Palm Springs Area Buyer/Broker Agreements


by Sheri Dettman, Resort Lifestyle Realtor

Enlisting the services of a Palm Springs area real estate professional is similar to using an accountant to help you with your taxes, a doctor to help you with your health care, or a lawyer to help you with legal issues. Just as your accountant, doctor, and lawyer work to understand your specific needs, an agent gets to know your real estate needs and concerns and will work with you to discover the property that’s just right for you and then will negotiate on your behalf.

The relationship that Palm Springs home sellers have with their listing agent is clearly defined when they place their home for sale. The seller’s listing agreement defines the relationship with the agent and clearly spells out the commission and terms.

Potential buyers typically sign buyer/broker agreements with their agent before viewing properties and of course before writing a purchase offer for a Palm Springs home. The buyer/broker agreement spells out who represents the buyer and outlines the agent’s duties and obligations to the buyer, agency relationships, broker’s scope of duty and any buyer obligations. Buyer/broker agreements can be non-exclusive or exclusive.


Non-Exclusive Buyer/Broker Agreements

Basically, a non-exclusive agreement allows a buyer to purchase a property through another agent or broker, as long as that property was not introduced by another agent first. The buyer is not committed to work with any one agent and the agent will not likely invest significant time and resources in helping the buyer under this type of arrangement.


Exclusive Buyer/Broker Agreements

This is the form that I and other top Palm Springs area agents use with their buyers. It is similar in scope to the non-exclusive form except that the buyer agrees to work exclusively with the agent. The buyer in this case cannot hire more than one agent to represent him/her and the buyer is not responsible for the commission if another party (such as the seller) pays it.

Entering into a buyer/broker agreement has a number of advantages for you.  When you sign the agreement, you are simply agreeing to “hire” a personal representative who, by law, must represent your best interests to the best of his/her ability. As a buyer, all of this personal service is available at no cost to you since the seller usually pays the agent’s commission.

Using the exclusive agreement allows top agents to be comfortable investing the considerable time and resources required to help clients find just the right property and then negotiating on their behalf.


Service Guarantee

Ask your potential real estate agent if she/he will release you from the contract if you find that the relationship is not a good match for you or vice versa early on. While agents are not bound to release you, most top agents will agree to release you and even recommend another agent that might be a better match.

If they don’t agree, then don’t sign the agreement. Professional agents give personal guarantees of client satisfaction. If an agent can’t give you that guarantee, then the agent likely doesn’t deserve your business.

Disclaimer: The above information is an overview and it is not intended to be legal advice or a legal interpretation of California Buyer Broker Agreements. If you desire legal advice please consult a real estate lawyer.

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