Buyer Agency involves completing a Buyer Agency Agreement wherein you agree to give one agent or one brokerage the exclusive right to represent you in finding properties to make offers on. There are other types of agency agreements, however, the Exclusive Right to Sell Agreement is what most realtors use to create a buyer agency relationship. Most buyer agency agreements are for 6 months, however, a buyer agency agreement can be any length of time. The agreement must be in writing and have a specified beginning and ending date and provide for commission rates.
The Exclusive Right to Sell Agreement could be just to show 1 property, or could be for a day, a month, or a year or more. It is typically for 3-6 months. If a property is not purchased or a contract accepted within the time frame agreed to, then the agent is discharged, and each party goes their own way. However, if the agent showed a property to a buyer during this period who later ends up making an accepted offer after the expiration of the right to represent period expires, the discharged agent is still owed a commission if the agent was the procuring cause. This agreement is for the protection of the real estate agent – You as a buyer agent find a ready and willing buyer, but the seller and buyer get together directly and agree that they will each let their respective agreements elapse and then enter into a direct agreement and cut the agents out of it to avoid any agency fee’s.
In some cases, an un-represented buyer will call a listing agent and the listing agent will show the property to an unrepresented buyer and then go on to represent both the seller and the buyer. In that case the listing agent becomes a Transaction Agent, or Disclosed Dual Agent, and in this capacity does not advocate for the individual interests of either the buyer or seller. The agent’s responsibility is to do the paperwork only and answer whatever questions the buyer and seller may have. Transaction Agency or Disclosed Dual Agency is not something to be recommended because you pay all the fees of a full-service listing, but do not end up being represented at all. It is highly encouraged that you have a selling agent and buying agent involved in every sale with each agent advocating the individual interests of their client. This is going to provide the best representation to both the seller and buyer and result in the best overall outcome. Agents love to represent both the buyer and seller because they get double the commission. Do not let this happen. Have your own real estate agent. Better yet, have a real estate agent that is also a lawyer be your buyer agent, particularly when the property being purchased, or circumstances surrounding the sale, are more complicated, or require higher levels of risk and due diligence to make the transaction successful. Let me be your buyer agent and fully represent your interest as a buyer agent and lawyer.