Buyer Agency Agreements

[photopress:dog.jpg,full,alignright] Is there a difference between dogs and cats? When you take out a leash, a dog usually gets all happy because he knows he is going to go outside. When a cat sees a leash he usually has the opposite reaction (some exceptions, of course) and says, no way I am going to be LED anywhere!

So what do dogs and cats and leashes have to do with consumers signing contracts?

For many years, agents have insisted that the seller sign a contract for their services, and by and large sellers have been happy to do so. I have never had a seller say, “Can’t you just do what you do, without my needing to sign a contract?”.

A seller is more like a dog than a cat, and a contract is somewhat like a leash. Most dogs are more than happy to be on a leash, as long as the guy at the other end of the leash, keeps pace with WHAT THE DOG wants to do.

The reason it is not possible to represent a seller client without a contract, is because of the “3rd party” promise to pay. The seller via that contract and the seller’s broker, agree to pay the agents who show the property. Say I list a house at $500,000 and the “seller” offers 3% “in the mls” to the Buyer’s Agent. That’s $15,000. While it may appear on the outside that the seller is offering that money to the Buyer Agent in the MLS, he isn’t. The buyer agent is an unknown person and the buyer is an unknown person, at the time the property is entered into the mls. The seller is not putting anything in the mls, the seller’s agent is putting it in the mls and promising to pay the buyer’s agent. The agent would actually have to cough up that $15,000 from his own personal funds, if he didn’t have a contract signed by the seller at the time he put the “offering” in the mls. That’s a little too much to ask of anyone on a handshake, so a contract is required from the seller.

Back to sellers are dogs and buyers are cats. The seller has a known address to the “product”/the house. It is easy to get a list of “services and metres” specific to that house. Does it need some staging? Is it photo ready? Can we get 15 photos quickly after it is staged and edit and upload them…on and on. Specific defined things after viewing the product/house, based on that house’s strengths and weakneses. Pretty simple stuff to calculate from day one, for the most part.

Buyers on the other hand are cats. They do not know “the address” of the property at the outset. They sometimes do not know for certain whether they will be buying a brand new townhome (not as much work for the agent) or a single family home built in 1910 (lots more work for the agent). They sometimes don’t know if they are going to buy in Renton or in Juanita or in Greenwood. Sometimes they need to see some property before making some of these decisions.

So a buyer needs to roam freely a bit, without a leash, more like a cat, to gather the information needed to come to an informed decision regarding type of property, general location of property and ballpark price of property. A buyer may need to see property with an agent in Renton, a different agent in Juanita and a third agent in Greenwood, before having enough information to hire the right agent for their needs. Anyone who has been in this business for awhile, knows that they are sometimes a stepping stone, in a buyer’s journey to an informed choice.

The absolute worst thing that can happen in this country, IMNSHO, is for buyers to be required to sign a contract, just to SEE a house. First of all it is demeaning, and lacks the respect and understanding of the industry, and its differences. It’s trying to put a leash on a cat, and pretending the cat is a dog.

41 thoughts on “Buyer Agency Agreements

  1. Great post. As a buyer agent, it is not a bad thing if a client has to “roam freely” and even look outside of your geographical area. As an agent you should build the customer relationship into a client relationship, become a trusted advisor, deliver value added services first and most likely you will be asked if you know of a great agent to work with in another area. Referring out is great.

    Asking a customer to sign a buyer agency agreement right off the bat does not send the right message. It seems yo suggest your needs are more important than theirs.

  2. Jeff

    You say:

    “Asking a customer to sign a buyer agency agreement right off the bat does not send the right message. It seems yo(sic) suggest your needs are more important than theirs.”

    If all the BAA does is protect your commission, I agree. However, a BAA can be mutually beneficial for both agent and buyer and provide written assurance that the agent will perform certain tasks for the buyer. It also can be the basis to create clear expectations as to the role the agent will play. If done the right way, it is not disrespectful. It is professional.

