A common question in my real estate sales rep coaching sessions goes as follows:

“When should I introduce a buyer agreement with my client?  I don’t want to scare them away, but I do want a commitment from them.”

It’s a fair question, and one that has plagued many real estate professionals out on an initial showing with a new customer. There they are after a property viewing, staring at their prospect, hoping they’ll appreciate this piece of paper that shouts, “I’m a contract and I’m going to lock you in!”

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No wonder they’re scared.

They’re scared because we talk about the buyer agreement as a form of commitment. A contract that ties them to us. It’s a hard sell, and the reason is because we talk about what we get out of it, and share nothing of value to the buyer.

If you’re talking about buyer agreements in terms of what you get out of it, then you need to stop doing that and promise never to do it again.

Think about it from your client’s perspective. If you were the buyer, how would you feel about signing something that doesn’t help you in any obvious way but does guarantee the sales rep gets paid?  You wouldn’t sign one, and nor would I.

Instead, focus on how the buyer agreement helps them.

Usually self-help articles stop here, but I’m going to go further in detailing exactly what you need to say. Tell them a buyer agreement:

  • locks me into helping to answer all of your questions, and fast!
  • means no more scouring the Internet for answers or for reliable phone numbers of random agents.
  • ties me into prioritizing you above my commitments.
  • gives you the flexibility to hire and fire if required.

Tell your clients that if they are not happy with the service they are getting, they can cancel the agreement on the spot and find someone else. They are finally in charge.

Tell them there is nothing more annoying than having to wait hours for an answer to a pressing question about a home inspection, from your licensed brother-in-law you promised your sister you’d use for your real estate transaction.

There are plenty more reasons that a buyer should demand a buyer agreement from you. I brainstorm them on my coaching sessions all of the time.

Follow my advice and take the fear out of the buyer agreement. Your buyers will actually demand to sign one!


  1. Ignorance……..
    TREB is not subject to RECO prosecution.
    Jason Mercer is not subject to RECO prosecution
    RE/MAX, LePage, C21, etc are not subject to RECO prosecution.
    CREA is not subject to any provincial regulators prosecution.
    What is the absorption rate of homes on TREB’s MLS system in September or October?
    What was the Failure rate of homes on TREB’s MLS system for the City of Toronto last month?
    The Public is not told what Days on the Market actually means for any re board.
    CREA only represents the Real Estate Boards and not the 109,000 members.
    Everyone actually believes Chinese Buyers are causing prices to inflate in Vancouver.
    Toronto’s Land Transfer Tax makes homes less affordable in Toronto even though TREB says 38,000 fewer sales took place at the same time TREB said price growth was because too few homes were available……………..there are 100’s more.

  2. Forgive me, Deep, if presumptuous regarding bio notations with REM article, but if your background does not include having been in the real estate sector itself, previously, or in the relative legal arena, it must be awfully difficult to coach in the industry. Ours is so different, compared to other sales venues, and start-up venture businesses. Not criticizing, just commenting.

    I don’t know, of course, how Ross dealt with his buyers; but for me, I developed a liability disclaimer that I presented to buyers if they sincerely wanted the subject property and were wanting and willing to pay above likely provable current day appraise-worthy market value.

    I also faithfully explained in as great detail as I could, that if they didn’t elect to stay in that property for some time or at least until would-be market value caught up to them, were they to ask me to resell it for them, a would be buyer might not find the same dollar value as most recently paid by my buyer, and as the new owners, might find themselves selling for less than they paid, and not to forget the resale costs involved adding to their opportunity of loss differential.

    Their decision, not mine, with their not being able to say they weren’t advised (warned).

    And that if their purchase price, were a mortgage be required, did not appraise according to their bank or other financial provider, the buyer might be required to come up with that differential in cash, in order to close; and to always consider there might be a string of other contracts in line, attached to the buy/sell circle of business that in the event of not being able to complete, due to overpaying, might expose my buyer to other possible pitfalls.

    Forewarned is forearmed. We cannot, or even be seen as attempting to, guide buyers into quagmire.

    All sorts of discussions prevail in those sorts of offer situations and it is vital the buyer understands entirely the position he is in or might be, dragging you, as his agent, along with him.

    Thus the need for the liability disclaimer, essentially stating that the buyer was not forced, coerced, or otherwise advised by the agent as to over paying possibility, and made all relative decisions of his own free will, volition, to increase his offer above asking price and/or market value, for any reason, not the least of which, in multiple offers, and saves his agent harmless in such situations. Repeat: That he made his decision of his own free will.

    Each rep decides how much responsibly he is prepared to take on with any buyer contract (or seller contract). If you feel your advice is going in one ear and out the other, and not being taken seriously, you might best discharge your client; cancel your contract.

