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The following information is provided by the Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD).

Buyers may sometimes be reluctant to sign a representation agreement because they think it will limit their options and impose undue obligations. Although most buyers stick with the first agent they talk to, no one wants to feel pressured to make a commitment before they know if the arrangement will work out and if you can work together. How can you allay concerns, but still make progress in establishing a buyer-client relationship? Below are some creative solutions that still retain goodwill, and opportunity.

Short-Term Agreement
If a buyer is uncomfortable with a long-term agreement, offer a shorter term; for example, an agent-for-a-day agreement. The agreement can be extended if the buyer wants to continue.

Nonexclusive Agreement
If the buyer doesn’t want to be tied down to just one agent, it’s okay to offer a nonexclusive agreement (if your brokerage policies allow it); however, the buyer should be educated about the drawbacks of such an arrangement.

Trial Basis
Offer to take the buyers out once to view a couple of properties in order to get acquainted and see how you can help them. Be clear that an agreement will be required if you decide to work together.

Specific Area
The terms of the buyer representation agreement could specify a particular area or neighborhood to work within; the buyer is not bound by the agreement if they find a home outside of the specified area. The buyer should be aware, however, that such an agreement limits the services you can provide. Take the time to explain the possible drawbacks of this kind of limitation.

Permit the Buyer to Cancel
The agreement could include a cancellation clause if the buyer is dissatisfied with your services.

Offer a Guarantee
Offer a performance guarantee that spells out in more detail what you will do and how you understand your duties.

To learn much more about buyer representation, consider obtaining NAR’s Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) Designation. This entire month of February, the ABR Designation Course online is offered at 25% off its regular price—a savings of over $70!

For more information, please visit RISMedia’s online learning portal from NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD) and the Learning Library. Here, real estate professionals can sign up for online professional development courses, industry designations, certifications, CE credits, Code of Ethics programs and more. NAR’s CRD also offers monthly specials and important education updates. New users will need to register for an account.

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