    To Ardell’s point about cats and dogs…I used to have a cat named Felix who could play fetch. Felix was raised with dogs and I think he actually thought himself a canine. On the other hand, there are plenty of stories of dogs that are raised with cats who exhibit cat-like tendencies. Sellers and buyers behave the way they do because they have been conditioned to behave that way by the industry, not because they have some genetic makeup where one will gleefully sign a contract and the other will not.



  3. Russ,

    Clearly every buyer is someday a seller, so genetic makeup is not the issue.

    The seller can sit in his yard after signing a contract and watch all the agents come as a result of that contract. A seller gains all of the attention of every member of the mls, who may have a buyer for his house, when he signs a oontract.

    Conversely, the buyer loses the ability to see a house without that specific agent. Huge difference. A cat needs to jump up and run, sometimes across several neighbors yards, when it sees a bird with pretty feathers. The cat doesn’t wait for his master to come along with the leash to do so. The bird may be gone by the time they can make such arrangements.

    The sellers house doesn’t move…the buyers new home moves and changes to something else all the time. A seller’s contract brings him many agents; a buyer’s contract restricts him to one agent. Not the same.

  4. “Conversely, the buyer loses the ability to see a house without that specific agent. Huge difference”

    You are right. Key phrase – “that specific agent”

    Can’t the buyer call another agent? Can’t the buyer call the listing agent? Can’t the BAA be tied to just that home? Isn’t setting the stage for the “relationship” with that client more important than running out to open a door?

    Having said that, if an agent wants to show a couple homes to a buyer before presenting the BAA, that’s fine. If that lets them decide if they want to work together, that’s also fine. What’s wrong with the “no BBA” picture is that after showing one, three, five houses, and forming the “relationship”, the agent still does not present the BAA. At that point, the parties have either decided to work together or not. If the former, their relationship AND EXPECTATIONS FOR PERFORMANCE should be documented in writing. This one simple change in behavior would solve a lot of the public’s perception about agent’s not earning their way.


  5. Ardell, this may be semantics, but I would think a sellers contract brings many buyers not agents.

    Russ qualifies ‘if done the right way’ the buyers contract/agreement can work for both parties.

    A buyer will continue to ‘look’ for properties and if they are unhappy with their agent they can exit the agreement not unlike a seller. Just like we give our sellers a signed release of listing should they wish to terminate, that can done with buyers.

    Once again, edcuating the clients of their options would seem to me as the solution.


  6. Ardell,

    I enjoyed your post. While your analogy (and especially the cute picture) made me chuckle, I completely disagree with your opinions.

    I agree with Russ that the only reason there may be some hesitancy on the part of buyers to sign a buyer agency agreement is due to conditioning. It is something relatively new that buyers are not used to doing. My company’s buyer agency agreement sets forth no fewer than sixteen separate services which we perform on behalf of our clients. A buyer agency agreement can and should be mutually beneficial for both agent and buyer. As Russ indicated, the buyer agency agreement creates clear expectations as to the roles that both the buyer agent and client will play, providing written assurances to the buyer that certain tasks will be performed, and ensuring the buyer’s loyalty to the broker provided that those tasks are in fact performed. The bottom line, in my opinion: professionalism.

    Why in heaven’s name would I invest my time (we all know time is money) and share my expertise with a buyer, without the expectation that I will be compensated for my time? Maybe insisting upon a signed buyer agency agreement comes more naturally for me, because I am also a practicing real estate attorney. As Abe Lincoln said, “A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock in trade.” Why should it be any different for a real estate buyer’s agent?

    When I explain at an initial interview that our company requires all clients to enter into an exclusive buyer agency agreement, I sometimes bring up the analogy of the listing agreement. Sellers do not hesitate to sign an Exclusive Right to Sell with a listing agent. Not just because the industry demands it (by and large), but because it makes sense. Why would the listing broker go through the trouble of listing and marketing a property if the seller had the ability to sell the property themselves and not pay the broker a commission?

