Study the contract if using a buyer's agent Make a purchase elsewhere and you might owe a fee


August 23, 1998

Dear Mr. Azrael:

I was wondering if I could buy another property even though I have a buyer's agent or if I can look at other properties if I have a buyer's agent.

I've been looking at other properties with other agents even though I have a buyer's agent. Can I legally do that without getting into trouble or do I have to do it through my buyer's agent?

Ed Dyes


Dear Mr. Dyes:

Take a look at the agency contract you signed when you engaged the buyer's agent. The contract will state what obligations you have if you buy a property through another agent or without any agent at all.

Most real estate companies use a contract form that provides for an exclusive buyer's agency.

These exclusive agency contracts require the buyer to use the services of the buyer's agent exclusively in purchasing a home during the listing period.

When you have signed an exclusive agency contract, you may be surprised to learn that you owe a fee to your buyer's agent even if you purchase a property through another agent or by yourself without using any agent's services.

Clearly, when you are bound by an exclusive buyer's agency contract, you should submit any purchase offer through your buyer's agent even if you saw the property with other agents.

Normally, the listing broker will compensate your buyer's agent. Hopefully, you have not signed exclusive contracts with more than one buyer's agent. If you have done this, you need to resolve the situation before buying any property.

Pub Date: 8/23/98

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