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A Buyer Brokerage Agreement

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Dear Phyllis,

I contacted a well-known La Crescenta Realtor last week to see a home that has been on the market for almost a month. This Realtor said we would need to sign COVID disclosures to view the home. The agent went on to say that he would also include a Buyer Brokerage Agreement. I wasn’t sure what that was, and he really didn’t explain it. We made an appointment for later in the week and the forms were put in DocuSign. The Realtor called the day before the appointment to reconfirm and remind us of the forms in DocuSign.

When my husband looked at the Buyer Brokerage Agreement, he was very confused because we contacted the seller’s agent. Basically, this agreement stated that we had to use the seller’s agent if we went ahead and purchased this home. This was never our intent as we have our own Realtor. When my husband called the seller’s agent, he told us that our agent could show us the home if we didn’t want to be locked into using him. But he was clear that he would not show us the home if we didn’t sign the agreement. I would think that with this home being on the market for nearly a month, the seller and their agent would want it sold. We haven’t bought a home in a long time, but isn’t the seller’s agent’s job to show their listing?


Dear Confused,

With COVID everything is different. There are disclosures that must be signed electronically prior to viewing a home. Realtors are not allowed to exchange paper at showings and meetings. Unnecessary showings are discouraged, and most sellers are requiring preapproval letters prior to entry.

If you are considering the purchase of a home, why wouldn’t you want the Realtor you know and trust to see it? Wouldn’t you want your Realtor’s opinion as to what price to offer? Their opinion on condition, future resale, etc.? How else can they offer you this guidance without seeing the home?

As open houses are no longer allowed, listing agents (the seller’s agent) have taken on the responsibility of many more individual showings. Showings are regulated to just one group at a time. Showings are now in blocks of time. It’s fairly complex. I use something similar to what a hairdresser uses to schedule appointments. Whether you believe in masks or not, Realtors are required to wear them for showings and we can all agree they are uncomfortable. In addition, we need to ensure that our clients have a safe way (gloves or wipes) to open doors when needed. Most of us have loved ones we want to keep safe, too and we are all trying to limit our exposure.

If you have a real estate agent who expects to get paid to represent you in a sale, they should represent you in all aspects. This means, they should begin with the most basic aspect of our job description: showing you property. That’s a basic part of a Realtor’s job description.

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