    When I outline for potential clients all of the services they can expect us to provide as buyer’s agents, and then explain to them that we cannot provide all of those services without a legitimate expectation of compensation, it usually makes perfect sense to them. They understand that business is business, and fair is fair. Signing a buyer agency agreement just makes sense.

    I don’t believe the reasons you have set forth as to why buyers shouldn’t be required to enter into a buyer agency agreement are legitimate. In my opinion, if a buyer agent is unable to provide a client with the information needed to come to an informed decision regarding the “type of property, general location of property and ballpark price of property” which would be most suitable for that client, then that buyer agent is not doing their job.

    Ardell, your objection to requring a buyer to enter into a buyer agency agreement is nothing more, in my opinion, than the tail wagging the dog (or maybe the tail wagging the cat, in this instance). I would humbly suggest that perhaps your opinion towards buyer agents is demeaning, and lacks the respect and understanding as to how professional buyer agents should operate within the industry.



  7. I think Ardells attitude will change when the listing agents/sellers stop offering a selling agents commission. I feel very strongly that the only offer by the seller to the selling agent will be to include in the sales price the contracted rate between the selling agent and their client up to X% or a dollar amount. Once the guaranteed money is gone every agent representing a buyer will have an agreement or not get paid.


    You may have noticed that most every post here talked about being professional. Just like the post I made the other day. Agents are under the microscope right now and if the level of professionalism is not stepped up then the industry will have a rapid downward spiral.

  8. I support the idea of using buyer/agent forms or contracts or whatever. So far though I haven’t had to really use one, or really had the need for one.

    I do see this biz changing though real soon. It won’t surprise me if not only am I taking a signiture on a contract with a buyer, but maybe I’m also taking a retainer.

  9. All people expect to get paid for the work they perform on behalf of another. Unfortunately,many realtors are quite uncomfortable in talking about the financial agreements, therefore the agreements are being assumed. As an industry and as individuals we need to talk about the actual money we make in the industry because the assumptions are that we all make a million dollars a year, that we can actually sell someone a house they don’t want to buy, and that we are so self serving we cannot serve our clients. POOOOEEEEYYYY!
    I work hard for my clients, I work nights and weekends, I educate, I communicate, I coordinate, I protect, and I represent. I expect to get paid for my work I do for YOU! That does not make me greedy or self serving, it recognizes my professional value. I request my clients to sign Buyers Agency Agreements, because my time is valuable and my paying clients, understand our professional relationship, and appreciate that I focus on their needs. Inundating myself with pro-grata does not serve them. I am very clear with them, they can fire me at any time for any reason.
    The real estate market is changing and that is good for everyone. The new markets are opening in response to needs in the market. I do not serve every potential client in the market. BAA’s are not for all buyers or realtors. Just the ones that value the professional relationship they are in.
    Professionally Yours,


  10. Well, let’s see.

    What does a buyer agency agreement say about what a buyer is supposed to do, if a property comes on market, and their agent isn’t “free” until the day after tomorrow?

    What does it say about the agent who refuses to ever work on Sunday. The buyer pops into an Open House and the Open House agent says, “We have an offer we are presenting tonight at 7:30. Have your agent submit the offer before we present the one we have in hand.” Buyer’s Agent’s voice mail says they will accept calls beginning Monday morning at 8:30.

    An offer can be faxed to a listing agent wherever they are. I have sold a listing in Florida from Phila., I have sold a listing in PA from Florida and I have sold a listing in Florida from CA. But I can’t SHOW a house in Seattle, if I am in California.

    Listing contracts are NOT the same as a Buyer Agency Agreement, because you CAN sell a listing when you are not around. You CANNOT show a house when you are not around. People who say they are the same are either dense, or hoping others are dense enough to believe it.

  11. Stefan,

    Last I looked, a buyer in the State of Michigan, where you practice, needs to have a written agreement with a buyer agent in order to be represented. Unlike our laws where all agents represent buyers except the listing AGENT, not company.

    So in your State, and given your EBA status, I totally agree that you need to have buyer agency agreements to represent buyer clients.

    Is the default position in your state sub-agency?

