You have spent days sifting through homes on Zillow and have a good idea of where you want to live and are ready to make it happen. You know the only way you can get in to see the homes that interest you is to find an agent. You make the appointment.
You meet your buyer’s agent and share what your dream home entails and tell her about your real estate goals. But before you see the first house, she hands you a contract and a pen and asks you to sign a Buyer-Broker Agreement.
What is it? And more importantly, should you sign it?
The Buyer-Broker Agreement
A Buyer-Broker Agreement (also called a Buyer’s Agency Agreement or Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement) ensures that the agent gets paid for their services. Real estate agents work on a commission basis and only make a commission when they help a client buy or sell a property. Signing this agreement means that you cannot just drop your agent and avoid paying the commission.
This agreement will contain several key duties of the agent, the rights of the buyer, how the commission will be handled, and how your relationship with the agent will work.
Before we answer the question of whether you should sign it, let us look at what a buyer’s agent does.
The Buyer Agent's Job
Buying a home is a complex process. A buyer’s agent sorts through listings and narrows them down to fit your needs. They arrange for private viewings, help you to compare your options, negotiate, then work from the moment you submit an offer until closing on all the minutiae of paperwork to ensure that every “t” is crossed and every “i” is dotted.
In addition, they have the knowledge and skills to help speed up the whole process, get straight answers, and help overcome any hurdles that come along. They help you through the contingencies to make sure you do not get taken advantage of and make sure the home is worth the offer you submit.
Should You Sign?
So, should you sign? Look at it this way…if you want someone to have your best interest in mind, who has the knowledge and skills to get you through the entire process as smoothly as possible, and who is committed to you as a fiduciary, then yes, you should sign it. And you should know that in today’s world, these agreements are more common than ever.
Keep this in mind. Real estate agents spend their own money taking you to see listings and, more importantly, spend their time working hard for you, even when you are not with them. And they do this while relying 100% on a commission. So, when they work with a buyer who changes their mind at the last minute, it hurts their bottom line.
As with any contract, be sure to read the terms of the Broker-Buyer Agreement before signing but rest assured that your agent will go out of their way to represent your interests and do all they can to help you realize your real estate dreams.