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Which California Buyer Representation Agreement is Right for You?

June 23, 2016

061716_01If you are planning to buy a home with the help and services of a Realtor®, you may be asked to sign a Buyer Representation Agreement. Before you sign, be sure you understand the different types of agreements that the state of California allows. Under state residential real estate guidelines, buyer agreements are available, but not required. Many Realtors® and their brokerage firms do include them as a standard procedure however. As a buyer, you can benefit from the protection these agreements provide, so long as you sign the one that best suits your needs. There are three types of Buyer Representation Agreements available in the state.

The first one is a general Buyer Representation form, known as BR-11. This provides a signed agreement between a buyer and their real estate broker or agent. This form provides a clear listing of the responsibilities of both the buyer and the broker in their established relationship. This form also provides written consent to a dual agency situation should it arise. This is something to approach with caution itself, as discussed in my blog post Ethics in Real Estate: Buying and Selling Agents. This form allows for a brokerage firm to represent both the buyer and a seller of a property at the same time. The third element of the BR-11 form is that it limits the time frame of any legal course of action taken against the broker. This is a non-exclusive agreement that can be revoked by either party at any time.

The next type of Buyer Representation Agreement to consider is a Non-Exclusive 061716_02Authorization to Acquire Real Property form, or NAP-11. This type of agreement includes the same features as a BR-11 form, but also includes some additional benefits for the broker firm and buyer. This type of agreement is non-revocable and ensures that the broker named in the agreement is compensated for services rendered. As it is non-exclusive, you as the buyer are not limited to working with one broker only. Be aware, with this type of agreement the broker is entitled to be paid based on agreed upon circumstances, whether or not they end up being the broker you use for buying your home.

The third type of Buyer Representation Agreement is the Exclusive Authorization to Acquire Real Property form or AAP-11. This also follows the procedures of the BR-11 agreement but unlike the NAAP-11 form, this one is truly exclusive. By signing you are agreeing to work with the signing broker only. This means that if you find a property on your own or through another agency, you will still owe the broker named in the agreement compensation.

061716_03The benefit of using a Buyer Representation Agreement is to outline all the responsibilities of each party before an offer is made. Clear communication is key to any home buying venture. These agreements help ensure this happens. Within the forms, specific circumstances and agreements between the buyer and Realtor® are set down so as to protect both parties. If you meet with a real estate broker and they request you sign an agreement, be sure to remember you have the right to say no if it is not the best agreement for you. I strongly recommend however, that as a buyer you do complete an agreement for your own protection and benefit. Before you sign, be sure to carefully review all the parameters of the agreement so you can sign it with confidence.

The California Association of Realtors is a great resource for understanding the different types of Buyer Representation Agreements in more detail. When you are ready to buy or sell a home, me and my team are ready to help you through the entire process. Our goal is to make your experience both easy and pleasurable. Contact us today at (925) 634-7820, or by email at realestate@cecily.com.

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