Understanding the Buyer-Broker Agreement

Real Estate Agent with Homebuyer Representation, Inc. DRE# 5467433

When selecting a Buyer's Agent, you will often be asked to sign an "Exclusive Buyer-Brokerage Agreement" (or something of a similar title). This title does not (necessarily) mean that the agent you are hiring will be an "Exclusive Buyer's Agent," working solely on your behalf, on any home you wish to buy. The title (and the document) means that you are exclusively going to use this Broker for your home purchase.

At the signing of this agreement, many Buyers sign away specific beneficial and legal rights, often without even knowing it.

Utah's Exclusive Buyer-Brokerage Agreement includes an option to Allow or Dis-allow your Agent to act as a Limited or Dual Agent. Many agents will gloss over this section of the agreement by saying something such as: "This is the part where it says you will allow me to help you buy a home listed by me or my company. Just initial here."

In reality, by agreeing to Limited or Dual Agency you give up certain protections that you would not give up if you directed the Agent and Broker to work exclusively on your behalf.

Allowing your agent or broker to be a Dual-Agent is legal in Utah, but you should know that it is a choice and you should be aware of the implications of that choice.

When you find yourself in a transaction where your protections, services and benefits are limited, it can be disconcerting. If you have signed a legal document allowing your Agent or Broker to act as a Dual, or Limited Agent, it can be downright frustrating. Where can you go for help? Nowhere. You have already designated that agent or broker as your Buyer's Agent and allowed them to offer you limited levels of service as part of your agreement.

When a Buyer works with the Listing agent, they are not getting the highest level of service or protection available:

  • The Listing Agent's job primarily was to sell that home at the highest price.
  • A Dual-Agent cannot negotiate on the Buyer's behalf.
  • Any information that was disclosed to the Listing Agent and therefore to the Seller prior to the Dual Agency being entered into (say, at an open house) can and will be used against the Buyer.
  • Once the agent becomes a facilitator, the Buyer loses key protections of having an exclusive agent - In Utah, the agent cannot even suggest an offer price to the Buyer.

You no longer have an advocate, you have someone who delivers paperwork between you and the Seller.

As a Buyer you can lose in many ways. The obvious are:

  • Price
  • Terms
  • Protection

Signing a Buyer-Broker Agreement establishes certain duties and legal obligations that the agent and broker are responsible for. As required by law, we ask all clients to sign an Exclusive Buyer-Brokerage Agreement, but we do not ask them to authorize us to practice Limited or Dual-Agency.

If you want the highest level of protection, regardless of the home you choose to buy, at no additional cost, MAKE IT CLEAR that you DO NOT authorize the Agent (or Broker) to diminish your rights, benefits and protections by turning you from a client that is owed full fiduciary duties into a client that receives anything less via a dual-agency relationship.

Should the Broker really receive the same compensation when they lower the level of services and benefits they will provide you? Shouldn't every Buyer have the right and ability to choose to be fully represented in their home purchase?

Buyers do have the right and ability to choose to be fully represented in their home purchase, unless they sign that right away by agreeing to Limited or Dual Agency.

By hiring an Exclusive Buyer's Agency, you are hiring a Brokerage that does not list homes. When you sign a Buyer-Brokerage Agreement with our company you will guarantee the highest levels of service and representation. You will not be asked to forfeit those rights and protections.

Homebuyer Representation, Inc. is an Exclusive Buyer Brokerage serving Salt Lake and surrounding areas. We do not list homes and don't represent Sellers. We work for you on the Buying side of the transaction at all times.

For more information, just call us at (801) 969-8989 or contact us via the link on this page.


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Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

In my opinion a Buyer Agent working with a Buyer without a Buyer Broker Agreement is equivalent to a Listing Agent working with a Seller without a Listing Agreement!

Nov 28, 2010 12:42 AM #1
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Benjamin Clark

Buyer's Agent - Certified Negotiation Expert
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