Buyers, you just spent 3-5 hours driving to your scheduled appointment with a real estate agent who has the listing on the property you want to see. When you arrive, the agent says “sign this or I won’t show you any properties”. How do you feel?
Sellers, your agent has just refused to show your listing. How do you feel? Frankly, chances are you will never know this transpired.
So Buyers, what do you do? Turn around and go home? Nope, likely you will sign that paper and likely without fully reading or understanding it.
You’ve just had a “Shotgun” wedding and you don’t even know your bride (or groom)! You’ve just entered into a legal and binding contract for a determined set of time with someone you don’t know and you are starting off your search for one of the most important purchases of your life in an enforced relationship! How do you think the rest of your decisions are going to go with your new “bride” (or groom)?
There is no requirement, no law or rule that says you must sign a Buyer Representation Agreement before an agent shows you a property. The purpose of the Buyer Representation Agreement is for you to hire an agent to work on your behalf to help procure an acceptable offer on a property of your choice. Would you hire someone to work for you at your workplace without an interview, or a series of interviews, or without seeing their resume? Would you buy a pair of pants without trying them on? No? So, why “get married” to someone you don’t know and may not like?
The difference between signing the agreement or not is that without a contractual agreement the agent can not give you advice. When you are just beginning your search you are gathering information–are you really at the stage where you need advice?
If you are looking at property with an agent without a signed Buyer Representation Agreement they must answer all of your questions to the best of their ability. Would this be adequate for your initial search? Would this give you an opportunity to get to know the agent? Would this help you determine his/her skill level, give you some insight into his/her personality, and allow you to make an educated decision regarding whether or not you want to continue to work with this person?
So, before you “get married” or sign that document determine what stage you are at in your relationship. Do you have enough information on this agent to make that kind of commitment? Are you comfortable with this person? Have you established a good and comfortable working relationship? If not and you are still being asked to sign, “try on another pair of pants”. Seek out a more suitable agent…there are others who will accomodate you (and on short notice if need be)!
Once you have had a chance to “try out” an agent, ask yourself these questions: Am I ready to buy and need advice? Does this person listen to my needs and wants? Does this person understand what I am looking for? Is this person answering my questions in a skilful and knowledgeable manner? Will this person look after my best interests and not pressure me into making an ill advised decision? Is this person genuine? Is this person successful?
If the answer is yes, then sign…and live happily ever after! You will have a much more comfortable mutually respectful relationship and you will ultimately have a happy purchasing experience. After all, this is a major purchase in your life…you want to enter into it wisely.
Respect and loyalty are earned…they’re not gained through pressure tactics or contractual obligations.
ALWAYS READ AND UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE SIGNING. If in doubt…ask for clarification and/or seek legal advise.
Watch for my next Blog on….
Northern Bruce Peninsula Trailer By-law
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Kathy Dimaline is a Real Estate Broker for RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc. The comments on this Blog are the opinions, only, of Kathy Dimaline and do not constitute any legal advice or legal opinion and does not represent the interests or opinions of RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc., brokerage.
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