Anthony James acknowledges the Traditional Custodians on whose lands we live and work. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

Anthony James acknowledges the Traditional Custodians on whose lands we live and work. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

My Open Letter to Northern Beaches Home Buyers

anthony butler northern beaches buyers agent

First things first, I get it.

You’re probably thinking, “Why do I even need a Buyer’s Agent? I’ve got this!”

I’ll start by saying that from experience, the Northern Beaches property market can be akin to a thorny conundrum — a prick of a thing, but solvable with time, patience and the right knowhow.

But the question is, do you really want the headache? And what if you get it wrong? Let’s unpack this a little…

For context, here’s a quick observation I’ve made: finding the right home on the Northern Beaches, at the right price and in a timely fashion, is harder than most people think.

And unfortunately, a Northern Beaches home search all too often unfolds something like this:

  • Excitement & Exploration: The journey kicks off with high hopes as the buyer dives into online listings and open houses to find their dream home.
  • Price Guides and Emotional Rollercoasters: Promising property visits bring hope, but disappointments and bidding wars bring emotional lows as you try and understand price guides.
  • Reality Check: Initial excitement fades as you face tough competition, limited options, and the challenge of staying within budget.
  • Decision Fatigue: Noise in the market and tough choices contribute to decision fatigue, making the process mentally exhausting.
  • Financial Anxiety: Bidding wars and rising prices lead to financial stress, sparking worries about affordability.
  • Time-Consuming Search: Weekends become a chore with property visits, research, and dealing with sales agents taking up valuable time.
  • Compromises and pressure to find something ASAP: To expedite, the buyer considers compromises, causing internal conflict over initial criteria. FOMO and a desire to end the search may push the buyer to consider less-than-ideal properties.
  • Peak Anxiety: Prolonged searching and uncertainties escalate anxiety, turning the once-exciting journey into a source of dread.
  • Offer Challenges: Repeated offer rejections fuel frustration and disappointment.
  • Fear of Overpaying: Anxiety heightens with the fear of overpaying or making a costly mistake.
  • Resentment Sets In: What was once exciting now feels like an endless cycle, leading to resentment.
  • Hope Diminishes: Prolonged challenges erode hope, questioning the value of homeownership.
  • Forced Acceptance: Resignation sets in as the buyer may settle out of necessity.
  • Mixed Emotions at Exchange: Finally after contracts are exchanged, relief, accomplishment, and lingering challenges blend together.




Maybe you can relate?

The Northern Beaches real estate market is one of the most perpetually competitive markets in the country. And helping to fuel this is the fact that, quite simply, more folks want to move to the Northern Beaches than move out.

In other words, there are nearly always multiple people competing for the very few good quality homes that are on the market at any given time.

And it’s this dynamic, that can make buying your dream home a tricky and prolonged endeavour.

Don’t get me wrong, there are of course the occasional outliers who snag a property at the perfect price within weeks, but this simply isn’t the reality for many Northern Beaches home buyers.

And I’m not exaggerating – I see it all the time.


So back to the question at hand: do I actually need a buyer’s agent?

Without stating the bleeding obvious, no you don’t – just like you don’t need a sales agent to sell your house.

You can sell your home yourself without having to pay a sales agent, yet we happily (in most cases) pay them handsomely to do so.

Why? Because outsourcing the process to a seasoned professional saves you time, ensures guidance, effective negotiation with buyers, and overall, the best outcome in the shortest time frame.

Sounds logical.

Which I guess is why we do it.


Sooooo on the flip side, why don’t we need help buying a home? Seriously?

Do we miraculously have more time up our sleeve when buying compared to selling? Nope.

Have we somehow gained an in-depth understanding of the market? Maybe, but doubtful.

How about accurately valuing a home and using it as the foundation for our negotiation strategy—can we do that?

And speaking of negotiating, what about negotiation skills and handling sales agent trickery? Did those skills magically appear out of thin air? Definitely not.

So if we’re being logical here, if we need help selling to get the best result, then it’s more than likely we could do with a hand buying to get the best result. Right?

And to me, generally speaking, it’s as simple as that.

But you could be wondering, if this is so clear cut, then why isn’t everyone using a buyers agent?

It’s a valid question, and honestly, I don’t have a definitive answer. That said, I believe a significant factor is closely tied to human behaviour.

Herd mentality — it’s the path we’ve always taken, and we’re content to follow the crowd.

HOWEVER! That seems to be changing as we speak as more and more people are turning to a BA to even the playing field.


I surveyed 20 sales agents across various price points on the Northern Beaches to inquire about the percentage of transactions involving a buyer’s agent.

The responses ranged from 20% to 50%, depending on the price point and location but regardless of the actual number, it’s clear to see that there is without doubt a notable buyer’s agent presence, which is only increasing.

It’s not too dissimilar to mortgage broking 20 years ago……….now over 70% use a broker to get their finance, because, it just makes sense.

Now let me be clear, I’m not trying to preach that a buyer’s agent is for everyone. All I’m saying is, at the very least, it’s worth looking into to get an understanding of the value a buyer’s agent can provide, based on your specific situation.


What’s your time worth?

Do you need to buy sooner rather than later?

Do you know how to value a home properly? Are you at risk of overpaying?

Do you know how to negotiate? Are you at risk of overpaying?

Do you have a sales agent network that helps uncover more opportunities?


As world renowned investor Warren Buffet said, “price is what you pay, value is what you get”.

If you consider the above and decide that the value you’ll receive in return for your investment isn’t worthwhile, then that’s totally ok – at least you looked at it objectively and made an informed decision.

And if you’re still on the fence or do decide that you need a buyer’s agent, I’m here to lend a hand.




P.S. If you are planning on making your next property move, drop me a message and lets brainstorm a plan to make it happen, so you can save time and stress, and enjoy a smoother, more streamlined property purchasing experience. 

FREE Report

Download our Latest Northern Beaches Property Market Report Right Here 👇🏼