Buyer's agency contract: what it is and how it works (2023)


A buyer's agency agreement is an agreement between a home buyer and a real estate broker or agent. The contract covers the relationship between the buyer and the buyer's agent, such as the agent or agencyplywood, the duration of the term and the exclusivity of the contract. It's crucial to understand how a typical buyer's agency agreement is structured so that you can protect yourself during one of the most important purchases of your life.

Whether it's the glittering skyline of New York City, the mountains of Durango, Colorado or the peaceful Westlake area of ​​Hanoi, Vietnam, there are incredible opportunities to buy property around the world. In most cases, regardless of location, people will choose a real estate agent to help them find a home or investment property that is right for them. In the American market, manypotential home buyersYou will sign what is called a "buyer's agency agreement" to protect your agent or agency of choice. (Or just the one who called more than the other guys).

This agreement generally covers the search, display and closing of a home. It may also contain more legal terms associated with the relationship, such as the ability to terminate or non-avoidance clauses. Like any industry, real estate has its rule-following benefactors as well as shady speculators. A buyer must understand this legal agreement to avoid signing something they might later regret.

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Buyer Agent Agreement 101

As mentioned above, the buyer's agent agreement is the agreement between the potential buyer and the agent who will represent them in the purchase, also known as the buyer's agent. The agreement defines the relationship and how the two of you will work together. These are some of the terms you should be familiar with in a buyer agency contract.

Exclusivity: exclusive or non-exclusive

Exclusivity will be the main goal of any agent looking to hire a potential new buyer. Exclusivity means that you will work exclusively with that buyer's agent and will not be represented by any other agent when purchasing a home. The real estate market at the time will likely define how much the agent pushes you into an exclusive buying agency deal. For example, if the market is hot, the broker is likely to demand exclusivity in their time management and risk/reward philosophy. If the housing market is sluggish, the buyer's agent may not ask you to sign one as there is a shortage of buyers.

Basic contract terms

What is the buyer looking for? If you are looking for a place in Denver Colorado, are you looking for a single family home in zip code 80224 or an apartment in downtown LOHI? The terms state what the buyer wants and what the real estate agent handles on their behalf. For example, some real estate agents have agreements that they will assist on an A-Z level during the closing, while others do not.

Period of time

The term of the buyer's agency agreement addresses two issues: how long the buyer will search for homes on your behalf, and the period of exclusivity. For example, if you've signed a buyer's agency agreement that runs through December 2022 and there's an interesting property listed in February 2023, that agent is under no obligation to let you know about it. The exclusivity term explains how long you are exclusive with that agent. You may be in a situation where you are only exclusive for a few months, but the agent agrees to represent you on a non-exclusive basis for the remaining months of the deal.


Majorityreal estate agentwill work on commission. This does not mean that there are no realtors who work in a more hybrid way, but the real estate commission is in charge. Where does this commission come from? In most cases, it is paid by the seller's agent to the buyer's agent. They split the commission depending on how much work or access the other has. However, in some cases, the buyer's agent may charge an additional fee directly from the buyer as a "success fee". However, this is much more common in other parts of the world than it is in the United States.

professional advice

In the US, a typical commission for a built or occupied property is around 5-6%. However, this is not definitive and may vary by market. An agent might even ask for more commission to close a deal. Also, if a developer sells a property directly through an agent, the commission may also be higher or lower.

termination clause

The termination clause in the buyer's agency agreement is like a termination clause in any contract. I like moreclauses, explains how the contract will end and how it will affect the relationship of the two parties in the future. In many cases, something will need to be done in writing to terminate the contract.

Non-avoidance clause

A non-evasion clause, also known as a separate non-evasion agreement, or NCA, is a clause that allows an agent to protect himself. If the agent has presented some properties to the buyers, the buyer cannot bypass them by going directly to the seller/agent or the seller. In most cases, this clause applies long after the original agency agreement has expired. For example, if you viewed a property through an agent, after three years you went directly to the owner, there is legal precedent for the agent to sue you with an NCA.

Buyer's Agency and Dual Agency Agreements

Adouble agencyit's not as common as it used to be, and in fact, it's illegal in some states. A dual agency means that one agent represents both the buyer and the seller in the transaction. More often than not, it is not an individual agent, but an actual “agency” that represents both the buyer and seller. You can sign a contract with an agency and have different agents work for both the buyer and the seller.

The reason this is illegal in some states is that it represents a conflict of interest. These are the states where dual agency is illegal.

INSERT MAP, Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Texas, Vermont, Wyoming

The buyer's agent must act in the buyer's interest, and the seller's agent must act in the buyer's interest.seller's interests. According to Jamie M. Curtis, an agent at Sotheby's International Realty who has acted under dual agency terms before, you need to be aware of potential pitfalls.

