Buyer’s Agency Agreements

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This is a legally binding contract between you and the real estate agent. Basically, you agree to purchase the home using the agent and in return your agent must look after your best interest, not the seller’s. A buyer’s agent will give you advise on negotiating, disclose any troubling facts about the property and, if known, any facts related to the sale (such as a foreclosure or divorce.) Before you sign an agreement make sure you understand the terms. If you have any questions, ask the agent or an attorney. A buyer’s agency agreement will usually define these terms:

1.) The parties involved.
2.) Whether the contract is an Exclusive or Non-Exclusive agreement.
3.) Time frame of the agreement
4.) The agent’s fee and how it will be paid.

What’s the difference between an Exclusive and Non-exclusive agreement? In an exclusive agreement, you agree to work with only one agent. A non-exclusive agreement means that you can work with different agents. If you feel uncomfortable signing an exclusive agreement because you’re not sure how well you will get along, ask for a non-exclusive agreement.

Why should I pay the agent? Although the contract might ask for a fee, you should request that your real estate agent’s fee be paid from the listing agent or the sale of the property you are purchasing. For example: The home you are purchasing has been listed by a real estate agent. The agent works for the seller and has agreed to list/sell the home for a certain fee, lets say 6%. Of that 6%, the selling agent will pay the buyer’s agent 2.8% or 3%.

Like most contracts or agreements, they are negotiable. If you feel uncomfortable about any clause in the contract, ask to have it removed or come to an agreement that is fair for both parties.

I saw an open house and want to make an offer. If you have signed a buyer’s agency contract, call your agent to make an offer. Do not sign an agreement using the seller’s agent. First, the seller’s agent has a responsibility to the seller, not you. Second, if you do sign the agreement, you could have to pay the agents fee out of your own pocket.

I like a home sold by a For Sale By Owner, how should I proceed. Call you agent and tell him/her about the situation. The agent will call the owner to see if they would be interested in working with you. If so, the agent will set up a showing and follow through with the process.