How to become a buyers agent in NSW

The pathway to becoming a buyers agent is not as clear as you might hope. This is due to a number of factors. The rules are different in every state and territory and while the qualifications are almost the same across the country, how you gain experience will vary greatly depending on where you’re located. This article will take you through the steps so you’ll know how to become a buyers agent in NSW.

Key takeaways: 

  • Getting qualified is step one, there are also specific buyers agent skills to be learnt. 
  • Gaining work experience will probably be the greatest challenge you’ll face. 
  • Successful buyers agents all have a multidisciplinary skillset.

Getting Qualified

The process to become qualified to work as a buyers agent in NSW is broken into four stages.

  1. You must complete your Certificate of Registration before you can start to work as an Assistant Agent. The certificate is awarded after you complete the 5 core subjects from the Certificate IV in Real Estate Practise (CPP41419).
  2. You will then have four years to complete the Certificate IV in Real Estate Practise. This will mean you can apply for a Class 2 Real Estate License, which is the minimum requirement to work as a Buyers Agent under the supervision of a Licensee in Charge.
  3. Then you need to gain a minimum of 2 years work experience.
  4. Then you’re eligible to complete a Diploma of Property (Agency Management) (CPP51122) and apply for a Class 1 Real estate License. This allows you to become a Licensee in Charge and run your own business.

In New South Wales it’s important to know that you can’t rush the completion of these courses. You’ll also need to gain work experience, which we’ll cover below.


Useful Backgrounds

Many individuals don’t envision themselves pursuing a career as a buyers agent upon graduating from school. Typically, it’s a deep-rooted passion for real estate, often combined with prior experience in a related field, that steers individuals toward this profession.

Certain career backgrounds prove particularly beneficial, such as transitioning from roles like valuer, sales agent, conveyancer, mortgage broker, or even a building inspector.

Each of these career paths offers its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Frequently, the aspiration to become a buyers agent stems from a realization that one possesses more knowledge about their area of expertise than the buyers agents encountered thus far. This realization can be profoundly vexing, yet it can also obscure awareness of gaps in one’s understanding of professional property acquisition.

For example:

ProfessionKnowsDoesn’t Know
ValuerHow to work out market valueHow to negotiate a deal
Sales AgentHow auctions workHow to work with a client for more than 4 weeks
Mortgage Broker When to be wary of valuation riskHow to work out the price to pay
ConveyancerHow to read a contract of saleHow to bid at auction
Building InspectorHow to avoid buying a money pitHow to interpret a strata report

It’s not uncommon to encounter engineers and IT professionals transitioning into the role of buyers agent, leveraging their robust analytical and procedural abilities, which prove highly advantageous in this field. However, to excel in this role, they must also acquire a diverse array of new skills encompassing marketing, sales, property evaluation, client management, and negotiation.


Work Experience

In New South Wales you’ll also need to gain three years work experience if you aspire to running your own business. The first year (at a minimum) is gained between qualifying for your Certificate or Registration and achieving your Class 2 License. A further two years of work experience are required between completing your Cert IV and your Diploma. Then you will be able to apply for a Class 1 License.

This is easier said than done, as many buyers agencies are micro-businesses or sole traders, neither of which tend to employ trainees. If you’re located in Sydney or Newcastle, you will have a much greater chance of being employed in a buyers agency than you will if you live in a smaller regional town.

If you find yourself in the predicament of needing to gain work experience and not being able to find an employer, you could explore the pathway of working as an assistant sales agent. In his way you would gain valuable insights into the other side of the buy/sell equation.

Professional Development

Once you’re qualified and working in the industry, you’ll soon realise that there is so much to learn that was not covered when you got your qualification.

In NSW you’ll need to complete additional training and acquire CPD Points every year. 

But your ongoing learning should never stop there. A great buyers advocate is a lifelong learner. I encourage you to explore my Buyers Agent Mentoring Program and discover how you can learn the advanced skills you need to progress & succeed as a buyers agent.

Ingredients For Success

It’s often said that buying property professionally is both science and art and, as such, successful buyers agents need to be able to engage both the right and left side of their brains.

In my view, the non-negotiable traits are: critical thinking, consultative selling, relationship building, negotiation skills and integrity. Download my free eBook for a more comprehensive overview of the characteristics of success as a buyers agent.

If you’re wanting to work as a buyers agent in Sydney, you’ll also need to develop strong auction skills, since in many areas this is how the majority of properties are sold.

Setting Up Your Own Business

Should you opt for self-employment, you’ll find it imperative to enhance your proficiency in various domains such as business management, marketing, and compliance, among others. That’s precisely why I advocate for individuals to first acquire and refine their buyers agency skills before venturing into entrepreneurship.

Moreover, the journey can be rather solitary, devoid of companions to exchange ideas with or strategize on overcoming inevitable hurdles. Seeking out a mentor or coach to provide guidance and support throughout your career trajectory is highly advisable.