Buyers and sellers need to take a lot of initiative for dual agency to work well. That's why it's not ideal in most transactions. As agents, we have a duty of loyalty to our clients, so it's difficult to maintain objectivity when there are opposing forces. Most real estate agents will offer a commission reduction to sellers if they land the buyer. That's why sellers are willing to forego a higher level of service to save money. But what they can save in commissions at the end of the day can result in a lower purchase price, so it's important that everyone knows what they're giving up in dual agency."

While not ideal, a dual agency can have some advantages, as the agent wants to close the deal anyway.

How to Find a Home Without a Buyer's Agency Agreement

If you don't want to sign a deal, your phone may be ringing non-stop with offers to represent you. But if you are sure you don't need a buyer's agent, you canhe cango free There are a few options for getting a home without signing a lease, including:

Go directly to a listing agent

If you know a realtor or see a roadside sign you like, you can buy through them without having to sign a buying agency agreement or buying broker agreement. Buyer's agents are not absolutely crucial to the process, and if you know of a listing agent with a good selection of properties, you can go directly to them. It's certainly better for that agent as they keep all the commission instead of splitting it with the buyer's agent.

Do you want to buy a home and think you have your mortgage ready? You might think again after looking at some alternative options below.

Buy direct from builder/developer

If you arebuilding a houseor buying an apartment off plan in a development, you are buying directly from those who are building something that did not exist before. In that case, you can find the developer's website and contact him directly. They may be required to have a listing agreement with a listing agent who handles all of their sales, but you are free of the buyer's agency agreement.

professional advice

Most people use a buyer's agent because that person has relationships with other agents, knows the neighborhoods, andprice fixing, access to MLS listings and negotiation skills. If you go without one, you might struggle without a professional to help you.

Buy in Execution/Auction

Foreclosed and auctioned properties are opportunities to get great value without having a buyer's agent show you the properties. A lot of times this will happen at an auction where you have a guy with a sledgehammer bidding on the house. You may experience other issues withbuy a houseat auction, such as quality of ownership and potential liens, but you don't need a buyer's agent to facilitate the transaction.

Buy from someone you know

If you buy the condo your childhood friend grew up in, you may not need an agent on either the seller's or buyer's side. Must have a title company and possibly areal estate lawyerto ensure the transaction is legally valid, but no agent is required. This is more geared towards people looking to invest in real estate rather than looking for their forever home.

Different markets have different quirks.

It's worth noting that all real estate markets will have their own quirks with buying agency agreements. Take the famous New York City Market, for example. According to Nicole Beauchamp, a brokerage for 20 years focusing on the New York City market, “It's worth noting that people can often confuse agency disclosure forms with the buyer's agency agreements. In NYC, we have some disclosure forms that buyers and sellers must sign. One of them is about agency so that the buyer/seller understands the different forms of agency and also the different forms of dual agency.”

frequently asked questions

What are the essential elements of a buying agency contract?

A buying agency agreement is effectively an agreement that defines the working relationship between a buyer and the buyer's agent. The essential elements of a buying agency contract are the basic terms dictating exclusivity, term and commission/payment. Many will also incorporate termination clauses and non-circumvention agreements.

Is a purchasing agency contract required?

No, buyer's agents or buyer's agency contracts are not required. In fact, there are several ways to avoid signing purchase agency agreements and purchase brokerage agreements.

What type of contract is most commonly used as a buyer's representation contract?

An exclusive buyer agency agreement is the most common form of buyer representation agreement.

What is an important benefit for a buyer if he signs a buyer representation agreement?

The main benefit for the buyer is that you will have an agent who will work tirelessly to find you the property you want, earning you a commission. Remember, your family needs to be fed too, and in order to feed that family, they need to close your sale. That starts with finding the right property for you.

main topics

  • A buyer's agency agreement is an agreement between a home buyer and the broker or agent they work with. Buyer agrees that Agent may represent Buyer as "Buyer's Agent" in the transaction.
  • The agreement will usually dictate basic terms such as exclusivity, term, commission/payment, as well as termination clauses.
  • Although dual agency still exists today, it is illegal in some states. This is because of a potential conflict of interest when an agent represents both the buyer and the seller.
  • It is not always necessary to sign a purchasing agency agreement. You can go directly to the listing agent, buy at auction, buy from someone you know or buy directly from a developer/builder.
View Article Sources
  1. What is an Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement? –National Association of Exclusive Purchasing Agents
  2. Working with a Purchasing Agent –Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection
  3. Guide for First Time Home Buyers -superdinero
  4. How Real Estate Agents Get Paid: Real Estate Commissions Explained -superdinero
  5. The Most Common Home Buyer Mistakes -superdinero
  6. 10 Smart Questions to Ask a Realtor When Buying a Homesuperdinero
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