Why are you asking me to sign this form?
By Amy Webb
In the world of buying and selling of real estate, there is a lot paperwork to review and there are many forms to sign. Some of these document are quite familiar to the consumer: for example, the “Exclusive Authorization to Sell,” commonly called a “Listing Agreement,” which is signed when you hire a broker to help you sell your home. But there is one form that seems to raise a lot of eyebrows: the Buyer Broker Agreement.
As of July 2012, Virginia code requires that brokerage agreements between real estate brokers and their buyer clients be in writing. This requirement for a written and signed buyer broker agreement differs from state to state, and is a big departure from the past, when these agreements were often verbal. We used to work “on a handshake,” but no more. Some consumers are wondering, why the change? Why is she asking me to sign this form when I didn’t sign one the last time I bought a home?
Most simply put, the Buyer Broker Agreement – or the officially named “Exclusive Right to Represent Buyer Agreement” – is an employment contract which memorializes the parameters of our brokerage relationship and the details of my employment by you. The form outlines what sort of property you are seeking and where, it lists my duties, and it covers critical issues such as how I am paid, designated agency and single agent dual agency (a practice which Nest Agents don’t engage in).
This process of reviewing and signing a Buyer Broker Agreement forces us to have an important conversation about a somewhat complex topic. Having the conversation gives me an opportunity to answer your initial questions about agency, about the home buying process, and about the specific services I provide. It ensures that you enter into our relationship with an understanding of the process and how I fit in. This initial conversation is also a great opportunity for me to gain understanding of your previous buying experience, as well as your unique concerns and priorities. This conversation is central to transparency, a core Nest value, and lays the groundwork for a productive collaboration, culminating in a successful and low stress purchase experience for you!
I have every real estate buyer sign a buyer broker agreement before I take them to see homes for sale. Often, we will sign a very short term agreement. Sometimes it will be for just a 24 hour period. I consider our one day buyer broker agreement like a first date: if you decide I am not for you, that’s ok, but if you want to see me again, you’ll need to sign an agreement covering a longer period of time! At Nest, we are big believers in the value of the written Buyer Broker Agreement because when you hire one of us to be your buyer’s agent, you are hiring someone who will represent your best interests in a professional, dedicated and ethical manner, with a focus on transparency, effective communication and client-focused service!
Amy Webb is an Associate Broker with Nest Realty. Amy loves her work and enjoys injecting levity into the process, but never takes it lightly. Teamwork, effective communication, and openness are her touchstones and building long term relationships is her goal.