Buyer Agency Agreement?

9 Replies

I'm in the process of looking for a home to purchase.  I haven't found a buyer's agent I would like to commit to working with, and instead look on my own through many sources (mls, auction sites, newspaper, etc.).  If I find a home I like on the mls I just call the listing agent to set up a showing.

I'm in the process of putting an offer in on a property with the listing agent-  He drew up the contract to include a buyer's agency agreement that's valid for about 4 months.  The fellow seems fine, but the bottom line is I don't know him and don't want to tether myself to him for 4 months outside of this particular property I'm making the offer on.  If it doesn't go through, and another property in the mls captures my attention, I don't want to be beholden to this particular agent when submitting an offer.  The agent said there was no way for the agency agreement to be written so it's applicable to only this property.

How do I get around this/not have to commit to working with this person outside of this particular property?

Thanks!

Originally posted by @Henley H. :

The agent said there was no way for the agency agreement to be written so it's applicable to only this property.

How do I get around this/not have to commit to working with this person outside of this particular property?

Thanks!

Do not sign a buyer-broker agreement. You don't have to sign one to make an offer.

@Henley H. It might be too late to find a buyer's broker for this property, as the seller's agent may refuse to pay commission to the other agent based on who is the "procuring cause" of this particular sale.

However, it's important to remember that the seller's agent is a fiduciary to the SELLER.  That means he is your negotiating opposition.  No matter how cheerful and friendly, this person is not on your side.

For future properties, I would find a buyer's agent that you're comfortable working with and have that person represent you.

If you're not comfortable signing the buyer's agency agreement, either refuse to sign it or modify it to state that it is only valid for the purchase of 123 Main St.

Originally posted by @Max Gradowitz :
Originally posted by @Henley H.:

The agent said there was no way for the agency agreement to be written so it's applicable to only this property.

How do I get around this/not have to commit to working with this person outside of this particular property?

Thanks!

Do not sign a buyer-broker agreement. You don't have to sign one to make an offer.

 In many states you actually do. 2 out of the 4 states Im licensed in the law requires one.

Henley,

I don't believe what the agent told you is correct: "The agent said there was no way for the agency agreement to be written so it's applicable to only this property."

I live in a different state, but I've written dozens of buyer representation agreements limited to a specific property and lasting for only a few months. 

If there's a blank space in the representation agreement labeled "Other Terms," or something vague like that, put the limitation to the specific property there. If not, add an addendum of your own. Ask an attorney for specific language and keep it simple. 

If this agent won't agree to those terms, find another agent.

Mark

Here's another idea:  Call your local real estate association and ask if it's possible (ie legal) to write a buyer representation agreement specific to one property.

Sage advice, Mark!  Thank you-  While a buyer's agent agreement is required where I live according to the board of realtors, I pressed the point with the agent and he did as you suggested, included the limitation within a blank space in the agreement-

I can't believe that there are states that REQUIRE a Buyer Broker Employing Agreement to be signed with an offer to purchase, but if @Russell Brazil says there are, then I'll take his word.  That just sounds CRAZY.  At first I thought you were talking about an AGENCY Disclosure, which would be fine to sign as there are options to check a box that states that the listing broker represents the SELLER, and not you as the Buyer.  However, the Buyer Broker Agreement actually EMPLOYS the broker to you.

With that said, I would recommend shortening the term to say a week (enough to negotiate the contract and establish procurring cause for this specific house) and write in the additional terms that this Buyer Broker agreement is exclusive to THIS property (write in the address on the form).  You may also want to consider adding something that states that if a contract is not executed on the subject property, any Buyer Broker relationship between you and the broker is terminated immediately.

That should cover you.