Ring David Whait on 0407 613 055 to discuss your needs
If you’ve been searching for a Buyer’s Agent in Perth to help you buy a property, you’ve come to the right place.
At iDevelop WA, while we help almost anyone find the right property for their needs, we particularly specialise in helping property investors buy properties specifically for the intention of subdividing now or in the future.
There are hundreds of sites that can be subdivided or developed out in the market place at any one time.
Making the right decision at the time of buying will dictate how successful your project will be, so why risk your investment by not getting the absolute right advice up front. Getting it wrong can cost you TENS of Thousands of Dollars!
Once you’ve bought the site, it’s too late if the selection is wrong, so get it right up-front.
David Whait (Managing Director of iDevelop WA) has worked in the industry for many years, as both a Buyers Agent and project managing subdivisions and developments for his clients and himself. He knows everything you need to know!
David will assist you in matching your goals, your budget, and help you understand the risk versus reward outcomes. He’ll also assist you in the full journey after purchase, from surveying, design, builder appointment, project management, and then sale or renting on completion.
If you’d like to discuss how we can help you find your next property to buy, you can ring David direct on 0407 613 055 OR click here to fill in our Buyer’s Agent Enquiry form to book a FREE consultation (and he’ll call you back within 1 business day maximum.)
Before you call or fill in the contact us form, we recommend you read the answers to our most Frequently Asked Questions below. These should answer most of the common questions potential clients ask us about working with a Buyer’s Agent and help you get the maximum value from your consultation with David.
Frequently Asked Questions About Buyer’s Agents
What is a buyer’s agent?
Here in Western Australia, not too many people have heard about Buyer’s Agents. Buyer’s agents on the east coast are very common and often used by people who are looking to purchase property.
The way to describe a Buyer’s Agent is almost effectively the very opposite to a real estate selling agent. When you are going to sell your property, the first person you contact is your local selling agent and ask them to come out and appraise your property with the aim to have them assist you to sell your property.
With a Buyer’s Agent, you are asking them to assist you to buy a property. You may already have a specific brief about what type of property you want. But it is also common for buyers to seek advice from a Buyer’s Agent for what type of property you should buy. In this case the Buyer’s Agent would consider all of the material information that meets your goals. So, depending whether you want to subdivide, hold for long term, look for high yielding property, a good Buyer’s Agent can assist you in the best strategy that meets your individual circumstances and goals.
Just as a Selling Agent is required to act in a Seller’s best interests, a Buyer’s Agent is also under the same obligation for a Buyer. When you think about it, a Seller has a professional acting for them, and a Buyer should also do the same.
Remember, the Selling Agent is being paid by the seller, and whilst there are laws that require them to act and behave in a certain manner, they are under a fiduciary obligation to their client, the Seller’. They act for the Seller to try to achieve the best price and deal for the Seller. As a Buyer, of course you want the opposite, the best price and deal for you, which is in total conflict to the Selling Agents obligation to the Seller.
Why do we need a buyer’s agent?
People always ask, “Why do I need a buyer’s agent?”
Most people in their lifetime at some point have actually already purchased a property, unless you’re a first-time buyer, so they already have some experience and exposure to actually purchasing a property.
Buyer’s Agents have negotiation skills that the majority of the public do not have, unless they are actually sales people themselves. They understand how to combat the ‘spin’ from Selling Agents. And whilst there is more and more market data available to the general public in this digital age, it’s one thing to have access to the data, its another to understand how to use it to your best advantage. Desk top data that is available to the public is often generalised. Statistics of median pricing, growth charts etc is only reflective data. Historical information is not reflective of future performance. There are many other factors that influence future performance, and Buyer’s Agents are across those factors.
At iDevelop, we specialise in purchasing properties for people who want to subdivide and develop to create some additional profit and income or build a portfolio of properties. Buying subdividable properties requires a special set of skills that are in addition to buying a ‘normal’ property. It is one thing to understand the Planning Codes and Council Policies, but to have skills to understand best land design outcomes, cost implications for any particular site, and the likely hurdles that will be faced when seeking approval from local Council is a total other level.
