Profile picture for SellSellSold

How do you convince customers to sign a buyer agreement?

  • September 23 2010 - Burlington
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Answers (17)

Don't make it part of a systematical process.  You should always earn your client's trust, develop a professional relationship and report so when you ask them to sign the contract your clients understand and respond naturally and in a trusting manner. 
  • October 14 2010
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I think asking someone to sign a contract the 1st or 2nd time I've seen them promising that  they'll work with only me for the next six months is the most preposterous idea I've ever heard of.
t don't ask them to sign that agreement until we are close to writing our first contract. 
By the time I bring it up,  I have established a strong relationship with them and there's no problem. 
I have lost one client by waiting.   My policy is, if someone doesn't want to work with me, I'd let them out of any written contract anyway. In this instance-other than the regret over working for nothing, it was mutual.
I realize this is not to the letter of the law...and.....as far as I'm concerned,  it is one of the most rediculous parts of the real estate industry.

  • September 27 2010
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Profile picture for sunnyview
"If you're able to articulate your value proposition to customers and they're capable of understanding the value you bring to a transaction, they'll follow your advice."

A buyers agreement is not about value for the buyer. It is a contractual hammer to keep the buyer tied to the agent. Any buyer who accepts the "value" argument without considering what happens if the agent does not perform may be in for a rough ride. Agents do add value and I think most buyers appreciate that, but signing away your right to walk if your are unsatisfied with your agent's services is foolish. Mutual agreements should be about clarity and fairness not unilateral control.

I respect and appreciate my agent enough not to walk without cause and I would hope that they respect me enough as a client to allow termination with reasonable notice.
  • September 27 2010
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If you have to convince anyone to do anything, you're probably better off not trying.

If you're able to articulate your value proposition to customers and they're capable of understanding the value you bring to a transaction, they'll follow your advice.
  • September 27 2010
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I think having an agent is valuable, but I would never hand any agent a blank check in the way of a multi month buyers agreement. Most buyers agreements are written to benefit the agent not the buyer. Signing one does nothing to guarantee that you have a good agent, but it does mean that you are stuck with them even if they do not perform.

If buyers choose to sign a buyers agreement, I think that they should always limit the term to no more than 30 days or to specific houses shown and understand that there is no way to cancel the agreement that is not explained in the contract itself. Relying on agent representations about what it says or how to cancel is foolish. Read the contract for yourself before you sign and be aware that not all agents ask for an agreement to work hard for you. I have had terrific representation. I have never signed a buyers agreement and have always remained loyal to my agent. I appreciate their time and professional services.
  • September 24 2010
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When I first started out in this industry, getting prospective buyers to sign the buyer/ broker was a big challenge for me. I didn't want to scare prospective clients off by making them feel locked into a 'contract' right away. However, as time went on, and I learned from my experiences, I realized how important having the buyer broker really is.

Not only is this a great way to differentiate the serious buyers from the browsers, but in the long run, you will gain more respect as a real estate professional by letting them know that your time is valuable, and while you are willing to give your clients 100%, you also require some level of loyalty in return.

I've kicked myself many times for not getting that buyer agreement until I overcame my fear and realized that it was simply a necessary part of working with buyers. Now it is second nature as part of my meeting with new buyers.

  • September 24 2010
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Profile picture for Debo Cornett
I find providing my potential buyers with a Buyer's Packet geared to them is the best tool for setting the stage for our relationship.  I explain the Working With Real Estate Agents, pointing out the 3 ways I can operate and showing how there's only one way I can operate on their behalf, and that's as their Buyer's Agent.  Without an agreement in writing, they have no way of assuring that I, or any Agent, am working on their behalf.  That seems to drive the point home.  In the introductory letter (in the packet) I state that I will show them two properties within a particular area before I require the signing of a Buyer Agency Agreement.  That gives us both the chance to verify we are a good match for working together.  I ask them if they are in agreement to that before we start.  Often, after going through everything with them, they are ready to sign the Agreement then, knowing that from that point on, they can share information with me, knowing it will be kept confidential, and I will be working on THEIR behalf.  If, after that point, they don't see the advantage of working with an experienced real estate professional, I will wish them well and conclude our time together and move to the next "motivated" Buyer.  I've more often than not, found the buyers who are most resistent to sign an agreement are the ones who aren't truly motivated to buy and often don't, even after countless hours and miles driven.  Most Buyers, who are truly ready to buy, are anxious to have the help to find the perfect property for them and don't hesitate signing an Agency Agreement.  I've even had Buyers change their mind after I explained that I do not work without a signed Agency Agreement and was "setting them free".  Unfortunately, potential clients often think we're clamoring to get any warm body out there, and when they realize we're too busy with real Buyers and Sellers to waste our time with unmotivated clients, they suddenly see your services as more valuable.  I'm sure you've found that not every Buyer is ready to be a Buyer, and this has been one of the best ways I've had weeding out the Buyers from the Testers. 
  • September 23 2010
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Profile picture for the_country_hick
Rose, Some buyers do know as much as perhaps more than some real estate pro's. The pro may know more about local data regarding sales #, % and DOM. Do not confuse being able to find and share numbers with knowledge of real estate itself. 

