Home Buying in Philadelphia>Question Details

PG, Home Buyer in Richmond, VA

Is an EXCLUSIVE BUYER AGENCY CONTRACT required by law in the state of PA.?

Asked by PG, Richmond, VA Mon Oct 28, 2013

Hi, I'm a first time home buyer who lives in the state of VA. I'm moving to PA. and I'm thinking about buying a house. The agent who has been helping me for about 3 weeks now says I have to sign a "Buyer Agency Contract" or "Exclusive Buyer Agency Contract" if I want to move forward with her so that she can work on my behalf...I don't know what to do...is signing this contract required by law in the state of PA.? What does this contract mean exactly? I'm no lawyer and all these real estate terms confuse me. Please help!

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11
Hello,

I love these types of questions! Firstly, any agent who says that a buyer broker contract is NOT required in PA is absolutely 10000% wrong! In order for a buyer to be legally represented by a licensed sales person in PA, they need to "hire" someone. Simply going into a home with anyone doesn't mean that that person is "working" for you. Sure, it can be implied that the agent is working for you if they perform certain duties however, not having a buyer broker contract can create many legal issues.

I get into a lot of arguments with agents when I say that if they don't get a buyer to hire them by signing the buyer broker contract, they are working for the seller. Oh, it makes their heads explode... "thats sub agency and we don't practice sub agency anymore" they say... but if they walk into another agent's listing without a signed buyer broker agreement, who does that agent represent at that moment? If not the buyer, who? In order to be paid, they have to be working for someone and in every single listing contract that I've ever seen, the seller agrees to pay someone .... they say they will pay only a buyer agent or they say they will pay a buyer agent and a transactional agent..... or they will pay the buyer agent, the transactional or the sub agent.... if the seller says that they will ONLY pay a buyer agent, that agent best have a signed buyer broker agreement BEFORE they take them through the home because if they get the buyer to sign it after the fact, then not only is that illegal but they weren't abiding by PA rules and they weren't representing the buyer when they took them in to see the home who who is paying that agent? Is the buyer going to pay the agent if the listing agent says they aren't paying them?

This is what is wrong with the profession. Agents are afraid to have a buyer come in to the office, sit them down, explain the Consumer Notice to them, explain what they do and explain the buyer broker agreement to them and ask them to sign on the dotted line. They feel that if they ask and the buyer doesn't sign, they will lose the buyer but the buyer wasn't theirs anyway so they didn't lose anything.

Being a real estate agent is no different than any other reputable profession. If a buyer doesn't want to take the time to come meet with the agent BEFORE they see homes, then I say bye, bye....

If you look here on Trulia... you will see all the agents who just tell everyone to call them without answering questions... sure, I would want to work with one of these agents who I know absolutely nothing about.... buying a home is only one of the most expensive assets someone will ever buy... surely I would want to just use anyone who told me to call them... sign nothing and expect that they work for me...

I don't mean to ramble but most agents don't get the buyer to sign the buyer broker agreement until they are filling out an Agreement of Sale and thats not the way its supposed to be...

If you are looking for a buyer agent to protect you, call a few and sit with them, see what they do and what they will do for you then hire one. And the only way to hire a buyer agent is to sign a buyer broker agreement....

I can go on and on.....

I hope this helps. If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to contact me at reneeporsia@mac.com or at 215.669.0589.

Renée Porsia
Associate Broker/Consultant
RE/MAX Action
215.669.0589 Direct
215.358.1100 Ask for Renée

Proudly servicing Philadelphia, Bucks & Montgomery Counties, full-time for over 13 years.
http://www.reneeporsia.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 29, 2013
Most agents consider the buyer broker agreement to be nothing more than "trash". They feel its not worth the paper its written on and that is a shame because just as many Brokers feel the same way and if the Broker of record feels that way, then all of their agents will too. The buyer broker contract "protects" you as the consumer and it protects the real estate professional as it assures the buyer that the agent is in deed working for them and spells any fees the agent may charge as well as what services they provide and for the consumer and then nothing is left up in the air. I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me with any questions at:
Renée Porsia
Associate Broker/Consultant
RE/MAX Action
215.669.0589 Direct
215.358.1100 Ask for Renée
Flag Fri Nov 1, 2013
Thank you so much for your detailed answer. You are completely right, I should have told my agent that before she took me to see any houses, we should have sat down and have a conversation first...this is all completely new to me, I don't know what I am doing...I told her what I was looking for, told her my price range, etc. and then we went and saw a few houses with her. I am the new one at all this, I think it should have been my agent, who is the experienced one here, the one who should have told me, look, let's seat down and let's talk first of all, and let's go over this forms you need to sign....or something. Since she didn't mention any of this, it never occurred to me, being that, like I just said, I am a first time home buyer, and I have no clue how any of these regulations work.

