You are told from the beginning of your training as a real estate professional (assuming you go to a brokerage with training) that you need to utilize a Buyer Broker Agreement with all of your buyer clients. This agreement not only specifies your compensation (generally the same as what’s offered in the MLS but not always) but also that the buyer in question will be working with you exclusively.
I’ve used the agreements sparingly over my first three-plus years. In fact, I probably can count on one hand the number of times I have used it. Most of the time, especially early on, it was a fear of losing the buyer that kept me from doing it. There’s also the thought that a handshake’s still supposed to mean something in this world … that was the speech I used for one client recently who did sign one.
Today was the perfect example of why such agreements are necessary.
Last week I had a buyer referred to me. They were planning on driving areas on their own yesterday and scheduled an appointment with me for this morning.
Except they weren’t driving areas on their own. They were meeting with another agent who also had responded to their initial e-mail inquiry. After meeting with this agent they decided to use his services; even if they’d met with both of us, he would have earned the business because he responded before I received the referring e-mail.
(Can anyone say procuring cause? But that’s another story for another day.)
What’s funny is I had been sitting at my desk debating whether to pull out the Buyer Broker agreement when I saw the e-mail canceling the appointment. When someone schedules a dozen showings in multiple areas I usually bring out the form – I’m not a taxi driver, after all, I’m a professional real estate agent.
Use of this form once helped me fight off an after-the-fact referral fee from a relocation company. The client had found me online, contacted me, they signed the agreement, I showed them houses and a month later the relo company wanted a referral. Too bad.
Today’s story has a happy ending in that as soon as I told my daughter my appointment had canceled and I’d be home she jumped into my arms for a huge hug.
But it also has led me to the conclusion that I should not work with any buyer unwilling to sign off on a Buyer Broker agreement. If they can’t or won’t commit to working with me, I have clients who will value my knowledge and expertise enough to do so.
As for overcoming objections, that’s what blog posts are for.