Every realtor-related entity is scrambling right now to train agents how to get their buyers to agree to a contractual relationship where the buyer pays the buyer-agent commission.

It would all be well and good – and be similar to the listing agreement we have with sellers – if it weren’t for the paragraph in red above that allows for cancellation by either party. Even if the parties agree to Exclusive Representation, the buyer can still cancel with a 30-day notice (in C1ii). Both boxes on the left need to be checked to eliminate the option to cancel.

The big problem is that listing agents will be advertising to buyers to come direct to them to buy their listing and not pay ANY commission.

Will agents be able to convince buyers to sign the Exclusive Representation with no cancellation? Or will it be a happy compromise just to agree to representation that they can cancel at any time. Yes, the happy compromise will be preferred, mostly because it is so clearly laid out on the form.

But it means that the minute the buyers see a hot new listing advertised as No-Fee-If-You-Come-to-Me, they will cancel their existing buyer-broker agreement and go direct to the listing agent.

Buyer frustration builds quickly even if you have a great buyer-agent because the good deals or cool houses are competitive and almost all picky buyers will lose a few bidding wars before they win one. Buyers don’t like losing houses they had their heart set on winning, and the temptation to go direct to the listing agent – especially when you can save the fee – will be very high.

I’m guessing this will all blow over in a few months because listing agents will be advertising to buyers directly – leading with the No-Fee-If-You-Come-to-Me mantra – and it will expedite the industry’s transition to single agency, and eliminate buyer-agents altogether.

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