The Toronto Real Estate Board recently posted the above video on their YouTube channel. While it does a good job of pointing out some of the reasons why one should sign a Buyer Representation Agreement, I thought I could expand on this a bit further.
For starters, here’s a list of some of the key benefits of signing a B.R.A. (this list and more info can be found on TREB’s website dedicated specifically to the B.R.A., www.brafirst.ca):
- Reassurance of the duties the brokerage owes to the buyer.
- Included in those duties is full disclosure of all property information known to the brokerage about a particular property
- These duties help to ensure that you receive expert, professional advice from your REALTOR
- A listing on the Buyer Registry Service, so selling REALTORS can find you easily because your home “must-haves” can be registered
- Peace of mind that your best interests will be protected
- Diligent and attentive service
What is a Buyer Representation Agreement?
Essentially, the B.R.A. is a contract between a real estate brokerage and a buyer. The brokerage promises to provide a set of services and owes the buyer a number of fiduciary duties (accountability, confidentiality, full disclosure, etc.). In return, the buyer agrees to work exclusively with the brokerage in their search for a home.
Among other things, the B.R.A. also specifies the geographical boundaries of the home search, the type of property being searched for (e.g. “single-family residence”), and the commission that the brokerage shall receive (which is most often paid by the listing brokerage or the seller).
If I sign a Buyer Representation Agreement do I have to purchase a home?
It’s important to note that, while a B.R.A. is an exclusive contract, there is nothing in the agreement that says you must buy anything. I’ve had buyer clients change their plans, mid-contract, and decide that it’s just not the right time for them to purchase a home. No problem.
When should the Buyer Representation Agreement be signed?
Realtors are required to have a B.R.A. signed prior to their buyer clients signing an offer-to-purchase a property. Generally, it's best to have the B.R.A. signed and dealt with as early as possible so that everyone involved is fully aware of the all aspects of the buyer-agent relationship.
While there are some realtors out there who won’t even step foot into a property with a buyer client until they’ve signed a B.R.A., I personally like to go out once or twice with them before we make that commitment. It’s a two-way street and not only does a buyer have to be comfortable moving forward with me as their realtor, I need to be comfortable with taking them on as a client.
If you've got any questions about the B.R.A. or would like a more detailed explanation of its contents, feel free to give me a shout.
If you’re thinking of making a move and would like to know how I can help, feel free to contact me for more info.