Someone who is what I call a ‘Theoretical Buyer’s Agent’, that is someone that only understands the basics of the planning rules, but has never actually completed a subdivision or development, and therefore does not have any or has limited understanding of the reality of the actual process, and simply does not have the skills to advise you correctly.
At iDevelop we project manage our client’s projects, and we do our own projects, so we have a significantly greater ability to give you the best advice on any development or subdivision site. We understand what the end user is looking for, understand how banks and valuers are able to impact your project, understand how different shapes, locations and infrastructure have positive or negative influence over your project.
There are literally hundreds and hundreds of subdividable sites out there on the market. But only an extremely small percentage of those properties will actually give you great outcomes, especially in flat markets. At iDevelop, we don’t want to just purchase you any subdividable site, we’re looking to get you the best subdividable site. And with our expertise and knowledge, we can certainly help you achieve that.
If you are talking to a Buyer’s Agent, ‘test’ them out about how many projects they have done themselves, and you will soon be able to see if they are a ‘theoretical’ agent.
Why choose me over the bigger buyer’s agents and companies?
At iDevelop, we are developers ourselves, and we are project managing developments for clients on a regular basis. And as a consequence of that, we have a very good understanding about what particular things might impact on the outcomes, and especially the design outcomes on a site.
Therefore, we’re not in a position where we’re going to be suggesting you buy just any site that can be subdivided. We’re very particular about the site that we’re going to suggest you buy, because we don’t just want to buy you any old site.
We would rather say to you, “There are no properties available that fit your brief or achieve the outcomes that you want,” and advice that would just be more patient, rather than just fulfilling the charter of buying you any site, regardless of whether it will or won’t achieve the goals that you are wanting to achieve.
What is my experience in the industry?
I bought my first investment property when I was in my early 20s. To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing. I just bought a property because I thought that was the thing to do, without any consideration about what I really wanted that property to do for me, and how it would affect what income it provided me, or what debt stress that might have provided me later on in life.
I’ve made lots of mistakes along the way, having sold properties I should have kept, and kept properties I should have sold or perhaps just should not have bought in the first place.
I’ve been in property for a very long time, but in my career I’ve also been in sales, insurance, I’ve been a mortgage broker, I’ve been a selling agent, been a buyer’s agent, and now I’m in my own business, project managing subdivisions & developments for clients and myself.
I’m able to pull all of those work and life experiences together to help advise people how I best think that they should undertake their property investment pathway, and to try and increase their wealth. Because ultimately that’s what people are investing in property for: to increase wealth!
There is no point doing it if that’s not what it is that you’re going to achieve.
How do you charge?
Initial consult with prospective Buyers is free. There is no charge to you to talk to a Buyer’s Agent about what your goals and plans are. This consult time is not only the time in which a Buyer’s Agent can find out information about your goals, but it is also your opportunity to understand whether you have the confidence that the Buyer’s Agent is someone you can entrust to work for you. Treat the initial consult as an ‘interview’.
Once engaged, Buyer’s agents’ fees are charges in two stages. There is a small initial fee that is paid up front, prior to any work starting in the purchase process, and then the balance of the fee is paid once the property settles and is paid through the settlement agent’s account back to the buyer’s agency once the full settlement has occurred on the property. The secondary part of the fee is typically either a % of purchase price, or a fixed fee, depending on your preference. As a guide, the fee can be approximately 2-2.5% of the purchase price.
From experience, I can tell you this is a small price to pay. Even putting aside the time factor, just imagine that cost to you if you bought a site that cannot deliver the outcomes you were seeking. Buying the wrong site will cost you, just as missing out on the right site will cost you missed opportunity. Either way, it’s a cost, and the B/A fee is a small price to pay to protect you.
Why can’t I find my own property (instead of hiring you)?
