Note: This article references business practices in Middle Tennessee. Customs in your region may be different.
Should You Sign a Buyers Representation Agreement (BRA)?
I don’t know. What is it?
Ahh. This would be the first problem.
The BRA outlines the terms of the relationship between the agent and her client.
Ideally buyers sign this document at the start of the house hunt, but sadly, this important document is usually signed by all parties at the time of an offer.
Should you sign the agreement sooner? YES!
If you answer the following five questions in the affirmative, there is no reason for hesitation:
1-Are you serious about buying a property within the next 60 days?
Smart agents work with buyers who are committed to moving now (not when the child graduates from high school 4 years from now.) By the same token, buyers want assurance that their agent is working efficiently to find that perfect property in a reasonable time frame.
A signed BRA confirms the time frame for the move.
2-Have you and your spouse agreed on features and price of your new home?
If not, read this sad tale and complete the exercise at the conclusion. Your agent can’t help you if she doesn’t know what you want.
A signed BRA confirms the buyer’s preferences.
3-Have you completed a buyer questionnaire or had a lengthy conversation with your agent about your specific needs, the home buying process, and financing the home purchase?
A detailed discussion of the process saves everyone headaches (and heartaches) later.
A signed BRA indicates an understanding of the key issues involved in buying a home.
4-Has the BRA been explained to your satisfaction?
BRAs may vary from broker to broker, but include many of the same elements. For example, how is the agent compensated? What is the agent’s fiduciary responsibility to her client?
A signed BRA means the buyer and her agent understand their commitments.
5-Do you trust your agent?
If you don’t, get out of the car now!
Reviewing a BRA is an opportunity to clarify the client/agent relationship and discuss the expectations of both parties.
Don’t go house shopping without it!