Home Buying in 20850>Question Details

Nathan, Home Buyer in Rockville, MD

Buyer agency contract

Asked by Nathan, Rockville, MD Fri Sep 16, 2011

Hi, I am currently looking for a buyer's agent in Montgomery County, MD. I am a first time buyer, and I am not confident on signing a buyer agency agreement yet. I have no experience with agents, so I don't know what things are going to look like if I sign an agreement. So are there agents willing to work with their clients without contracts? Is it possible to find a good agent without the contract?

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Hi Nathan,

It certainly is possible to find a great agent without signing a contract. Just like any other service, you should be compatible with, enjoy the company of and trust the person working for you. How can you know that on a first meeting? It's OK to do some interviewing (AFTER you are pre-qualified for a mortgage) and see who is easily accessible by phone and e-mail, who you "click" with on the 1st conversation etc. Don't let anyone push you into any type of contract until you are ready. Have fun with your 1st time home buying experience!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 17, 2011
Hi Nathan,

I recommend speaking/interviewing agents... you will find some may be willing to work without a contract. There are plenty of benefits to having an exclusive working relationship with an agent... when you speak/interview these agents, they should be able to breakdown the benefits for you. Now if after you sign the buyer agency agreement you realize that the agent is not a good match for you, the agreement itself can be voided. By the way, since you're a first time home buyer, there are many first time home buyer programs available in MD. Check out the blog below.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 16, 2011

I am a loan officer not a realtor. I am answering your question because since 2003 I have worked with dozens of realtors. Some good and some well not so good. So I don't know for sure but I think it reasonable to speak to a few realtors and not have anyone try and pin you down right away. I would be happy to provide you names of a few realtors that would not do that to you. They are good, hard working, local realtors that know Montgomery county extremely well. Just let me know and I'll arrange it for you. Thanks and hope this helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 16, 2011
Hi Nathan, In order for an agent in maryland (mont. co.) to represent you as a client you will have to sign a buyers agency agreement. This will allow the agent to represent your best interests as a client. If you do not sign a buyers agency agreement you are classified as a customer (and there is no representation). As a customer the service you receive from the agent will be limited. I suggest that you decide what brokerage you want to work with and then schedule a buyers consultation with an agent to get a detailed explanation of agency from an agent and to answer addifional considerations you may have. Also of note is that maryland agents in will have to have a signed buyers agency agreement in order to represent you and to be paid by the broker. There is no charge to you as the buyer (the selling side of real estate pays a commission to the brokerage who in turn pays the agent. If I may further assist you please feel free to contact me at your convenience. Enjoy your day.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 16, 2011
I haven't seen this many responses in a while... Blood is definitely in the water! ;)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 17, 2011
Hi Nathan,
I am a real Estate Agent in Montgomery County and I read this and then thought about when I was a buyer. I fired two agents before I finally settled with the one that helped me purchase my home. Why a Buyer’s agent agreement? If an agent takes you to see homes without this legal document who are they working for? You or the Seller? The Buyers Agency Agreement will spell this out for you. You can terminate this agreement at anytime if you are not happy with the service or the agent. You just have to put it in writing.
Here is a little food for thought:
Would/Should you drive around the DC Metro area WITH OUT car insurance? If given a choice would you opt out of health insurance? Would you get a loan for a home purchase from a friend instead of a reputable bank? Then if you are not in the know with real estate why would you not hire a Buyer’s Agent? The most it will cost you is an admin fee and the possibility of purchasing a new home for you.
If interested I would love to help housesbynicole@gmail.com.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 16, 2011
Hi Nathan:
There are some agents who would never dream of this request, and there are others who would. Remember, this is an agreement and can be cancelled by you the buyer at anytime, depending on the terms the agent puts you under. Myself, I hold buyers to nothing is they wish to cancel.
My suggestion would be to interview a few agents and get a feel for the agent that you would feel most comfortable with. This also gives you a chance to ask questions and understand the buying process a little better. You want an agent that is a good fit for you.
I spent the first 33 years of my life in Rockville and still do a great deal of business in the area. I have a great deal of working experience with first time homebuyers and pride myself on make their first home buying experience nothing but positive!
If you would like to interview me I would be happy to talk with you at any time so do not hesitate to call. My hours are not 9 to 5 ( LOL) so feel free to call up to 9 PM any day of the week.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 16, 2011
HI Nathan- I can understand not wanting to sign a contract with someone you've barely met. I personally do not have my clients sign an agreement until we write an offer. It's important to find someone you feel comfortable with and works on the same "wave-length". Its best to interview several agents, then decide who you want to work with.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 16, 2011
Hello Nathan,

