Buyer Coverage When Out of Town (Policy & Best Practices)
This is policy for company deals and best practice for personal.
If you haven't physically met with the person before (this would be your first meeting,) then you need to hand them off to another agent. If it's a personal deal, that usually means referring them to another agent. If it's a company lead, that means handing them off as a reassignment. This is considered best practice if it's a personal deal and a policy if it's a company deal.
If you've met with the client in the past and developed a rapport, then you want to work out something fair with another agent (usually in our office.) That's generally paying someone or offering a % of the commission (if it's a multi-hour showing) or asking for a favor if it's a quick showing (or asking for a favor if you have an informal partnership with an agent and it's a long showing.) You want to make sure and email whatever you worked out so that everyone has something to reference later.
Buyer Rep Agreements (Policy & Best Practices)
This is policy for company deals & best practice for personal.
Buyer Rep Agreements are unenforceable and generally cause unnecessary friction. There are rare instances where a buyer rep agreement will save you, but those are so rare that they aren't worth the hassle. At some point in your career, you will have a buyer do you wrong. However, if you make it a policy to always get a buyer's rep agreement, you will scare off far more business than you will save, and you will create much unnecessary friction in the process. In general, buyer's rep agreements are a bad idea.
Only present a buyer's representation agreement under the following scenarios:
- A buyer requests one. When you present it, write in that "buyer can terminate this agreement with 48 hours written notice" and point that provision out to the buyer.
- It's common to offer a discount to a buyer/seller when you are assisting them to both sell & buy a property. In this instance, it's best to offer the discount on the later of the two transactions, which is usually the buy. In this case, it makes sense to present a buyer's rep agreement that states "Broker will rebate buyer XX at closing". You are telling the client that you're now contractually obligated to honor the agreement you've worked out. This is usually signed at the time you sign the listing agreement.
- Any other rebate scenario where it makes sense. Oftentimes, a buyer requests a rebate on an "easy deal" where they have a home picked out. In that case, it's such a fast event, that the agreement can cause friction, so it doesn't make sense. Use your best judgment.
Escalation Clauses (Policy)
We always recommend against escalation clauses. A buyer may only present a contract with an escalation clause if that clause is written by an attorney. Agents may only present a contract with an escalation clause with broker/manager approval (if written by an attorney.)
Sending Any Document for Signatures
Any time you send any contract (purchase, listing agreement, sdn, etc...) for signatures, you want to first send it to your clients to review in email. When you send the email, bullet point the highlights of the document and finish by saying "In the interest of time, I'm going to go ahead and set this up in Docusign, but please let me know if you have any questions or concerns." You're communicating that you're here to help them understand the contract and that you're not pushy.