I remember sitting across the table from homebuyers. My job? It was simple enough. I was merely going to explain what the home buying process entailed. As part of my fiduciary responsibility to my soon to be client, I explained that they needed a buyer’s representation agreement. And, just about every single time I pulled out this four page document, I watched them squirm like school children desperate for a rest room break. The thing is, while most agents don’t “require” one of these (these agents are wrong, by the way), the entire purpose of the buyer’s representation agreement is simple: It protects the buyer during the home buying process, giving them a level of protection that they won’t have should they opt to shop naked, and there are four rock solid reasons why.
1. Without it, I Represent the Seller
Sure, as a licensed real estate agent, I could show you homes. I could even write an offer or two, but the bottom line is that without the protection that a buyer’s representation agreement provides, it’s my job to act in the best interest of the seller with every home I show you and with every offer I write.
2. Your Information Isn’t Confidential Without It
Without a buyer’s representation agreement, I could (not that I would) go out with all of my real estate buddies and discuss the most intimate details of your life and of your finances, sans repercussion. On the other hand, with a buyer’s representation agreement, I’m not allowed to do that.
3. A Service Guarantee
Whenever I had a buyer who signed a representation agreement with me, I knew that there were motivated, loyal and pre-qualified for a mortgage. Thusly, they got the bulk of my time and attention. Without a buyer’s representation agreement, no agent is required to provide you with a high level of service. So, if you want the best out of your agent, a buyer’s representation agreement is best.
4. With a Buyer’s Representation Agreement, You Have the Keys to the City
While the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) certainly provides for the majority of properties on the market, there are also things like pocket listings (those that are not on MLS), new homes, model homes and properties that are for sale by owner that a good agent is exposed to before it is “open to the public”. With a buyer’s representation agreement, your agent is agreeing to give you access to all properties, and show you properties that most closely meet your criteria. Without one, you are cutting yourself off from many of the properties on the market.
Still think you are getting a better deal by “flashing” your resistance to this four page document? It might be time to think again.
More from this Contributor:
Three Things to Look for in a General Contractor
Welcome to Home Remodel Heck: Navigating My Way Through a Homeowner’s Insurance Claim
Four Reasons You Definitely Don’t Wait to Wait to Sell Your Home