A Builder Broker is a person or business that arranges quotations for building plans by contractors in Australia.
The agent or business needs qualifications in the building industry and must understand the Australian Standards building contracts. A Builder Broker can specialise in either all, or one of, the building types:- residential, commercial or industrial. In Australia some draftspeople and architects have been acting as Builder Broker's for many years without offering the general public this service without first drafting the plans for tender. In some parts of Western Australia the practice is known as "Building Broker".
The term originally referred to a person responsible for brokering the construction of a building on a real estate. Whilst this is closely related to Estate Agents, greater knowledge of building process is required than being an estate agent. The job of a Builder Broker is to know the construction method of the proposed design along with the current economic pricing structure of that type of construction and local factors that either increase or decrease the value of the construction. A broker is also required to know the current and projected economic factors for the local areas. A Builder Broker is required to have an extensive knowledge of the building and construction methods of the type of construction.
Within the states of Australia, Builder Brokers have no specific authority to report to or obtain specific licences. The ACCC, Australian Competition & Consumer Commission is the body to which all registered companies in Australia are regulated by. Currently there is a Registered Association body to which the Builder Brokers can become a member of The Builder Brokers Association.
Within Australia there is only a handful of national brokering firms exist, such as Clear Build or Home Builders Australia, with most being regional or area specialists companies. Only a handful of brokerage firms handle commercial and residential quoting services. Specialists exist in each state or major city and can often be more competitive with local knowledge of the industry. Building Broker services include everything from the initial site survey through to creation of the new home design, then qualifying builders and managing the tender process to ensure client satisfaction. Typically savings can be achieved in excess of 10% when compared to the traditional method of purchasing a new home by way of display homes. Clear Build as an example do not draw thier own plans, but utilise your own plans and force a range of builders into a competitive environment to ensure your plans are priced fairly, with significant savings possible.
Brokerage fees are typically found to be charged to the contractor to whom the work is being contracted. In some other cases there can be a smaller engagement fee charged to the client to which it is mostly non-refundable and typically its suited to be between $300AUS-$500AUS plus Goods and Service Tax ( GST ). This sort of pre payment fee is typical in larger commercial projects. There is no set fee allocated to the services of Builder Brokers to charge the contractors.
Typically the fees sort from contractors are between 3% to 5% of the total cost of the builder price.