One thing homeowners can resist when considering an agent is the buyer’s broker agreement (BBA). The BBA is relatively new to real estate, and many prospective homeowners are wary of signing a contract with a relatively unknown quantity: their real estate agent. However, there are ways to make the BBA work for you.
The first step is to interview several agents before deciding on one. You want an agent you can talk to who is genuinely excited about finding you the home you need (and hopefully contains some of the “wants” too!). You should feel comfortable with your agent so don’t hesitate to ask questions. Also, it makes sense for your agent to feel safe pointing out things you may have overlooked or not considered. You need a combination of approachability and assertiveness in your agent, but different people adapt to different combinations.
Understanding what the BBA entails is imperative so that you know what is expected of you, the client, and what is expected of the agent. A BBA doesn’t mean you have to buy a house; It means that if you buy a house within the time period specified in the contract, the agent you sign with receives a commission. However, the essential details of the contract may vary.
Read the contract! Many misunderstandings occur because the client does not take the time to review the contract and see if they fully understand and agree with it. Request a sample that you can highlight and scribble, so you can get clarification or request a change. The time you spend on this is time you will save on clarifying and discussing later.
When in doubt, look into the details. If in doubt, ask for a clarification or a new wording of the contract. It is awkward, to say the least, to realize that you have to pay a commission even if you find the property on your own and the agent has not been involved at all. Keep in mind that the agent, after spending a lot of time and gas money showing you houses and researching properties that might interest you, won’t be thrilled about losing a commission on her “miracle house.”
Don’t be afraid to negotiate. A contract is to clarify what conduct has been agreed upon between the client and the agent. Anything until you sign is negotiable, such as the length of time the contract specifies, retention of rights to purchase a property “for sale by owner,” and warranties. Also feel free to propose a “knowledge period” where you spend a specific amount of time searching for properties or discussing your goals before hiring the agent.
Requires a guarantee. If an agent doesn’t work for you, or you don’t work for the agent, you won’t be represented as well as you could. When it comes to the amount of money most people invest in property, this is a serious problem. Get a guarantee that allows both of you to walk away if things go wrong.
Many brokers require a BBA before they start working for you. Since most brokers work on commission, they can’t afford to spend time and money on someone who probably won’t buy a home with their services. At the same time, you mba need some assurance that your broker is working for you and you won’t end up paying someone who didn’t do their job. Being informed and knowing what you want to see in a contract and buyer’s broker agreement can be one of your best tools in finding the home you want.