Thank you so much for your answer! I appreciate it!
Flag Tue Oct 29, 2013
Like I said, better if the buyer understands before, never goes well after the fact. As a profession we do a terrible job of explaining this stuff. Many Pop up realtors who will simply go show something at the drop of a hat make it worse for those of us actually insist that buyers understand the process before they go out..
Flag Tue Oct 29, 2013
No. There is no state stature that demands a written contract between a Buyer and the Agent / Brokerage helping them find a home. Being a Real Estate Agent is a passion for many of us, and it is how we make a living. An Exclusive Buyer Agency Contract helps to ensure that the Real Estate Agent that a buyer has hired to help them find a property to purchase, will be paid for their work. Equally important, the contract is a commitment from the Real Estate profession, that you will work for your best interest.

YOU, the Buyer / Client, get the choose whom to hire.

Happy Shopping!! ...and so of course, feel free to email or call me directly!

Christine Caine
REALTOR®
267-226-3994
Christine@MyPhillyCondo.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 15, 2013
Christine you are absolutely right.
Flag Sun Apr 19, 2015
If you're confused ask the Realtor to explain the contracts to you. She should do that at a buyer consultation. While she's doing that she should also explain the entire process so that you understand it. If she can't or won't do that find a Realtor who will.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 29, 2013
As I told you the Consumer's notice is the only required form as for the other contracts they are agreements between two or more people. My best advice is to sit down with her and have her explain the contract to you or you need to have a Real estate agent from PA explain it to you before you sign anything. If you have a copy of it you can take it to an attorney but he is going to charge you. There should be no reason why you need to sign the Buyers Agreement now it should be no problem till you all meet in person protect your self by getting a copy and only sign it for no more time then you're comfortable with I sign them for no more then 60 to 90 days. and then extend it if need be. this is to protect your information and her commission. If you have any other questions please call me 215-725-5700 X49

Philip J. Cunningham Sr.
V.I.P. Realty Corporation
7942 Bustleton Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19152
215-725-5700X49 cell 267-934-1971
philcunningham2004@yahoo.com
Web Reference: http://www.GreatPaRE.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 29, 2013
It is not required, but it does show your commitment to the agent.
If you are happy with the work she has done and would feel comfortable with her representing you in the transaction, then I would sign it.
If you are not happy, you should let her know now and take steps to interview/find a new agent.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 29, 2013
I doubt any state has a law requiring it. More than likely your agent wants to ensure you will not jump ship since she has spent time working with you. The agreement allows her to represent you and provides protection to both parties. If you like her and want to continue working with her it would not hurt to sign it but make sure you can cancel it if you are not satisfied with the work being done on your behalf. I would recommend working with a realtor with an Accredited Buyers Rep designation (ABR) though. Ask questions and make sure you are comfortable with any agent you use, buying a home is a great thing but you need to make sure the agent is the right fit for you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 29, 2013
How can I find out which realtor has an Accredited Buyer Rep Designation?
Flag Tue Oct 29, 2013
As mentioned by Jimmy, it is not required. If you have a good relationship with your agent, stick with him/her for a better transaction and that paperwork can be completed when you are submitting an offer.

If you are unhappy with their service, which seems to be an undertone in this situation, do not sign one and find an agent that you can develop a long lasting relationship with that you know has your best interest at heart.

If you would like to discuss further, you can reach me at 215-262-5739.
Flag Tue Oct 29, 2013
It is not required by law.
Call me at 610-304-9488 and We can talk about the process.
I have helped dozens of first-time homebuyers and lots of out-of-town homebuyers as well
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 29, 2013
Thank you very much for all your answers so far...I'm neither happy nor unhappy with her...I live in VA. and I drove up to PA. about two weekends ago and she showed me a few houses around. I've sent her two emails packed with questions as I'm trying to figure out how this whole "buying a new house" works, especially me being a first time home buyer who's trying to relocate from VA. to PA. I have tons and tons of questions. After she answered my second email packed with questions, that's when she reiterated me having to sign this "Buyer Agency Contract"....I guess it's a way of her covering herself and making sure she's just not answering all these questions for me and spending all this time on me, and then me potentially going later with another agent...I can understand that, however, this contract she wants me to sign is quite comprehensive and complex, and I don't understand many of the things it says....The one thing I wanted to know first and foremost is whether or not signing this contract is a LAW or a rule in the state of PA. and I've been doing a lot of research online to answer this question, but all the information I've came across so far is quite old and vague...nothing that answers whether YES, it is required by law, or NO, it is not required by law....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 29, 2013
My first question is Have you signed a Consumer Notice the Real Estate Disclosure Law requires that the agent provide you with a written consumer notice that describes the various business relationships choices that you may have with a real estate licensee. This is directly from the Oral Disclosure which should have been read to you when you enter into earnest discussions about real estate. Please call me at 215-725-5700 X49 or on my cell phone 267-934-1971 this is an important Disclosure because it also informs you about confidential information you may disclose. This is important to me because I'm a REALTOR and sit on both the Local and State Associations of REALTORS Board of Directors. Again please call me so you are aware of your business responsibilities to the agent and those that are due to you. Most Buyers and Sellers are not aware that they have some responsibilities in the transaction which are due to the agent

Philip J. Cunningham Sr.
V.I.P. Realty Corporation
7942 Bustleton Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19152
215-725-5700 X49
267-934-1971
PhilCunningham2004@yahoo.com
Web Reference: http://www.GreatPaRE.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 29, 2013
Better to understand this stuff before seeing homes with an Agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 29, 2013
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