If you are a person who is interested in looking at homes for sale, you are considered a homebuyer -- as a homebuyer, you are free to shop for a home to buy on your own; however, it is much easier and more beneficial to hire a real estate agent for help. When you do this, they become a buyer's agent, and this agent will likely ask you to sign a contract when you begin working with them. Here are several reasons why a buyer's agent would ask a buyer to sign a contract:
The contract outlines the arrangement of the deal
The first thing to understand is that contracts are used in all types of industries, and they are designed to outline the arrangements and conditions of a deal. In real estate, a buyer's contract would outline the responsibility of the buyer's agent and the obligations of the potential buyer. By creating an agreement like this from the start, it will help eliminate confusion and problems later on in the deal, and it will help each party know where they stand.
The contract protects the buyer's agent
A real estate agent that helps a person buy a house only gets paid a commission when a buyer closes on a house, and it is the seller who is responsible for paying this commission. In order to protect themselves, a buyer's agent will want a contract in place before showing homes to a potential buyer. If the buyer's agent does not require this, the buyer could utilize the agent's services throughout the process of locating a home, but the buyer could use a different agent to handle the deal when he or she finds a house to buy.
If this happened, the original buyer's agent would earn no money for the transaction, and the commission would go to the agent who helped the buyer write the offer and close on the deal. This is the main reason buyer's agents require contracts when helping people buy homes.
The contract is negotiable
One last thing to know is that you, as a buyer, have the right to negotiate on the details of this contract, and there are several different details you should ask for in the contract. For one, you can negotiate on how long the contract lasts. Secondly, you can negotiate on having a way out of the contract early if you are not pleased with the agent's services, or if you simply do not get along with the agent you hired.
Buying a house is a major purchase in life, and it is not something you should do without the help of a real estate agent. You can learn more about a buyer's agent contract by talking to a real estate agent of your choice.