  12. Ardell is at it again, and like I was saying before, it all comes down to hear being scared that she’s going to appear too tough in front of the clients and they’ll leave. You’re one of the very few agents who don’t like buyer agreements, and most of the others who’ve said that all have the same reason: Oh, but I want to build trust, or some other wussy stuff.

    If I advertise myself as a buyers agent, I won’t show a random house to a random person just to appear kind and earn the business. That’s desperate, and those agents get used by lookie-loos who just want to check out the house.

    Every buyer I meet has to first talk to me and we sit down and have a dialogue about their needs and what I can do to help. Once we decide we will work together, a buyer rep agreement is signed. It becomes part of a multi-part strategy of weeding out the people who aren’t serious, and insuring that they get the service they demand, as well as that I get the commission I deserve.

    I wouldn’t sign a buyer rep agreement with someone who just wanted to see one house anyway. I wouldn’t even talk to those people.

  13. My agreement says they can fire me if I don’t perform to their expectations. I have no intention of locking people into working with me and then do a half-assed job. With that kind of arrangement, how can the buyer lose? Give up? You lost the argument, Ardell.

    What does a buyer agency agreement say about what a buyer is supposed to do, if a property comes on market, and their agent isn’t “free

  14. Jim,

    Why do you need an agreement? People have been buying homes for many, many years without signing an agreement with an agent to see houses. Why all of a sudden is this so important? If they can fire you anytime they want, why do you need an agreement? If they have the same ability to walk away from you with one, as they do without one, why do you need one?

  15. Don’t you think it is a bit demeaning to call a person who is thinking about maybe moving…a “looky loo”. I just spoke with an 80 year old man who had no intention of moving. He wandered up the street to an Open House and decided to buy it. Was he a looky loo? Or would he only have been a looky loo if he went back home without buying it? Should someone have made him sign a contract before letting him in the house?

    Come to think of it, when I bought the house I own right now, I had no intention of buying a house. I was training a new agent and brought her here to an Open House. Weeks later I decided to buy it when I was showing it to someone else. Was I a “looky loo”?

    At the point when someone is willing to sign a contract, you don’t need one. Someone decides to work with you and you agree to work with them. It’s as simple as that. What is the purpose of making it more complicated?

  16. I agree with you, Ardell. I have never liked or used Buyer-Broker agreements. By and large, the agreement is not seen by the agent as a way to memorialized the services to be offered, but a way to ensure loyalty. For the same reason I see prenuptual agreements as counterproductive, the Buyer-Broker agreement can send a very negative message and set the relationship off on the wrong foot. We are about to get married; why should we start planning the divorce? I want to work with buyers who choose to be loyal because they trust me and value my services. If I have to beat them over the head with a piece of paper to “ensure” loyalty, our relationship is already in big trouble.

  17. I’ll jump into the fire as a first time buyer and say this thread is scaring the crap out of me. Granted, I know nothing about the legalities of it all or even what these contracts contain, but it would definitely put me off if I were forced to sign something just to prove my worth as a buyer, to “be weeded out” that way. How would I know what I should sign and when I’m being taken advantage of? When we’re ready to move forward, we’ll find an agent who’s in it with us, not looking out only for themselves.

    BTW, ,love the blog. As a Seattle resident especially, it’s given me some good information and things to think about as we figure this whole thing out. Thanks.

  18. Kris,

    You don’t have to beat anyone over their head with a BBA. It is only there to ensure IF YOU WISH to get compensated for your time. If you don’t want to enforce the agreement you don’t have too. If you want to tear it up you can. If you want to include a clause that the client can “fire you” you can. BUT when you show a client a house and provide services to that client then some slimy unethical agent says hey I’ll write it up for you and only charge x% and give thousands of dollars back to you. Bottom line is with a BBA you have away to get compensated with out it you are SOL.

  19. Allen,

    Thank you for ratifying that the REASON for the contract, is to ensure payment to the Buyer Agent…which it DOES NOT do, BTW. I say, if an agent continuously has problems not getting paid, because buyers run away after he shows them homes, it’s time to get better at what you do…or find another line of work.

  20. Ardell,

    If you think the only Buyer Agreement in use is the one provided by the MLS then you need to step out of your turtle shell. Your posts keep saying your progressive when you are about as old school as they come. Look in the mls you are starting to see listings with scaled commissions to the buyers agent. I think very soon you will see no commission to the buyers agent or a small percentage made available. The remainder will be up to the agent to contract for. You can put your head in the sand now because if you don’t get you dialogue and contracts figured out you will be working for free very soon.

    Also in your comment :

    What does a buyer agency agreement say about what a buyer is supposed to do, if a property comes on market, and their agent isn’t “free” until the day after tomorrow?

    So when you go out of town or are unavailable for a day there is no one watching your business? Scary

  21. Allen, I have absolutely no problem with no commission to the buyer’s agent without a written contract with the buyer. Worked on that arrangement just last night. Doesn’t scare me one bit…so stop the fear monger tactics. I negotiate commissions with buyers all the time. I just leave it up to them whether or not they want to put that in writing or agree to it on a handshake or email.

    As to who is watching “my” business, that is not the issue when discussing buyer agency agreements generally. Maybe the buyer has SOME SAY in who they want to look at property with if I am not available…don’t ya think!? How come the buyer get’s to be switched out to someone else, to insure the agent gets paid? Maybe someone they don’t like? Maybe the buyer should have some say in that little detail…

  22. Ardell,

    Got to thinking, what other “professional” services are performed without some written contract betweent the service provider and the client.


  23. I absolutely know for FACT that most buyers are not better served with a written contract, and most agents want them to chain a buyer to them whether they are good or not. If an agent isn’t good at what they do, a signed agreement isn’t going to help them get better.

    Being good at your line of work, and being professional, are not necessarily synonymous. What’s your definition of professional? Are all lawyers professional? Are they all good at what they do?

  24. There’s no question mark on your post. What’s the question? And while you’re at it, since I can’t answer the question without your definition…what’s a “professional”.

  25. Allen, See Emma’s comment before yours and you will know why I see little positive value in the BB. With it I run the risk of, as she so eloquently put it, “scaring the crap” out of the buyer. Without, I am not SOL, as you so eloquently put it. I have yet to close a buyer side transaction for which I was not paid (although, at times it felt that way 🙂 ). And the times a buyer has chosen not to work with me, a BB would have made absolutely no difference in the outcome.

  26. Kris,

    What will you do if there is no selling agent commission offered by the seller? Is it going to happen I think so? If limited service companies are going to be giving the commission away and making the listing agent do all of their work we will see the selling agent commission as we know it today a thing of the past.

    If the industry was going to be the same as it is today I wouldn’t be putting my 2 cents into this conversation. I love the traditional buyer agent relationship and would hope it would never change. But changes are happening and they are happening fast. In your area of California we have many clients who have been showing properties to buyers and when the buyer goes in for his/her mortgage the loan officer tells the client if they let him write up the deal they won’t have any loan fees and will receive a lower rate. More loan officers are getting their real estate license then ever before.

    If agents aren’t preparing to do business in this new environment they will be left behind and out of money.

  27. Ardell


    OK, now you see the question mark. As for the term professional, you decide who rates in the same category as real estate agents.

    What other excuse are you going to provide for not answering the question.


  28. Dr. Kevin Boileau in a recent Inman article Real Estate Ethicist (registration required) has defined “Real Estate Professional”. He says, “there really is a technical, traditional definition of “professional” status, which includes three criteria: 1) specialized knowledge; 2) group identification and membership; and 3) agreed-upon education and training, including ethics training, certification by examination and continuing education.”

    Membership in the local MLS is not enough. I believe membership in a professional organization such as the National Association of Realtors is mandatory to claim the title “Real Estate Professional”, as it’s the largest real estate trade organization in the U.S. and includes ethics training.

