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Buyer Agency – is This Realtors’ Dirty Little Secret?

Call me crazy…

2009-06-08-sneakyCall me crazy but when I am told that something is the law, I abide by it. I’m just funny that way, which is why I just can’t understand why still so many Brokers/Realtors® refuse to present the Consumer Notice or the Buyer Broker Agreement to buyers when they first meet.

Dirty little secret

I’ve talked to many Realtors® who told me that they do not get their “clients” to sign the Buyer Broker Agreement until they are writing up an offer. Just blows my mind.

As Realtors® we promise to always look out for our client’s best interest and always act in good faith and by not showing and explaining the Consumer Notice or asking the consumer if they want to hire them to be their buyer agent by presenting them with the Buyer Broker Agreement upon first meeting is certainly not in anyone’s best interest or in my opinion, not acting in “good faith.” Yet, it happens every single day.

In my opinion, it just gives our entire profession a bad name when Realtors can’t even abide by the very rules, regulations and laws that govern us. If they won’t even comply with the Real Estate Commission, what else are they not complying with, what else are they “not doing” for consumers and clients?

Who’s to blame?

Talk to any consumer and ask them if they know what buyer agency is and most will answer, “no.” Most are not even aware that they even have rights. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to a buyer after they’ve purchased their home and they’ve said, “we used the listing agent, we didn’t know that we could have used our own agent.” Wow! It makes me feel like we’ve failed in educating the public as well as the National Association of Reators®. In this day and age, every consumer should at least know about buyer agency and it’s benefits but when we as Realtors® don’t even believe in it, what message are we putting out there?

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With all the tools available for consumers these days on the internet making it easier and easier for them to buy and sell a home on their own, isn’t it crucial to our industry that we continue to show the public the necessity and even more important, the dire need for Realtors®?

Do you do this?

Do you present and more importantly, explain both the Consumer Notice along with the Buyer Broker Agreement upon first meeting with a buyer? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue.

If you are not certain of your state’s laws, you should check with local counsel or your Real Estate Commission.

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Written By

Writer for Agent Genius Magazine. Renee's primary focus has always been on changing and improving the real estate industry through her words and her "big mouth." She is not afraid of a little controversy or ruffling a few feathers every now and again and is always up for a good debate. Renee prides herself on being different and is definitely not your Mary Jane, beige, tweed skirt suit, knee high wearing mother's Realtor. Renee is best known for her humor, sarcasm, her keen wit and is a social media junkie who can usually be found tweeting at odd hours of the evening. Check Renee out on her popular website



  1. Benn Rosales

    March 3, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    I want to know right off the bat whom I’m representing, it just makes life so much easier. I don’t know many buyers who would know the jargon of what agency is, but they’ll know who represented them.

    I bought my first home at 18 only to learn that the first home I attempted to contract the agent represented the seller and not me, ultimately the agent represented me on the home I eventually purchased, but still, I didn’t understand fully what had happened until I myself got my re license.

    evil evil little details…

  2. Missy Caulk

    March 3, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Yes we do it upfront, or at least my team does.
    Why not?
    There is nothing intimidating about it, as it is a Disclosure of how they can be represented. We are not asking them to sign their name in blood.
    I don’t know why agents have a problem with it either.

  3. Mike

    March 3, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Most of the time, after explaining agency in detail, they may be hesitant to sign. I ask them to sign for the properties that we will see today, and if we want to work with each other moving forward, we can sign the agreement for exclusive representation. That puts them at ease, and protects my valuable time that day as well.
    If a potential client has a negative atitude toward the agreement on principle, I probably don’t want to work with them anyway.

  4. Jim Bilbao

    March 3, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Everyone knows, “You get what you pay for.” The dirty secrets about buyers agency most agents are afraid to talk about are:
    – Negative incentives, the better job they do as the procurement professional to their client in regard to purchasing for as low a price as possible, the less money they expect to make;
    – No variable pricing for quality or quantity, the ultimate price for buyers agency services rendered will not be negotiated between agent and buyer prior to service delivery or to correspond to quality or quantity of service to be provided, generally speaking, and
    – No retainer or deposit, agents are willing to start to work with no assurance of compensation ever.
    Agents are afraid to discuss how clients can possible get what they don’t pay for.

    • Mike

      March 4, 2010 at 2:28 pm

      I don’t know too many agents that worry about the few hundred dollars that we will make by selling you a home that is slightly more expensive, so that is a monumentally stupid statement. If an agent is showing a buyer that wants to spend “around” $300,000, do you really think that many agents will “push” for the one priced at $308,000, just to pocket a few more dollars? And I do mean a few. My value is in providing an overall professional experience, that results in what they want. The value is in the future referal, not in a few extra dollars. Again, idiotic statement, and I’m not one for internet pissing matches. It just had to be addressed.

  5. Erica Ramus

    March 7, 2010 at 11:27 am

    We do the CN up front always. Many realtor do NOT do it at first meeting, even though it’s been the law for over 10 years now. We don’t always do a BA at first meeting, though. It depends…

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