Look at my profile. Look at my blog on "questions I would ask before buying any property". Then tell me you could write something as thorough or with more problems pointed out. I am just a simple buyer who learned a lot over many years often by coming across problems with properties and concerns about areas.

To your posted question, how can you convince a buyer to sign an agreement? Give them $100 if they sign. Explain how guaranteeing that you can not be fired if you do not live up to their expectations and how the buyer guaranteeing you a 3.5% commission even when the listing only offers 2% is a help for them.

If you can not do that, just forget the bloody contract and work with them in a way that makes them want to stay with you.
  • September 23 2010
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr

Can you post a link to your buyer agreement form? The only one's I have seen have been written to really protect the REA by locking the buyer into an exclusive agreement - often with no outs other than those that can be exercised by the REA.

I really think that if the agreement cut both ways (i.e., protected both the buyer and REA interests), then it'd be easier to demonstrate the value of the agreement to the consumer.

  • September 23 2010
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Profile picture for broker_GRI
Rose,

RE contracts vary so widely from state to state it would be difficult for most of us to advise without knowing what exactly your states buyer/broker agreements actually have to offer potential clients.



Today's consumers have more access to information than ever, even to the point of potential overload.
Our roles while constantly changing remain fundamentally the same, to guide, protect and provide.

Well Informed consumers is the the very best thing to have happend to our industry.

There are many sales training classes you can attend to "overcome objections".
  However, if you can not find the value in the agreement, you will have a hard time convincing customers.
  • September 23 2010
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By making sure the seller realizes the value and integrity you bring to the table. If you show marketing knowledge, community knowledge and experience and real estate knowledge you've done all you should have to do. After meeting and interviewing each other to see if you can work together, Why would they not sign (smile).

Steve Queen

  • September 23 2010
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Teach them that you, as an agent, are out to help and protect them in making a smart purchase.
  • September 23 2010
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
Since most buyer agreements only protect the REA, why should a buyer sign one? Maybe it would help if you could show how the agreement also protects the buyer by spelling out the services, and the conditions under which the buyer can unilaterally terminate the contract.

"Although having the internet is fabulous, many clients think they know more than us."

And, what makes you so sure they don't? Granted, many consumers are sheep, but some actually take the time to educate themselves and may know as much, or more, about their intended transactions than you do.

"With multiple websites like realtor.com and zillow.com, they feel that they can get enough information from there."

There is, often, at least enough information from the various web resources to at least get started. Granted, the MLS still presents an advantage, but...
 
"I think also that buyers don't want to wait for the buyer agent to fit them into their schedules."

And, why should that be a surprise? As a buyer, I'm working a job to earn the money to buy the house that pays your commission. When I hire you, I am assuming (within reason, most of the time) that you are going to work to my schedule - not me to yours. Why? Because I am the customer, the key to your paycheck.
  • September 23 2010
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Profile picture for SellSellSold

Although having the internet is fabulous, many clients think they know more than us. With multiple websites like realtor.com and zillow.com, they feel that they can get enough information from there. I think also that buyers don't want to wait for the buyer agent to fit them into their schedules. Often times people will call the listing agent to show the house and then ask for buyer representation later. You know how awkward and frustrating that is for everyone!! Thanks for you're in put...

  • September 23 2010
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Hi Rose: I wish we could have that type of agreement in Puerto Rico. Getting back to the question, just show your prospects that you are the best with all knowledge about trends, neighborhoods and mortgage basics. I'm sure they will sign anything even blindfolded. John
  • September 23 2010
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I don't think you can convince buyers of anything, as they resist being pushed. 

I think you just have to know the market, understand real estate and just explain the value that you can bring to them.  If they see value in your services the buyer agreement is not a obstacle.

Erika in Orlando
  • September 23 2010
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You mean other than holding a gun to their head?

j/k

In TX we have a 1 page form called "Information About Brokerage Services" that we MUST present at a first face to face meeting with a prospect.  It's very straight forward and explains who the agent represents if they don't have an agreement in writing for sellers or buyers.

About 90% of the buyers I deal with don't have a problem signing it.  It's what you make the terms of the agreement say that matters.  They see the value they get from having their own advocate.
  • September 23 2010
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