Buyer’s Agent – Frequently Asked Questions
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How long does it take?
Typically, we will find a property within 1-6 weeks, however, it will depend on what your requirements are and the current market conditions.
Once we assess your requirements we’ll let you know what we think. We don’t give up either and will continue to work for you until we find what you want! If we think that we’ll be unable to achieve an outcome based on your requirements and market conditions, we’ll tell you up front before you engage us.
How long are you engaged for?
Our standard engagement agreement is for six months.
How often do we speak?
We will keep in regular contact with you, at least weekly but usually more, particularly whilst the search is underway. We will provide feedback and information on properties immediately once we have inspected and will make sure we draw your attention to anything you need to see promptly! You are welcome to call us to speak with us at any time regarding your project.
What information do you provide to me about locations/properties?
This will depend on your specific project and requirements, however, typically we provide you with a combination of any or all of the following: reports, diagrams, photographs, recommendations. We provide you with reports that we develop as well as reports generated from other sources.
What if I change my mind about the location or type of property during the process?
During the early phase of research and analysis we can be clarifying our buying criteria, so this is to be expected.
If, however, later in the project there is a significant change of buying criteria following analysis, research and inspections occurring – e.g. significant change of location, change of property type from houses to units – such that the analysis, research and inspections will need to be redone then we may need to cancel this agreement and propose a new agreement for the revised buying criteria. Cancellation of the contract would attract a Service Fee for the works completed at that point and initiation of a new agreement and associated fee.
What if I change my mind and don’t want to proceed?
Once the project work has commenced your engagement fee is non-refundable. Please note, however, if you wish to cancel but little or no work has been conducted we have no problem at all refunding your engagement fee – we know that life happens!
If you change your mind and wish to cancel after commencement of the project where significant work has been undertaken, then an additional Service Fee of up to $3000 + GST may be charged by Property Zest to cover the total cost of work conducted by us where your engagement fee does not cover this work.
Please note – we have a ‘service fee’ clause in our contract to ensure we are not out of pocket for work we have conducted if you change your mind, but we use a ‘fair play’ policy here – If no work has been conducted, no service fee will be charged.
What happens if you can’t find what I want?
We are very upfront with expectations! In our initial conversations about budget and requirements we will tell you if we do not think we can find what you are looking for.
During the search phase if we are not presenting properties that meet your requirements then we will discuss this with you and determine if we need to look at changing or further clarifying the criteria.
What if the property requires some renovation or maintenance work to be done?
We can assist you to arrange works and cosmetic renovations to properties that you have purchased with us or properties that you already have that are located in QLD. We have contacts who can assist – you can choose to manage this yourself with our trade contacts or we can put you in touch with a renovation manager.
Fees for this are determined on a per project basis.
Smaller renovation works can sometimes be managed by your property manager.
Is the fee less if I plan to buy multiple properties?
If you are buying multiple properties within a 1 month timeframe and they are in the same location as those previously researched then we can offer an attractive discount. Speak to us to find out more.
As a Property Zest Client If you come back to us at any time in the future for any other services you will receive a 10% discount on our services.
Is the buyer’s agent fee tax deductible?
Note: This answer comes from Noel May at Noel May & Associates, Chartered Accountant.
If the agent charges a fee linked to the sourcing of an investment property and the acquisition was successful, then the fee is not deductible now but adds to the cost of acquisition of the property, in the same way that stamp duty does; forming part of the asset’s “cost base” for capital gains tax purposes. When the property is eventually sold the increased cost base results in a reduced profit for CGT purposes. So in the long run the fee is tax deductible (albeit against a profit that only 50% of which is taxed).
If the agent charges a fee linked to sourcing an investment property and the acquisition is not successful, the fee (although it remains a capital expense) would be deductible under the black hole provisions where capital cost which are not claimable elsewhere are written off evenly over 5 years.
If the agent did not charge a fee that was not linked to the acquisition of the property but rather a fee for ‘general property advisory services’ then an argument for current deductibility may be able to be supported, especially if the taxpayer has other existing property investments.
What happens if I find a property myself during the project?
Once you have signed an agreement with us as your buyer’s agent you will be responsible for paying our full commission if you were to purchase any property during the project or any property purchased after the agreement timeframe if the property was presented as part of your project.
If you wish to be involved in the search process and look for properties online yourself you are welcome to send them through to us for consideration within your project, this is helpful in us gaining insight into your personal preferences.
I want to do part of the process myself, do you offer a discount?
We offer several different service levels which have different price points. If your requirements are outside of these service levels, feel free to discuss this with us.
Do you buy in regional locations?
Yes, we can purchase in regional locations and have done so successfully for clients. For locations outside a 200km radius of Brisbane CBD there is an initial travel surcharge of $2000+GST charged. Travel is charged to the client at cost for flights and accommodation and a per diem charge of $100.
I want to do it all myself but I’d like to have you available as my personal advisor or mentor during the process to get your advice regularly?
Unfortunately, we are unable to offer mentoring services.
I don’t want to use your services but can you just tell me where is a good location to buy?
Unfortunately, we cannot offer you location advice outside of any service agreement with us.
Can you recommend a mortgage broker / conveyancer / building and pest inspector / other property professional?
Yes, we have good relationships with all sorts of property professionals. Just ask us and we can send you recommendations.
Is there anything I should do before signing up?
We’d recommend that you be clear about your purchasing entity – e.g. are you buying the property in your own name, a trust, company or self-managed superannuation fund? This will need to be know and the entity setup before you can purchase a property. Give us a call if you would like to discuss.
We also recommend that you have a clear idea on borrowing capacity and a pre-approval in place or underway. Often you can commence our sign up process and location analysis whilst concurrently organizing your finance pre-approval. If you would like a referral to a mortgage broker, please don’t hesitate to contact us.