Why You Need a Buyer’s Agreement EVERY TIME

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There’s nothing more frustrating than spending a lot of time showing homes to a buyer, only to have them decide it’s not time for them to make a move right now.

Wait – yes there is. There most certainly is.

It’s even more frustrating when you spend time showing a buyer a bunch of properties, and then they DO buy – with someone else.

That’s why you need to protect yourself with a buyer’s agreement.

Protection Through a Buyer’s Agreement

A buyer’s agreement protects you, but it also protects a buyer by listing clear expectations from each party.

A seller generally has an agent protecting them and representing their interests. A buyer needs the same thing – not just to show a home, but to walk them through the buying process, negotiate on their behalf, and connect them to the professionals that can help finalize a deal.

As a Realtor®, you can’t afford to provide these services for free. Your time is valuable, and you don’t want to spend dozens of hours with someone only to have them make an offer through their cousin, or aunt, or some other random person.

It’s not in a buyer’s best interest to represent themselves, especially with a builder or FSBO. They simply don’t have the leverage to make the deal work out in their benefit, and are likely to be taken advantage of.

Talking to a Buyer About Representation

A lot of agents are afraid to require a buyer’s agreement because they think it will scare off the buyer. In fact, there are a lot of websites that unfortunately advise a buyer to avoid getting “locked in” to something that they may not want.

You can help your buyer understand the idea, however, by focusing on how it’s a benefit to them. Explain that you have the expertise to walk them through every stage of the process and that they are at risk if they try to negotiate alone.

Also, let them know that if they aren’t happy with working with you, they can terminate the buyer’s agreement. Create a notice window – perhaps two weeks – and make sure that any home you’ve already shown will still result in you getting a commission if they buy it.

At the same time, protect yourself by creating a termination clause on your end. You don’t want to be stuck with a nightmare buyer either – so make sure you can end the agreement if needed too. 

While it’s 100% true that a buyer’s agreement protects you from them wasting your time, you never want to say it this wayFocus on how the agreement helps them.

Make a Buyer’s Agreement Part of Your Process

Having a standard process for both buyer clients and listing clients will help make onboarding and working with clients much easier.

Just like you (hopefully) have a marketing process that includes updated business cards and print marketing, make a buyer’s agreement a part of your day-to-day operation. You deserve it – and so do your clients.


Do you insist on a Buyer’s Agreement? Why or why not? Share in the comments!


This post originally shared on PrinterBees' Real Estate Marketing Magazine.

Comments (3)

Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I will respectfully disagree, Nadine. I always explain agency upfront... but I do not put paperwork in front of buyers to sign too quickly. I've had more than one buyer to whom I sold a home tell me afterwards that one reason they decided to work with me was because I helped them without immediately forcing a contract on them. 

Feb 03, 2020 05:04 AM
Nadine Larder

I certainly respect that, if it works for you. However, often the ones who are resistant to contracts will be the clients you don't want... just in my experience.

Feb 04, 2020 11:38 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

GoodPoint Nadine, I had it happen both ways, some do not want to sign till they have our trust others no problem right away.

Feb 03, 2020 06:30 AM
Nadine Larder

I can see winning trust, I just definitely would not invest a lot of time showing homes until that trust - and contract - was there! 

Feb 04, 2020 11:38 AM
Joseph Doohan
Joseph Doohan - Las Vegas, NV
I offer business strategy advice for realtors

I found these tips really helpful and will certainly be sharing these with my clients. I hope you have a great week ahead.

Feb 03, 2020 06:35 AM
Nadine Larder

So glad you liked it Joseph! I hope you have a great week too. 

Feb 04, 2020 11:37 AM