“Just Sign Here”

[Note to Readers: The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway, or any other entity referenced. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney.]

Which sounds less intimidating (at least if you’re not a lawyer): “let’s meet at my office at 6:30 p.m. to go over the paperwork.”

Or, “let’s meet at 6:30 p.m tonight to review and sign the contracts.”

At least to my ear, Option #1 ” which is what I tell prospective Buyers.

First Things First

When I first meet with new clients, I usually open with the standard Minnesota “Agency Relationships” form, for two reasons:

One. State law.

Minnesota stipulates that state Realtors are to review “Agency Relationships” with prospective clients at the “first substantive contact.”

Rather than parse exactly what constitutes “first substantive contact”, it’s smartest and simplest to get it out of the way first.

Two. Buyer psychology (also known as “easing into things”).

Of course, it’s also the case that having someone sign a less significant form is a good warm-up for the main course.

That would be the Buyer Representation contract.

Contract Terms

Unlike “Agency Relationships,” the Buyer Rep Agreement is a legal contract, with genuine rights and obligations (“contractual terms,” as lawyers put it).

Such as: exactly what the agent is to do to earn their commission; how much that commission is (and who pays it); what is expected of Buyers ” and potential “no-no’s” they’re to avoid (e.g., calling listing agents directly, working with agents hosting Sunday open’s, etc.); how long the relationship is to last (“contract term”); and what happens if the relationship goes well ” and if it doesn’t (not common, but . . .).

Needless to say, making sure clients know the above and agree is a critical, first step in the client-Realtor relationship.

Which is why it’s appropriate to take sufficient time to review everything . . . no matter what you call the forms.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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