Most consumers know that if they want to “hire” a real estate broker/agent to sell their home and represent their interests, they must sign a contract. Realtors® cannot list a property and represent a seller without one. The contract clearly spells out the terms of the agreement including length of time, compensation and each party’s responsibility.
A buyer agency agreement/contract does the same thing. It is an agreement for an exclusive arrangement between a buyer and a broker/agent for a period of time. It spells out how much the agent is to be compensated and by whom – it is in the buyer’s best interest to be clear about this. It describes each party’s responsibility and obligation. It lists the geographical areas covered, as well as the home search method. The contract also explains the terms “dual agent” and “designated agent” – very important to understand before the negotiation process.
While buyer agency is not a new concept – it has been legal in MA for about 15 years and a couple of years ago the law that governs agency relationships was updated to further ensure consumer protection, many buyers and some agents still don’t understand the benefits of a written Buyer Agency Agreement/contract. I have had many buyers call me to ask for help finding a home and they tell me they have had disappointing experiences with their “buyer” agents. When I ask if they had a contract with these agents, they answer is almost always “no”. Well, of course they are disappointed!
Satisfaction is tied to expectation. Know what to expect – get it in writing!
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