    But the outside world, largely, and no matter how smart or well-educated, simply most often doesn’t understand contract law, and certainly most often has no idea of the inner-workings of our industry.

    Many don’t know what they need to know about what goes on behind the scenes, and others simply don’t care. They just want the house; for their own, sometimes unaccountable for, reasons.

    Carolyne L ?

    • No problem at all. Little more aboit myself: I’m responsible for Zolo Realty’s recruitment and coaching program. I’ve trained, mentored and developed over 200 licensed realtors in 3 provinces over the last 3 years. Before that I ran the online marketing for Zolo.ca which has lead to that site and our other brands taking majority maket share online. Great comments, by the way, Carolyne

      • Deep, I think readers want to know how long you were a licensed sales rep in Canada and how many buyers contracts did you fulfill.

        Without knowing that, we have no idea of your credibility or if you are simply another 3rd party entrant who does not understand the legal obligations or case law that must be constantly applied to how you practice buyer agency.

        What I do know is if your broker owner made a statement like “taking majority market share online” he/she would be in front of the provincial regulator right now.

      • BBA’s and corporate relocation …

        The paragraph in particular beginning with “I also faithfully explained…” Was a topic of immense usefulness in support of relocation clients.

        Buyers coming in to unknown territory perhaps, yes with corporate support, found they were not provided one on one real estate related support.

        Although the corporation protected them in some cases by insert clauses regarding “must appraise at not less than,” the whole package was sometimes easy to find wanting.

        So that’s where my role was useful. In particular because of my farming knowledge gleaned over the years where I made it my business to learn as much as possible, I was able to share real life, realtime buy/sell historical information that maybe others were not privy to.

        To introduce out of town buyers to specific locations that stood a better chance of holding resale value. Never guarantee-able but nonetheless useful in helping the buyer make a businesslike decision.

        A good chance that in three to five years they would be relocating again. I was simply building business for the future. Much has changed in relo over the 35 years of my experiences. But being helpful never changes.

        In many cases, relo buyers coming in through MLS transactions bought my listings but when they were ready to leave the area, contracted with me, for their resale, even when they had not been my client-buyers.

        They recognized how the seller from whom they bought had been professionally dealt with and they wanted the same. It happened time and time again even so I never contacted other agents’ clients. I was just highly visible in certain locations.

        Buyers who are treated well automatically provide resale business, filling in your pipeline down the road, as sellers, themselves.

        Many agents, who were simply handed a relo client because it was their turn on the rotating office roster, had no relo-specific skills.

        Some of you will remember Sue Ryan and SAR; her relocation course. She was a walking, talking relo rep. who taught a credit course on the topic.

        And often the relo buyer makes new friends of neighbours and other local business people. That’s how referrals are generated.

        As I have said repeatedly: For years I had no idea what I was doing that was different from what everyone else would be doing.

        But apparently I was doing things very differently. It took me years to put those pieces of the puzzle together. The difference was a boatload of little things. No one specific thing.

        The real estate business in the overall is a really just one more hospitality industry. Roll out the welcome mat, and let people know they matter. The money income level will take care of itself.

        Ross might be able to speak to this topic… Corporate relocation companies forbid their relo people from signing BAA’s, and they did not sign corporately. Likewise with SPIS paperwork. Verboten.

        I stopped accepting relo contracts a long time ago, because the corporate apparatus simply became unmanageable; and the fee structure did not support all the work involved on my end; the in office staff created a paper workload that was not practical, and in my opinion was often a disservice to their own clients. Just my own opinion of course.

        Carolyne L ?

  3. Ross you are a spin doctor no doubt about it. And I thought Harper used fear better than anyone to sway the opinions of others, but you use fear better than anyone by far. Buyers absolutely get faith representation, I see it day in and day out. In fact, one of my agents got a testimonial today from a client who praised him for keeping them from making some real bad decisions. To suggest otherwise is an insult to this industry, but again I get what you’re trying to do…build your consulting business.

    Your comments here make no sense and you seem to have your issues mixed up. And to suggest four years ago you knew no different? Come on Ross…really!

  4. There’s nothing in the agreement indicating they can fire an agent… that must be done separately. Otherwise, I think you nailed it… agents need to start realizing that the buyer is saying, “What’s in it for me?” and they will go along with it IF they see the benefit in doing so.

  5. If you have a good listing presentation you will get the listing. The same goes for buyers; if you have a good buyer presentation you will get a buyer’s contract. It’s all about showing the client value in what you do.

  6. Over 95% of the home selling infrastructure remains embedded in the Seller Beneficial model is was originally designed for, built around and has evolved behind. It is impossible for a Buyer today to receive Equal representation in a trade in real estate because Sales Reps don’t even understand the inequality that exists.

