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Tim Cahill, Real Estate Pro in Arlington, MA

Agents - do you use Buyer Agency Agreements? Why or why not?

Asked by Tim Cahill, Arlington, MA Fri Jul 30, 2010

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Yes, I do Tim.

Without a Buyer Agency Agreement I would be limited to performing ministerial acts for my "customers". Having a buyer sign a Buyer Agency Agreement allows me to represent them and look out for their best interests as my "clients".

I;m not sure how the rules of agency disclosure differ in other states but in Georgia we are required to educate our buyers on the different types of agency. If a buyer chooses not to enter into an Exclusive Buyer Brokerage Agreement then they must sign a "Customer Acknowledgment" that they have declined representation.

i won't pretend that the protection it gives my commission is not important.... we work hard for our commission. I recently had a client mention to me while we were out looking at condos one afternoon that another agent had shown her property over the weekend. Fortunately, I had a Buyer's Agency Agreement on file in case she had decided to buy the property she looked at over the weekend. :)

Bottom line is that the Buyer Agency Agreement allows me to help my clients to the best of my ability and the guarantee of compensation only secondary.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 31, 2010
Linda - interesting point about explaining the different agency types. Actually here in MA we're required to present the client with an Agency Disclosure form and explain the different types of agency. However, I'm always surprised when I do it to hear the buyer say, "Wow, this is the first time anyone's ever asked me to do this before." This ends up, for me, being a perfect opportunity to point out how not all agents follow the rules and that I'm demonstrating my commitment to ethical business practices by actually following the law.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 30, 2010
Hi Tim
I always use a buyers agent agreement. Aside from the reason that we are supposed to ,it spells out to the buyers my commitment to them to represent them in an honest & ethical manor. More important it gives me documentation showing proof of my buyers agent relationship with them should someone else claim
to have introduced them to a particular house that I am selling.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 2, 2010
I always try to. I have only been "burnt" twice in my career and both those times I thought I had a really great connection that was so great there was no need. You would think if you are sitting around someones kitchen table chatting after a few days of looking you are safe. Or if you get an email that tells you how awesome you are after a couple of offer write ups you are safe - um - NOT. There are people our there that can lie to you straight to your face. Beware of Gran-daughters is my motto! (inside joke)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 31, 2010
I like the retainer fee idea, but it's more customary with investors rather than homeowners. I doubt it will work across the board if there are lots of agents in your area willing to work without one. I always have clients sign a buyer rep agreement, it both protects the agent and verifies that the buyer is serious about buying.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 31, 2010
If you can't get them to sign a buyer agency agreement, I doubt they will be willing to pay a retainer fee. There are too many agents willing to do it all for nothing.

If you explain the difference in agency, I find it is extremely useful in getting the buyers to agree to sign.

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1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 30, 2010
Hi Tim,

I used them a few times. It's not widely used as I found out and most buyers I encounter don't want to be locked in with a buyer's agent. I know I should use them on every buyer because i've been burnt plenty of times. I'd also like to implement a retainer fee and make it refundable at closing. What do you Agents think of that?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 30, 2010
No, but I'm thinking about using them in the near future.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 3, 2010
I always try to use all kinds of documents to go safe for everyone in the transaction. If they do not sign with me it means they already have an idea to work with someone elso so I will not spend my time with them.

Good Luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 31, 2010
I use an oral agreement with my clients. When I start working with them, I ask them if they are willing toi work with me exclusively as their agent and tell me if they want to terminate the relationship. So far, the only ones I have "lost", I would have lost even if I did have a written contract.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 31, 2010
Yes, Tim,

I've heard the same exact comments myself!

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 30, 2010
Yes, almost always. Simply put, it creates a commitment between me and the buyer.

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 30, 2010
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