What’s the deal with a Buyer Representation Agreement?
If you are working with a real estate agent to buy a property, (and why wouldn’t you??) you may have been asked to sign a contract. You may not though. In Ontario, the realtor must present the contract to you before you sign an offer, and many do just that, ask you to sign it with all the other documents at offer time and you may not understand what you’re signing.
That is not the way it was designed to be used. The BRA in Ontario is designed to protect the client and the realtor. Here’s how:
By signing you become a client, not just a customer. A customer gets honesty from the realtor, but not their opinion. For example, if you ask what the property is worth, the realtor has to tell you the list price and cannot comment on what he or she thinks the value is. Why? because they are actually working for the seller even if they’ve never met. But as a client after you’ve signed the BRA the realtor has to work for you at a higher level. They owe you fiduciary obligations, and have to perform due diligence on your behalf, and you don’t even need to ask the questions, the realtor is supposed to do the thinking for you.
So as a customer without a BRA you are in a buyer beware situation but as a client with a BRA you have a realtor truly working on your behalf.
So let me ask you, don’t you want to know who your realtor is working for? If so, Sign a BRA and pay attention to the duration of the contract (let’s say a month or two) and the commission clause. Then go out shopping with your realtor and receive the benefit of their knowledge and expertise.