    The foolishness that is Market Value Pricing is rooted in the Seller Beneficial model and it will only be as the housing correction rolls out that the incompetence of Buyers side representation as practiced in Canada today becomes popular knowledge.

    I suspect the author and “sales trainer” of the article is not even aware of how lawyers view the Buyer Agency Agreement and how the courts commonly determine due diligence requirements for those entering such contracts with an unknowing consumer.

    I encourage all Brokerages to hold a seminar where on of the most experienced Real Estate Lawyers in their community presents a list of the obligations and legal implications their sales staff are entering into when they get these BAAs signed. Ask the lawyer to explain how the courts view such contracts and what the expectations any consumer is entitled to when such contracts are being paid for.

    Four years ago, I was no different that the normal REM reader. I was oblivious to how the real estate profession operated and how the government, banks and the public believed Seller Beneficial propaganda was the truth.

    As you continue to earn 50% of the commission paid in a trade of real estate by representing a buyer, you need to understand those buyers are not receiving Equal representation to what the Seller gets. It is simply impossible today and will remain so until a paradigm shift is forced upon the profession of real estate trading.

    Unfortunately Millions of Canadians have already been unnecessarily damaged while we wait for such a shift to take place. A lifetime of indebtedness, unfilled medical needs, children growing up with house poor parents and then retirement life where incomes are 50% or more lower because of the advice Canadian’s got when buying a home.

    Sadly you could have still sold the same number of homes, made far more money and prevented this devastation from happening but…….something got in your way.

    The home selling infrastructure itself.

    • Ross, I’d love to hear more. Would you consider holding a seminar yourself on this subject? I’m sure you’d get plenty of attendees.

      • Indeed, Ross is an expert to be taken seriously, (even when he speaks in jest). He knows facts and figures better than most people in the industry, and not just locally, but nationally.

        He can quote chapter and verse and has given heart and soul to the industry, often thwarted by peers who simply didn’t understand the industry at his level.

        Ross is a natural born teacher, and is often far out in front, with his prognostications. The industry needs to take him seriously. And worth whatever he would see fit to charge.

        Deep: some of your students may find this material useful. You can reprint it but the copyright must be acknowledged.

        I write all my own articles. Some regular REM readers have seen these before, over the years. Just sharing, not selling anything. Carolyne

        * Heads-up news on Buyer Agents and Buyer Agency
        (Have you already signed on the dotted line?)


        * Are You “Represented”?
        (is the agent who showed you the house YOUR agent?)


        * Commissioning an Agent


        * Best Price: Best Contract – read what your Buyer Agent needs to know


        * I Want To Sell My Brampton House
        (Best Price: Best Contract – read what your Seller Agent needs to know)


        Sharing and being helpful is not basking in ones own glory, no matter what some REM participants choose to believe…

        … a perfect version of Obama’s “grumpy cat.” I had never heard of grumpy cat till recently a political broadcaster used the term in a report, so I googled it. Oh, my! A face that speaks volumes! Precious cat…

        …anyone who has something useful to share would “want” to be identified, would they not? Not so as to debate a topic but rather to embellish it? And continue the sharing circle of reciprocity… as in – pass it on? Or even – pay it forward.

        Not in the spirit to bask in glory, as suggested in a recent post; could there be a little jealousy peeking through some comments?

        When certain obviously brilliant people resort to bullying, they really don’t demean others, rather it has a boomerang effect, and flys back to the sender, in kind.

        The more so if they, themselves, are brilliant and have something valuable to contribute to a forum, specifically so, on an industry based forum :) No need for antics.

        It’s sad that some people are not sated unless they are pulling, or putting, others down to a level of their own mediocrity and or Machiavellian ways.

        Anger can destroy people. Apoplectic, venomous repartee is not healthy. Heart attacks and strokes have been caused by less.

        It’s okay for us humans to be ordinary. By sharing knowledge and experiences, since we do only pass this way but once, some will choose the road less travelled.

        Carolyne L ?

    • “Four years ago, I was no different that the normal REM reader. I was oblivious to how the real estate profession operated and how the government, banks and the public believed Seller Beneficial propaganda was the truth.”

      I’m confused, are you not that second or third generation former practitioner (Registrant) guy we’ve heard so much from, here, on REM — if so, the above statement seems to be quite the unusual admission or claim? I was wondering how your buyer clients would’ve fared in competing situations back when you were a Registrant — did they usually win, lose or was it a draw if they didn’t prevail in a competing situation when you couldn’t support the price of a home, in your analysis? Are you enjoying something of a new-born status nowadays, where you’re able to disavow now what was going on around you back then during your, lengthy, Registrant days?

      I agree, you should hold a seminar!


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