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Should I sign a Buyer Agency Agreement?

Real Estate Agent with Realty Station

Another excellent question from a client today!  "Should I sign a Buyer Agency Agreement?"

The answer is - Probably, but it depends.....

First, remember that Agency rules differ from state to state, so if you are not buying a home in Washington State, Bremerton, Port Orchard, Silverdale, Poulsbo or surrounding areas, you will need to clarify agency laws in your state.

Most clients will want to sign a Buyer Agency Agreement.  In the contract, make sure your agent spells out exactly what you can expect from them.  For example, what type of home will you be finding for them, and where will the home be? How long will it take them to return your phone calls or emails?  How does their payBuyer Agency Agreement in Washington State structure work?

In Washington State, you do not need a written contract to establish that a particular agent is your Buyer's Agent or Buyer's Representative.  Some people are hesitant to sign such a contract, and I can understand the reasons why. 

What if you sign a contract with a Buyer's Agent in Kitsap County and then find out that the agent really has no idea what they are doing?  Or that they don't know the area?  Or perhaps they are too busy to help you?  Excellent reasons to spell out certain things in the contract ahead of time...

If you do not want to be contract-bound to an agent right away, ask them to take a day to meet with you and perhaps show you homes for sale in Bremerton, Silverdale, Port Orchard, wherever, for a day before you decide whether you will work together successfully.  As an agent, I want to make sure that we will make a good team before I agree to work with you and you agree to work with me.  It is in both of our best interests.

Before you sign anything, always read it and make sure you understand it!  In Washington State, if you sign a contract, the courts usually interpret that to mean that you have read the document, that you understand the document, and that you agree to the terms in the document.  If you don't understand what you are signing, make sure you find out.  Asking questions is a good thing!

So in most cases, yes, you will want to sign a Buyer Agency Agreement.  It protects not only the agent, but you, the buyer, as well!


Kristi DeFazio
RE/MAX Advantage - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Rea lEstate 719-459-5468

I firmly believe in the buyer's agency agreements. It gives the agent more responsiblities to that buyer. I think it is a win-win- unless you don't like the agent, then find one you do and sign with them.

Feb 16, 2009 11:32 AM
Eileen Hsu
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

Buyer agreement agency will hold both buyer and the agent accountable to each other. I think it is a good thing to have for both parties!

Feb 16, 2009 11:33 AM
Antoinette Galindo
Alain Pinel Realtors - Burlingame, CA

I definitely believe in a buyers agreement I agree with Eileen Hsu it does hold the buyer and the agent accountable to each other-I think most agents have a hard time with this due to being uncomfortable with asking a buyer to sign an agreement

Feb 16, 2009 11:38 AM
Brent Johnson
Chase International South Tahoe Realty - South Lake Tahoe, CA

Great blog, I have never used a buyer agreement before. I will have to think about using them!

Feb 16, 2009 11:43 AM
Tim Taggett
Temecula - DC Self Inc - Temecula, CA

I firmly believe in a buyer's agency agreement because how can a person expect a commission based individual to give them full speed ahead if the client is not willing to commit to that agent.


During the hotter markets and even a lot today in our market you will find someone that comes around "wasting" a persons time and then turns around and writes up an offer with a family member or long time friend.


I think as a good Agent there is no reason that a client can not cancel the agreement if they do not like working with that particular agent and even though I have never had a buyer that was presented on not sign, I have also not had anyone after signing one not want to work with me either. They are not something to be signed the very first time you meet someone however after the first day of showing there needs to be a commitment on both sides, the client and the agent.


Great Advise Marlene!

Feb 16, 2009 11:53 AM
Marlene Scheffer
Realty Station - Bremerton, WA
Realtor to Kitsap County, WA

Kristi, I think it is fear of being trapped with a poor agent that prevents some people from signing.  However, I have never had anyone refuse to sign one, for the exact reasons you give.

Eileen, I also think it protects both parties.

Antoinette and Brent, I find it interesting that agents are uncomfortable asking buyers to sign a contract.  NAR ethics actually require us to use a contract whenever possible.  Why do we use them for sellers and not for buyers?  Hmmmm.....

Feb 16, 2009 11:56 AM
Marlene Scheffer
Realty Station - Bremerton, WA
Realtor to Kitsap County, WA

Thanks, Tim!  I have had the same experience with Buyer Agency Agreements that you have had.  And do me a favor - go have a glass of Mount Palomar's Shorty's Bistro red for me.  Yummy!

Feb 16, 2009 12:22 PM
Tim Taggett
Temecula - DC Self Inc - Temecula, CA

Personally I have not tried Mount Palomar's Bristo before however am going to need to do that now that someone in Washington has even pointed it out :)

Feb 16, 2009 01:02 PM
Ilyce Glink
Think Glink Media - Chicago, IL
Best-selling author, award-winning TV/radio host.

Marlene- Great post on a topic I haven't seen a lot about lately here on AR. I think your advice was right on.

Feb 16, 2009 02:41 PM
Marlene Scheffer
Realty Station - Bremerton, WA
Realtor to Kitsap County, WA

Tim, I used to live in San Diego and toured some of ther wineries in Temecula.  Mount Palomar was our favorite, and it was less expensive than a lot of other wines in Temecula.  We actually carried a case of it with us when we moved to Washington.

Ilyce, Thank you.  I just find it amazing that agents, who are used to working with contracts every day, would be afraid to ask someone to sign a buyer agency agreement.  It is so important for everyone involved!

Feb 17, 2009 03:43 AM
Ray Mikus
Green Light Real Estate - Montpelier, VT
Green Means Go!


There are really two parts.  The first is whether a buyer wants someone representing their interests.  The second part is whether that person is you.  Buyers just about always want someone working on their behalf, and when explained as such, and unless the Realtor is a total dufus, the second part resolves itself. 

Oct 30, 2009 01:55 PM