On Buyer Advocacy and Armpits

I had to catch the tram home today. I usually manage to get the train, but I had to get over to the south-eastern suburbs fast and didn’t have time to wait around. The reason I avoid the tram is because it’s always absolutely packed to the brim at peak hour, as was the case today.

Anyway, I was wedged up into the armpit of a woman who was gasbagging into her phone about the property auction she’ll be attending tomorrow. From what I could gather through my veil of annoyance, she believes that the property in question is a perfect fit for the brief she’s compiled in collaboration with her personal buyers advocate.

I’d never heard of a buyers advocate. Melbourne house hunters in the million-dollar-plus range, according to a quick internet search, tend to be disposed to recruiting real estate professionals of this description to assist them in snapping up the best deal. Such a professional, it seems, plays a role similar to that of a real estate agent, except that they operate on behalf of the buyer rather than the seller.

Back to the woman on the phone. She was getting into quite a flap about the impending auction, to the point that I could hear her friend offering reassurance down the line: “…you negotiate for a living, Kelly! Just pretend it’s a courtroom…” Meanwhile, Kelly (I presume) continued to extol the virtues of the flexible floor-plan and ‘great architectural bones’.

By this point, I felt like I’d garnered about as much of an understanding of buyer advocacy as I’ll ever need (given my current bank account balance, I don’t see myself buying property in Melbourne any time soon). But my head was still wedged up against the prospective homeowner’s armpit, and my stop was still several blocks away.

I passed the rest of the trip by mentally calculating the prices of the Toorak properties we passed. At least, I was pretending to do that. I don’t know that I’d feel confident in applying my projections, which I guess is why someone might hire a buyers advocate.