAA, these so-called experts may be putting buyers at risk of paying too much for an inferior property.

Cate Bakos, the president of REBAA, explained that professional buyers’ agents are trained to evaluate recent sales data and provide written appraisals on a property’s potential market value. They also oversee and arrange due diligence activities, such as building inspections and pest reports, and negotiate the purchase price and terms on behalf of the buyer.

Bakos highlighted some problematic guidance seen on television shows, such as buyers being instructed to make offers up to their maximum budgets or the vendor’s asking price, regardless of whether this exceeded the potential market value of the property. She also noted a lack of recent comparable sales analysis, absence of due diligence checks for structural issues or flood risk, and poor asset selection advice, including buying properties on busy roads or next to commercial buildings. Furthermore, buyers were recommended to bid at auction the next day without conducting proper due diligence.

The absence of discussion on building and pest clauses, due diligence, and offer conditions was also noted as a concern. Bakos emphasized that buying a property is a significant financial decision, one that will impact a person’s life and retirement. Therefore, it should not be treated as entertainment.

Bakos stressed the importance of working with a properly licensed and experienced professional who can ensure that the property purchased is suitable for the buyer’s current and future lifestyle, as well as their budget. An uninformed purchase could lead to financial strain in the future.

The warning from REBAA highlights a common problem in the real estate industry, where self-proclaimed property experts may offer advice without the necessary qualifications or experience. This can lead to buyers making costly mistakes, such as overpaying for a property or purchasing one with hidden defects.

To avoid falling into these traps, buyers should seek the assistance of licensed buyers’ agents who have a deep understanding of the local market and the skills to negotiate on their behalf. These professionals can provide unbiased advice and help buyers make informed decisions based on thorough research and analysis.

Potential homebuyers and investors need to be cautious about the advice they receive from property experts, particularly those seen on reality television shows. The guidance provided on these shows may not always be reliable or in the best interest of the buyer. Working with a qualified and experienced buyers’ agent is the best way to ensure a successful and informed property purchase.


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