If the agent can not protect his/her money, do you really expect them to protect yours? You can interview a few agents to determine who you are comfortable with before you sign the agreement.

If you ask an agent to spend weekends driving you around, sharing knowledge and helping you to select a home, it is only fair to be loyal to that agent.

Take care,
Lana Borzova
Century 21 The Real Estate Centre
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 16, 2011
Hi Nathan,

I primarily work with first-time homebuyers and have lived in Montgomery County for the last 56 years. I also do not ask my buyers to sign a buyer agency agreement until I have found them their dream home. Even if you sign a buyer agency agreement, it can be voided at any time with written notice. Please feel free to google my name to learn more about my expertise in working with first-time homebuyers and my rating on Zillow.
Christine Sherrod, Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 16, 2011
Many agents are willing to help first-time home buyers without signing a contract first. You are free to "try out" as many agents as you want. Some will want you to sign a contract first but many won't require it. In Maryland, agents are required to give you at the first face-to-face meeting a form that explains an agent's responsibilities. It's not the buyer-agency agreement though. There's going to be a point, though, that agents are not willing to spend more time with you unless you've signed a buyer-agency agreement. It's only fair. And when it comes time to put in an offer, you'll need to have a buyer-agency agreement in place.

If you want to search for homes in Montgomery County, a good place to go is http://www.silverspringhomesforyou.com. All the properties there are on the local multiple listing service, and it's free to use.

I've worked with many first-time homebuyers and I like to see their expressions when they buy a house for the first time.
Dale McGeehon

(240) 481-0991
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 16, 2011
Most reputable agents are going to require that you agree in writing to work with them exclusively. The buyer agency agreement also details the resonsiblities of both the agent and the buyer(s), effective dates of the agreement, compensation, and any other provisions that are agreed upon. The buyer agency agreement is for your protection as well as theirs. I sugges you speak with several agents to find one that you're comfortable with. Ask people you know for referrals. You don't have to be afraid to enter into a buyer agency agreement. If you find that it's not working out for some reason, the buyer agency agreement will also spell out terms of cancellation - typically you can cancel simply by sending written notification (assuming you're not under contract). Good luck in your transaction.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 16, 2011
Hi Nathan

Every agent is different, but by signing the contract the agent then represents you and your interests in the transaction vs by showing you properties w/o the buyer agency agreement w/you they represent the sellers interest. If you sign one, it does not mean you cannot back-out if you are not happy with the agent before the expiration period is up.


0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 16, 2011
Nathan, I worked with buyers in the past without contracts, but in the end, I realized that I was spending time on people who were not committed to me while not spending enough time on those who were.

A buyer agent can do a lot for you - saving you money being one of the most important. By signing an agreement, you will get more time and attention from your agent because they know you intend to buy a home with their guidance.

Call me anytime - I would be happy to sit down and talk to you about all the benefits, and explain why I get such great reviews from my clients.

Web Reference: http://www.callPiero.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 16, 2011
I would be happy to meet with you and begin the process with out an agreement. We can interview each other to determine whether or not we would work well together. Call or email me anytime. Thanks!

Rick Reed 301-742-1172
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 16, 2011
Agents vary in how they handle this situation at the beginning as many first time buyers are hesitant to get locked into a contract without knowing if it will work out.

I'd be happy to discuss working with you keeping your concerns in mind. Please feel free to call or email at your convenience.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 16, 2011
Hi Nathan,

Why wouldn't you want to sign a contract? This protects you as well as the Realtor. If for some reason you are unhappy with your Realtor at a future time, you can always cancel contract. You and the Realtor's Broker just have to sign a cancellation of contract.

Good luck.

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 16, 2011
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