IT HAPPENED AGAIN!!!
I just received an e-mail from a buyer I have been actively showing homes to for 16 months. We became fast friends and had a good time when we were out looking at homes. We've looked at everything that met her criteria. Mostly on weekends or early mornings because of her work schedule. Some homes we viewed more than once. Three times I wrote offers that were never accepted. Now she tells me she found a home through a friend of a friend that was for sale by owner and she bought it. WHAT! Oh, but she appreciates all I've done for her. HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN?
A similar scenario happened 2 weeks ago with a guy I had worked with for 6 mos. and went way out of my way to accommodate his every whim. Researching neighborhood declarations, deed restrictions, septic requirements, etc. In his e-mail, where he "just wanted to" thank me for all my help, he made it sound as if he bought a FSBO, when in fact, he negotiated a price directly with the seller, then used the listing agent to complete the transaction. I was furious!!! BUT in both cases, I didn't have an Exclusive Buyer's Agency Agreement. WHY? I didn't believe in them. How could I ask someone to sign something I wouldn't sign myself??? It simply wasn't fair.
This is a small town area and Buyer's Agreements are not common here. Not unheard of, but not used frequently. However, I've changed my tune.
I have children who are young adults and I asked myself.....If someone who did business in the same manner as I, honestly, ethically, and with a sincere desire to help buyers, asked one of my children to sign an Exclusive Buyer's Agency Agreement, would I be upset? No, I don't think so. After all, it's a commitment for both parties. Why wouldn't a buyer want an agent to commit to them?
Another thought I had was this:
If upon first meeting a potential buyer told me, "Oh, by the way, I just want you to know, I'm not committing to any one agent. I'm also looking at properties with Nancy Newagent, and with Patty Parttimer, and also with Frank Fullofhimself. Whichever agent finds me the home I want, that's who I'll buy it with.", would I continue to work to find a home for that buyer? Pffffttt! Doubt it! He's not committed to me. I'd rather focus my energy elsewhere. So why not get that commitment in writing?
Now I think differently. This business gets harder and harder and closed transactions are few and far between. It's a business, it's my livelihood and I no longer worry that I might offend someone by asking them to make a commitment. I've recently signed up 3 buyers and none of them batted an eye at signing the Exclusive Buyer's Agency Agreement. HOW COOL IS THAT? In fact, the first couple that signed an agreement closed on their home 2 weeks ago and referred another couple to me that just signed an agreement over the weekend. It really wasn't that hard. I just explained what I do for them and how the signed form protects my business and they totally understood. Better yet, I'm encouraging all the agents in my office to use Exclusive Buyer's Agency Agreements. They are reluctant, but then I can be relentless. They'll soon be playing my song!!!