Those are two different transactions. The agent is serving you in two different roles.
Here's an analogy. Suppose you hired a handyman/handywoman to do some work for you. You need drywall and painting in your basement. You also need some landscaping outside and your driveway resealed.
Same person is doing the work.
It wouldn't be sufficient to have a signed contract dealing with the drywall and painting and not address the landscaping and driveway. Same person is doing both, but they're two different jobs.
In this case, you might have one contract covering both; with real estate you'd have two different agreements. But the concept is the same.
Hope that helps.
That is a great question. I am just thinking that I have never had a Buyer Agency Contract in place when I was assisting a seller client find a new home. Maybe that is my bad, but I guess I just assume that, if they had enough faith in me to market their home, they would have faith in me in finding a new home. It has always worked for me and I have never been burned.
Having said that, a contract outlines all the obligations of each party. For example, the agent commits to identifying homes that meet your criteria, showing you those homes, and then using their expertise to negotiate the best price and terms...and get you to the closing table.
The buyer commits to using that agent exclusively and fully intends on allowing that agent to receive compensation when the transaction closes. There is more to it than that, but agents work very hard (often behind the scenes) and only get paid when they sell a home.
In short, you do not "need" a Buyer Agency Contract in place, but YOUR agent may prefer to have one.
Best of luck!
A seller's agent represents the seller of a property and his/her job is to sell the house. A Buyer's agent represents a buyer and his/her job is to buy a house. A Real Estate agent is capable of doing both ... however, you hire an agent to do a job. You are allowed to hire the same person to do both, but it would be in everyone's best interests if you were clear about each job and whom you have hired.
That's a long winded way of saying you don't NEED to sign a buyer agency contract, but you probably should ... so you don't later find yourself paying for services that you weren't clear that you'd asked for.
If you're not sure you want to work with the Agent, do not sign an Exclusive Buyer Agency contract.
Best of luck!