  29. Marlow

    If that is truly the definition of “professional”, then agents would fall into the same category as other traditional professional service providers like doctors, lawyers and accountants. Every good doctor, lawyer or accountant that I have ever dealt with always had some form of written engagement letter or agreement that the client signed. Why are buyer agents so different?

    I will still give Ardell room to throw in any other “professional” to the list and the question remains, who doesn’t get something signed by the client to memorialize the relationship including (but certainly not only) with regard to payment????????


  30. Russ,

    You are missing two key points. One, the “payment” in a buyer agency agreement is redundant at least 95% of the time. Two, I will not allow a commission issue to stand in the way of a buyer getting the best house for them. So getting a contract that could in any way cause their primary purpose to fail, is against their best interest, and conflicts with my standard policy of practice.

    But to your question. Can I get a “professional” to work for me without signing an agreement? The answer is yes. Would the “professional” prefer to simply have the receptionist hand me a stack of papers to sign in advance, agreeing to the terms of the “professional” that is boilerplate for anyone who walks in the door? Of course he would. Do most people sign all that stuff, yes. Does ARDELL sign all that stuff? No.

    I recently hired a dentist to do over $10,000 worth of work. The minute I walked in the door, the receptionist handed me a stack of papers on a clipboard to “fill out” and sign. I handed it back to her and said I will look at that after I meet with and interview the Dentist. Were they stunned initially? Yes. Did they comply with my terms? Yes. I came to an arrangement with the dentist, including negotiating fees. I trust him to put his hands in my mouth, I trust him to charge me the agreed upon discounted rate, and he trusts me to pay him. Those are my terms.

    I completed what he needed, that being the legally required forms ONLY, including a signed medical history, emergency info in case I need a ride home, etc…

    So what does an Agent legally need to proceed and what does a buyer consumer need to protect themselves? It depends on the State. When I worked in a State where the default position was sub-agency, and lacking a signed buyer agency agreement from the buyer I would be representing the seller…yes, absolutely, get a buyer agency agreement to protect the buyer’s rights.

    Any agent in any State that reverts to sub-agency for the seller if the buyer does not sign a contract, should indeed sign a buyer agency agreement.

    In the State of Washington the buyer has much more to lose than they have to gain, given buyers are offered representation by the laws of this State. That being said, I certainly offer a written agreement to a buyer as an option, especially when I agree to a lesser commission that that stated in the mls. Then it is their choice. For some reason they would rather trust that I will charge the lower fee, rather than sign a contract. That is their right, and I have no problem with that. They have nothing to gain by having a written agreement, unless they don’t trust me to honor my word. I do try to confirm the negotiated fee in an email, for future reference and their protection.

    When the whole Country gets into the discussion, a generic answer is formed that isn’t locally relevant. In this State, at this time, buyers do not need to sign buyer agency agreements to receive representation. Any agent who wants a buyer agency agreement signed, should also be willing to negotiate fees, particularly with regard to bonus commissions. If the agent is not willing to forfeit bonus commissions, then the agent should not be asking a buyer to sign an agreement.

    No consumer should sign a contract with a professional without fully understanding what they have to gain by doing so, and what they stand to lose, if anything, if they don’t sign it.

    Just because a “professional”, even ALL “professionals” WANT you to sign something for THEIR purposes, doesn’t mean you should. So Russ, maybe every professional IN HINDSIGHT has been able to shove papers in front of people and get them to sign those papers. But this is Seattle…and most of the people here are too bright to not consider the pros and cons of doing so.

    Now Russ, what exactly does a buyer GET, HERE in the State of Washington, by signing one that they DO NOT get by not signing one? And don’t give me some generic “services and metres” answer. Can an agent offer an opionion with one that they can’t offer without one? Will the contract miraculously help them form an intelligent opinion that they would not otherwise have had?

    Is it the policy of any Company, in your experience, HERE in the Seattle Area, for a company to instruct their agents to ONLY give advices if the buyer has signed a contract, and NOT when representing them under the laws of this State? Does any company instruct their agents to “hold back” without a buyer agency agreement and “only do your work to the best of your ability” if the buyer is willing to sign a buyer agency agreement?