There’s a number of advantages in using a buyer’s agent. One of them is time. Often, people don’t have the time that they need to actually put into researching the market to the full length and breadth that they should do to ensure that they’re buying the right property.
Secondly is the expertise in buying a property with the right zoning and the right size and the right shape and the right slope, to make sure that if they’re going to develop and subdivide, that they are actually not buying a lemon, because there are lots and lots and lots of them out there.
Buyer’s Agents can also often get access to properties before they even come onto the market. How often have you seen a property come onto the internet, only to find it is already under offer?
What makes you better at finding a property than me?
Typically an active Buyers Agent is very much in touch with what’s going on with pricing in the market. Buyer’s Agents have a particular skill in breaking down negotiations. Whilst a B/A is not a sales person, we must think and act like a sale person to be able to combat their sales spin.
A key point is to be able to gain information about what the seller’s motivation is for selling. Do they need to sell quickly? Is the property in distress? Are they in distress? How long have they owned the property? What price did they pay? There are so many factors that will depict how quickly or what price a seller wants to sell their property for.
Then, there’s also the flip side. There are people out there who are seeking way too much for their properties and we don’t want to be wasting time on those people who are too emotionally attached and are just not going to let their property go for the price that the market really dictates that it should be getting sold for.
So really, across the board Buyer’s Agents are in touch with the market, in touch with the prices that can be achieved, the prices that should be getting paid, and they all help in assisting in getting the right property at the right price in the right time.
Do you specialise in any particular type of property?
At iDevelop, whilst we can buy you any particular type of property that you’re wanting, we specialise in buying development and subdividable sites for clients.
We are developers ourselves, and we’re project managers, so we understand all of the tricks and hurdles that can come up when you are going to develop or subdivide.
Too often, the end user is not considered when assessing how a site can be developed or subdivided. There are too many people out there providing ‘technical advice’, who do not have the experience to consider what things can cost money, impact on values, and affect design outcomes. Just imagine for a moment that you are subdividing an R40 site. All you need is 180m2 minimum per subdivided site. Most people understand that you should be able to fit a 3×2 villa on this size site. BUT, what people do not realise is that the shape, dimensions, location of services and even the orientation of the block will play a huge part in the design outcome. How would you feel if you did a subdivision expecting that a 3×2 dwelling could be built, only to find out that there were factors that restricted the design to only 1 bathroom, or a bedroom that was too small, or to a single garage instead of a double. If any of these things occurred that you didn’t for see, of course your end value is diminished and the profit you set out to achieve is compromised. Without the experience of understanding what things impact on these design outcomes, you cannot truly advise someone which is a good site or not.
I have a real life example that occurred recently. An owner of a property had bought a site some years ago, based on the advice of a Buyer’s Agent (who obviously didn’t have the experience I mention above). A couple of years later he decided he wanted to subdivide and build. This site was on a busy road, and had a significant slope, and the existing house was actually at the rear, not the front, so it was unusual. This owner had a surveyor draft up a proposed subdivision plan that he wanted to submit to WAPC for approval. What this owners surveyor did, was propose subdivision plans based upon WAPC rules, but didn’t consider what planning policies the local council may have. In this particular case there were 2 major issues.
- The surveyor did not allow for where the existing dwellings cars would reverse and park in his subdivision plan, therefore whilst WAPC may have approved the application, the Council would have sought a condition be placed that a Development Application (DA) be submitted to prove how the parking and access could be achieved. This DA would not get approved, as there was no way for compliance to be achieved. Therefore, the subdivision would not have been cleared.
