Exclusive Representation Agreements are a hot topic in the real estate world right now.
What Is An Exclusive Representation Agreement?
An Exclusive Representation Agreement is an agreement between a real estate agent and their buyer client on the purchase of a home. It commits the buyer to working with that particular agent exclusively on the purchase of their home.
Some agents will actually require that their buyers sign these types of agreements before going out and doing showings with their buyers. Often times, the buyer showings are time and money consuming, and the agent will want to protect themselves from doing weeks/months of work to have their buyer then write an offer with another agent at the end of the day.
Should Real Estate Agents Require Their Buyers To Sign Exclusive Representation Agreements?
Tricky question… answers will vary.
I am personally not an agent that requires my clients to sign ERA’s, as I am a firm believer in the concept of “choice.” If I get out and show a buyer a few homes, and they’re not happy with my level of expertise or knowledge, they should not be forced to continue working with me. I am willing to “bet” my gas and time expended during that first meeting on the fact that the client will want to work with me.
Different Types Of “Exclusives”
There are actually a few different types of “exclusives” that buyers and agents can agree to.
A time period “exclusive” states that for x amount of time, the buyer is electing to work with a specific agent, and the agent may be entitled to a commission for any homes found during that time period (even if the purchase doesn’t close until after the timeframe).
A specific address “exclusive” means that the agent will be entitled to a commission if a specific property is purchased, regardless of timeframe. These are usually used when the agent has the inside information on an off market home, and is able to get the client inside for a viewing before the home is active on the local MLS.
An area exclusive is pretty similar to the specific address, but just encaptures an entire area or zip code. These are often used when agents send out “i have a buyer” letters to a lot of homeowners in a specific area in an attempt to find an off market listing for their buyer.