There are many different buyers’ advocates, though they all have one thing in common. They help you understand what you need and want for your new home or renovation project. As a result, the process may be long and drawn out – but worth it in the end.
Before we talk about how to pick between each type of Melbourne buyers advocates, let’s first discuss what kind of information and expertise they provide:
Interior designer: Offers insight on style and decorating, as well as color selection. The interior designer can also assist with selecting furniture. However, some people will opt to hire an interior design firm specializing only in those things; this is especially true if their budget allows them to do so.
Real estate agent: Provides information about the real estate market and what you can expect in terms of home values, etc. Will work with your builder or developer to ensure everything goes smoothly between when you buy the house and when you move in. Others design firms that focus on other things, like landscaping.
Architects or architects firm Offers advice on structural integrity, building layout. Your architect may even assist with selecting finishes. Some people will hire an architectural firm for this purpose. At the same time, others will hire a different company specializing in just architecture (like interior design firms do) instead if their budget allows them to do so.
Interior designer who works for a retail store: The interior designers at some stores will provide insight on styles and colors; however, their goal is to make sure the products (furniture, etc.) they sell look good and fit your style. That can mean everything matches, or it could mean having a little bit of contrast.
Design services at home improvement stores: At some home improvement stores, you can hire someone for design advice; their goal is also to make sure that the products (furniture, lighting, flooring, etc.) they carry look good and fit your style. That can mean everything matches, or it could mean having a little bit of contrast.
The architect who works with homebuilders: Will work with your builder or developer to design your house based on predetermined specs. They have no input in the style or decor. That’s up to you.
The architect who works with custom homebuilders: Will work with your builder or developer to design your house based on predetermined specs. They have no input in the style or decor. That’s up to you.
Design Services at a custom homebuilder: May offer insight and advice on style and decorating; the extent of their guidance will depend on their expertise and how much direction you want to give them. However, they do not provide any product (furniture, lighting, flooring, etc.) selections because each client gets something different built for them.
Mortgage broker: Provides information about what lenders can offer in mortgages. That may include down payment assistance programs, low-interest rates, or other types of support for homebuyers.
Real estate attorney: Will assist with the legal side of buying, selling, and renovating your home. They will also address any land use matters that need to be addressed before you buy a house (like easements, restrictions on future use, etc.) Sellers may hire an attorney to help them get their property in tip-top shape for selling; this means advising what you should do to prepare it for sale. This often includes staging. It can also include representing you during negotiations if they are not part of the listing agent’s team when you sell your property.