I just established a new relationship with a real estate agent and the first thing I received in my inbox was a buyer agreement. The agreement stipulates: "3% of the gross purchase price of the property acquired by Buyer".
When does it make sense to have a Buyer Agreement?
Does the agent want you to pay the commission? Traditionally the seller pays the commission. Buyers agreements benefit the agent, not so much the investor. If you lock yourself in with an agent, and that agent doesn't perform to your standards, and you go to another agent, your previous agent will be compensated even though you didn't want to work with them anymore. Agents don't want to get buyers who give them the run around, so they use this document as a way to ensure they aren't wasting time. I am an agent, and I don't ever have anyone sign a buyer agreement. Just inform the agent that you work with multiple agents to find deals for you, and that if this agent proves themselves to you, then you can choose to work with them exclusively.
Well you are in Virginia...and in Virginia an agent is required by law to have a buyer agency agreement with you before they can work with you. So if you want to use an agent, you will have to have one regardless of what agent it is with.