House hunting is a time when you are preparing to make big financial commitments in your life. It can be overwhelming, even before your real estate agent asks you to sign contract after contract.
When a realtor presents you with a buyer-broker agreement, you should know exactly why the brokerage values that contract so much.
The buyer-broker agreement establishes the duties that both parties have to each other. The broker is bound to do their utmost in the effort to find properties for you and make all relevant preparations. As the buyer, signing such real estate contracts puts you in a position of exclusivity with that broker. You can not work with other brokerages during the terms of the contract, though you may request the services of a different agent within the same firm.
Buyer-broker agreements are also important in determining the procuring cause in a real estate transaction. Procuring cause refers to the party directly responsible for finalizing a sale, and this party usually receives an additional commission for doing so. When multiple parties claim to be the procuring cause, complex disputes tend to break out. A real estate agent making a procuring cause claim might use the buyer-broker agreement with their signature as proof of their entitlement to a sales commission.
Conflicts that might arise surrounding the circumstances of a buyer-broker agreement can be difficult to navigate. A real estate attorney can provide guidance for negotiating, enforcing or breaking a buyer-broker agreement on your behalf.