- The second part of this is the Buyer’s Agent that assisted in buying the site, projected it as a great buy because you could be a street front house, as the existing dwelling was at the rear. One critical point that they didn’t consider was that the sewer line was at the rear, but because the site was so sloped, the sewer really needed to be run towards the street. However, the secondary issue was the mains sewer ended about 60m further up the street, and did not pass in front of the property, and the only way to connect to the street mains sewer would be to get an extension done, which was at least a $20,000 exercise. Therefore, the best option was to connect to the rear sewer, but in doing so, the proposed new house needed to have a huge amount of retaining done to be at a Floor Level that allowed for fall to the sewer. Again, additional cost required. There were also some planning rules that restricted the height of the dwelling and retaining wall, so getting a DA was difficult.
So, all in all, not only was the selection of site poor, so was the advice given by the surveyor. Clearly only someone with the correct experience could have advised against purchasing this site.
Do you have any recommendations on the type of property I should purchase?
Often when a potential client goes to a Buyer’s Agent, they have already decided that they want to invest in property, rather than in shares or bonds or any other type of investment strategy.
The role as a Buyer’s Agent initially is to assist in helping you decide what type of property it is that you want to buy. Given that our specialty is in development sites, then of course, that’s the area that we would probably put forward to you, but we need to understand what your financial capacities are, what your risk adversity levels are like, and get more of an understanding about what you’re ultimately wanting to achieve out of buying a property.
Developing and subdividing isn’t for everybody, and, of course, we wouldn’t want you to go down that route if, in fact, it’s not something that you’re comfortable with.
Are there any better segments to consider, or location?
People ask all the time, what is the best suburb to buy in, what is the best type of property to buy, is there any particular part of the market that is better than another. Of course there are particular segments or locations that might be suitable to your budget, but it is ever-changing, and is highly driven by the budget available.
At the moment, the first-time buyer market is very strong, and first-time buyers are looking for vacant land, particularly vacant street front land, which is difficult to find.
So whilst currently that is a good strategy to take, in 12 months’ time, or two years’ time, that well could be different. So, we’re very much keeping in trend with the segments and markets that you should consider buying in.
The other aspect is also that there are zoning changes that are occurring throughout Perth fairly regularly, and there could be a suburb that perhaps previously was achieving low growth or no growth, or there wasn’t a lot happening in the suburb. However, if a suburb has a zoning change, then that suburb all of a sudden has a great amount of upside and could be a good area to get into.
There’s also other suburbs that were re-zoned a long time ago, and have been almost overdeveloped, and therefore may not be worth investing in now.
So, the answer to deciding what segment you should look at or what particular location you should look at, really is partly financial driven in what your budget is, and also just the timing that the market is in at that particular stage.
I want to get started immediately. How quickly can you buy me a property?
Often, people when they come to us, they are ready to get going and want to get their property purchased, done and dusted, and start straightaway. The reality is, we can start straightaway, but the very important thing is to set the foundation about what it is that we’re going to do and what type of property it is that we’re going to buy.
We don’t want to just buy you a property for the sake of buying a property for you. If you’re paying for a service, you expect a quality return for that service that you’re going to pay for, and that’s exactly what it is that we attempt to deliver.
So, if you have a brief for a particular type of property that you’re looking for, and there’s none available on the market at a particular time, or low quality ones available at that particular time, our advice is always going to be you should be patient and wait, or, perhaps, we’ll review your strategy and look for an alternative strategy.
Do we buy sites for ourselves?
Of course. We are developers ourselves and we’re always on the hunt out there for properties on the market. We’re always looking for clients, and we are certainly always looking for ourselves.
That’s what makes us so great at finding sites for you, because we know what it is that we want for ourselves, and we want to be able to deliver the same for our clients. Too many advisors are ‘technical advisors’ and do not have the real experience of what happens during a development or subdivision to truly advise a client whether a site is good or not. You can only get that from exposure from actually doing projects. Each time you do a project, there are always more learnings to be had, and these learnings just increase the pool of knowledge that we use to find you the best site.
Want Help? Book A Free Consultation
If you’d like to discuss how we can help you find your next property to buy, you can ring me (David Whait) on 0407 613 055 OR click here to fill in my Contact Us form to book a FREE consultation (and I’ll call you back within 1 business day maximum.)