Last Updated: 22nd April, 2024

The Buyer’s Agent – The Expat’s Friend

As an expat, if you’re interested in creating an investment property portfolio you may get a little discouraged thinking about the process, which can be tiresome. Fortunately, you can do almost anything online today. By using the internet, you can get a home loan and purchase a property while in another country – with the help of a buyer’s agent.

Buyer’s agents work on your behalf to buy a property from a seller. They have massive knowledge of the market and the skill set to find the kind of property you’re looking to invest in. Buyer’s agents usually have insights into local areas, which can be crucial information for expats looking at houses from overseas. Agents aim to understand what the clients want and deliver on it. They may also be able to negotiate a lower price for you and go through house inspections with experienced eyes that can see tell-tale signs of potential problems.

Tips When Choosing Buyer’s Agents For Expats

  • Do research when choosing a buyer’s agent. This can be done through online reviews and recommendations. Narrow the candidates down to about three and interview them. Ask lots of questions.
  • Ensure that the buyer’s agent is very communicative so that the long distance will not be an issue.
  • It would be wise to find a buyer’s agent who would be willing to work in your timezone.
  • How tech savvy are they? House viewing may have to be done through video calls or sending pictures through emails or messenger applications. It would not be suitable to have someone who doesn’t use these modes of communication.
  • If you’re planning on returning home, decide when or if you want to hire an agent. If you have a property in mind, hire a buyer’s agent first and then apply for a home loan. But, if you are applying for a home loan before you know what property you want to buy, wait for the bank’s pre-approval, and then hire the agent.

Need For Property Managers

Australian expats often make use of their peak earning years to buy their dream home in Australia. They can earn rental income from it for the foreseeable future, with the intention of one day returning to live in it.

Expats need someone to look after their property here for them. They need a good property manager for their investment property.

Why Do I Need A Property Manager?

What a property manager do for you

  • Paperwork: Property managers have to ensure that contracts are signed and in order, and bills are paid, on behalf of homeowners. This includes property files, tenant files, rent contracts, maintenance contracts, utilities and so on.
  • Advise on rental rates: Property managers have an idea of rental rates in the market so they’ll be able to suggest a fair, yet profitable, amount for rent.
  • Find suitable tenants: Property managers are trained in screening rental candidates. They check employment history and status, previous rental history, bank statement verifications and so on. This can help weed out candidates who may default on rent payments. They also deal with tenants directly, so if any issues or disputes arise, they’ll work to resolve them.
  • Manage money: Income that comes in from rent will be used for maintenance of the property, paying bills and other expenses. Property managers keep records for the income and expenses, making it easier for absent owners.

Tips For Choosing A Property Manager

When choosing a property manager or a property management company, shop around and look at online reviews. Don’t just rent the property out with the agents you purchased the home through. Ask lots of questions when you interview them.

Helpful questions might include:
  • What services do you provide?
  • How do you screen tenants?
  • How do you deal with late payments?
  • How often do you check up on the properties and repairs?

Ensure that all the bills for the property are sent to the property manager, including council rates, water rates, strata fees and insurance. Opt to have them sent through email, rather than the post. Property managers will pay them from the rental income and give you a statement at the end of each year for your taxes.

Tips To Make More Profit From Your Investment Property

In the above sections, we’ve discussed how a buyer’s agent and property manager can help expats. In this section, we’ll go through how Home Loan Experts Brokers can help you manage your property portfolio.

    1. Refinance: You might want to consider refinancing your property. Banks often give better rates to new clients so there are high chances that your rate may not be the best rate in the market anymore. Clients can refinance with the same lender or a different lender at a lower rate. At Home loan Experts, our post-settlement team will do an assessment for you to see if refinancing would be beneficial for you. Our brokers will then search for lenders who are offering a more competitive rate for you. A lower interest rate means more potential profit for you.

    2. Multiple properties: You might be interested in buying multiple properties instead of just one. Rental earnings from your first home can help get you another property. Expats can put a portion of their rental income into repaying their home loan interest and the rest can be put into saving a deposit for another home.

    If you already have two home loans, you may not be eligible with banks for a third one, due to a low serviceability score. Here, you may have to look for specialist lenders for home loans. The interest rates may be pricier than bank rates, but you’ll have rental income to help cover repayments. With our large panel of lenders, Home Loan Experts brokers will be able to help you get competitive interest rates for your situation.

We Can Help Expand Your Investment Property Portfolio

If you are looking for a competitive interest rate for your property or some help managing your portfolio, call us on +61 2 9194 1700, or fill in our free assessment form so our expert brokers can get you the best deal available.