It’s no secret that real estate agents work off of commission. When a house is listed, the seller signs a contract with the listing agent, but when/how does it work for buyers?
An Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement is essentially a contract the buyer signs authorizing the agent to exclusively represent them and look out for their best interests throughout the home buying process.
Buyer’s agents are “hired” when you sign a contract with them, preferably before the first showing. Prior to signing the contract, they are technically working for the listing agent by default. This means if they show you a property without a signed buyer’s agreement, what they are really doing is providing a potential buyer for the listing agent because they do not officially work for you.
I spend a lot of time with my buyers. We discuss their needs, I scour the market to find listings that would appeal to them, we visit the homes, we write up offers. It’s a big commitment for me to take on a buyer because I want to do the job right by investing my time and resources into their home search. Any agent would be hard pressed to make the commitment without knowing the buyer was just as committed to them.
Many agents are afraid to ask for buyer’s agreements because they don’t want to scare buyers away. However, I would argue that an agent that does not request a signed contract has no intention of investing much time and energy into your search. They aren’t totally committed to you so you cannot expect the same exceptional service a committed agent would provide.
Signing an Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement is in the best interest of both the buyer and and agent, but I never want a client to feel like they are locked into a situation that isn’t working out. If for some reason, they are unhappy, the buyer can certainly request for the contract to be terminated. Thankfully I’ve never had this happen and hopefully I never will.
*The contents of this post are intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions.