Terminating Your Buyer’s Agent Relationship

Posted by: Guest Contributor on July 20th, 2012

Part of a home buying experience is working with a buyer’s agent. Choosing an experienced and knowledgeable agent who specializes in the neighborhoods you are interested in buying is important. A good agent is considered someone who puts their buyer’s needs first by returning the buyer’s telephone calls or emails promptly, keeping the buyer advised of new properties that meet the buyer’s needs and criteria and negotiates the best terms and price for the buyer when the buyer decides to make an offer and purchase a property.

When an agent fails to deliver good service and the results the buyer is hoping for, or there is a personality conflict between the buyer and the agent, the buyer may become unhappy with their agent’s services and may wish to terminate the relationship. The buyer is free to terminate the relationship at any time, providing the buyer has not signed a formal written buyer’s representation agreement. However, there is a sense of moral obligation that may cause the buyer to decide to extend a courtesy to the agent by either emailing, calling or writing the agent and letting them know that they wish to terminate the relationship and the reasons why.

Buyer’s Representation Agreement vs. Agency Disclosure Agreement

Signing a buyer’s representation agreement should not be confused with a signing an agency disclosure form. An agency disclosure form is simply a disclosure and acknowledgment between the buyer and the agent regarding the agency relationship owed to the buyer and should not in any way be considered a formal contract of employment between the buyer and the agent.

Even if you did sign a buyer’s representation agreement, if the agent has not made an offer on your behalf on any properties that the agent showed you, chances are they will probably let you out of the buyer’s representation agreement anyway. Most seasoned real estate agents have encountered similar situations before. They are not really interested in working with someone that does not want to work with them. The only problem that may arise is if you end up buying a home that the agent showed you or negotiated an offer for on your behalf, and they can establish that they were the “procuring cause”. They may be entitled to receive a real estate commission for their services.

Procuring Cause

The definition and legal requirements of procuring cause vary from state to state. The National Association of REALTORS (NAR), the professional association that Realtors belong to, defines procuring cause when a broker’s efforts are the “foundation” upon which negotiations in a sale commence. As a member of the NAR, Realtors are held to a higher stand of conduct and ethics in conducting their business. The agent cannot interfere with your transaction even if they are entitled to the commission. The agent only has recourse to collect all or a portion of their commission from the listing agent who is required to share the brokerage commission after the closing.

The best advice for a buyer is to carefully choose a Realtor by either interviewing a few Realtors or getting a recommendation from a friend or family member who has had a positive experience with their Realtor. A buyer will have a better chance of avoiding a confrontation or uncomfortable situation later such as having to terminate the relationship with their agent. Also, the buyer’s transaction will go smoother and the buyer will have a more enjoyable home buying experience by taking time to select the right real estate agent.


Authors Bio: Brenda Panin is a real estate agent and a guest blogger representing Saltwater apartments in Birtinya. She loves to write about real estate, home improvement and new home decoration trends.



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