    I certainly hope not.

  31. Wow. This post took off. Have been busy the past week and have not had time to monitor.

    Ardell – Yes, I do disclose. This is all covered in the initial buyer consultation. When I refer, I continue to monitor the transaction to ensure my clients are being treated very well.

    Russ – Not sure how to take your post. If I do not have a buyer sign a buyer agency agreement (which can be broken at any time) I am not professional? There are many more substantial ways to convey professionalism as an agent than having a potential client sign a BAA. I present a description of services document. No signature, but an outline of exactly what my responsibilities are.

    Lauree doesn’t know it, but seems to illustrates my point clearly…

    “I request my clients to sign Buyers Agency Agreements, because my time is valuable and my paying clients, understand our professional relationship, and appreciate that I focus on their needs. Inundating myself with pro-grata does not serve them. I am very clear with them, they can fire me at any time for any reason.”

    And the point of the agreement?

  32. I could see the value of a BAA maybe 8-10 years ago when MLS listings were not available to civilians, but now when there are multiple websites that allow me to find homes faster than my agent, why should I guarantee a full commission to someone who fills out a few forms for me? Especially in view of the price of homes in the inner Seattle neighborhoods.

    We are currently selling for the 2nd time. The agent we are using is one who doesn’t use BAAs.

    When are most agents going to realize that developing trusting relationships, and not fear of losing a one time commission is what is going to earn them more $ in the long run.

  33. Ardell please take the ABR course a professional organization. I have never met a coach or trainer that frowned on a BAA.

  34. Well, I haven’t looked at this in a long time. Ardell, you seem to have kept your focus in this blog on the BAA. Much has happened in the market since 2006, I’d love to hear what you think about the buyers in today’s market. We have Uber inventory, historically low interest rates, a rare opportunity with conforming loan rates increased in 2008, and sellers preparing the homes for market much better and negotiating on the sales price and the inspection work orders. Where are the buyers in this premiere market?

  35. Ardell,

    I’m from Michigan and found this site while researching “Buyer’s Agreements”. An agent working with me has now insisted on my signing one after having shown me about 12-15 places over four Saturdays but I am reluctant to sign. In my search, I did not find any MI law that requires a buyer of a house in MI to sign such an agreement. Would you tell me if there is there such a law in MI?

    And in response to post #7. Stefan Scholl, I am leery of any agreement that says to me, “I want some security that I will be the one who benefits from your purchase if you make one. Without MY security, I will not work with you.” Why should buyer agents expect that kind of security? Car dealerships and other businesses that depend on sales don’t have such security as far as I know. If one is in sales, the risk of not benefiting from a purchase even after spending lots of time with a client is just part of sales. The trade-off is the potential reward of receiving a fairly sizable amount of money for, sometimes, relatively little work. Even if the agent only spends a day with a new prospective buyer, they would not receive less money if a buyer only needed one day to find a property. At least as far as I know. I don’t see why real estate sales should be any different than any other high risk/reward enterprise. “Have their cake and eat it too comes to mind.” (I.e. Lessor risk/same reward.)


  36. Karl, Realtors are not sales people, we provide a service. I am not there to receive your money and simply transact a sale such as clerk at the store. I represent your interests in the buying and selling of Real Estate. I know the process which is inundated with risks that can cost you great deals of your money. I am there to protect your interest and manage your risk. I am there to educate you in the market, clarify your needs and wants, tell you the things you may not want to hear, interface with a plethora of title, escrow, attorneys, lenders, buyers, sellers, legal contracts, earnest money, closing, inspections, family, marketing promotion, pencil the #’s, listen and position you to the best available success. I work hard for my well deserved money, you sir are taking advantage. Your values are present in this transaction, if you don’t need this realtor SERVICES, then stop wasting his time and let him find an employer that will pay him. Go to the open houses and when you find one you like, slap the money on the counter. Chi ching!

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