Q.What is the Buyer Representation form (BR-11)
and what does it do?
A. The BR-11 (Buyer Representation Agreement) is an
agreement between a potential buyer of real property and a real estate
broker. The agreement has three key features. First, it defines the scope
of the tasks and duties to be performed by buyer and broker. Second, it
provides a written consent to a dual agency if one develops. Third, it
places a limit on the time within which a legal action can be brought
against the broker. This form is non-exclusive and may be revoked at any
time by either buyer or broker.
Q.What is the Non-Exclusive Authorization to
Acquire Real Property form (NAP-11) and what does it do?
A. The NAP-11 (Non-Exclusive Authorization to Acquire Real
Property) is an agreement between a potential buyer of real property and a
real estate broker. It has all of the features of the Buyer Representation
Form except it provides for the broker to be compensated for services
rendered on behalf of the buyer, it is also non-exclusive but, unlike the
BR-11, it is non-revocable.
Q. What is the Exclusive Authorization to Acquire Real Property
form (AAP-11) and what does it do?
A. The AAP-11 (Exclusive Authorization to Acquire Real
Property) is very similar to the other two agreements with a few important
distinctions. Like the NAAP-11, it provides for compensation and is non
revocable. However, it is an exclusive agreement, meaning the buyer will be
obligated to pay a commission, even if the buyer finds the property him or
herself or uses another broker.
Q.How will buyers benefit from using any of the
A. Surveys have shown that one of the biggest sources of
problems is lack of communication between the agent and his or her client.
By putting the duties and obligations in writing, buyers will be more
informed about the broker's responsibilities early in the transaction. The
forms also identify tasks and services the broker will do as well as what
type of services in a transaction may be performed by others. With this
knowledge, buyers will be able to discuss or negotiate the terms of the
relationship. Also, by having the opportunity to discuss and consent to
potential dual agency early in the relationship, buyers can consider this
question and avoid an awkward surprise about this issue later in the
relationship. By bringing more clarity and certainty to the relationship
between buyer and broker, neither becomes dependent upon the other's memory
for establishing its terms.
Q.Does signing any of the above forms commit the
buyer to using only one broker?
A. The BR-11 does not as it is non-exclusive and
revocable. The buyer may switch brokers at any time. While this form does
not commit the buyer to one broker, using two different brokers on the same
piece of property is very confusing to all parties and may not help the
buyer at all in negotiating with the seller. A better practice by a buyer
would be to revoke one agreement before entering into another with a
different broker. The NAP-11 does commit the buyer to paying the broker
(irrevocable) in certain circumstances, but it is non-exclusive which means
that the buyer may use more than one broker. The broker only gets paid if
the broker introduces the specific property to the buyer or otherwise acts
on the buyer's behalf. It would be permissible to use this contract with
two different brokers on two different properties without paying both. The
AAP-11 commits the buyer to a single broker for the transaction. It is
exclusive and irrevocable. Even if a buyer enters into another agreement
with another broker, or uses another broker without the benefit of an
agreement, if the buyer acquires the property identified in the agreement
the buyer may still owe the broker compensation.
Q. Must a buyer sign one of these forms before working with a
particular broker or real estate salesperson?
A. While written agreements of this type are not required
by law, in any professional relationship for services, it is good to have a
written document so all parties have the same expectations. Some real
estate offices may require one of these agreements, but that will be up to
the brokerage firm. In the past, most brokers did not use these types of
agreements because either the agreements were not available or those that
were available did not meet the brokers and client's mutual needs.
Q.Why do the forms have a two-year limitation on
the time to bring legal action against the broker?
A. Many agreements that individuals enter into have
limitations of one sort or another. The drafters of these standard forms,
the California Association of REALTORS®, believed that the two-year
limitation is reasonable for a number of reasons. First, two years gives a
buyer adequate time to make a decision about such important matters.
Second, the California legislature has already statutorily recognized the
two-year time frame as a reasonable period of time for a buyer to bring
legal action against a real estate licensee. These contracts provide some
consistency with that state law. Of course, the limitation would not apply
to actual and intentional fraud.
Many terms are used to describe various relationships that may occur in a
real estate transaction. The following questions and answers are designed
to help clarify several of these terms.
Q.What is agency?
A. Agency is a legal relationship that is established
between a principal (buyer or seller) and an agent (real estate broker)
where the agent represents the principal in dealings with third parties.
The relationship requires the mutual consent of both principal and agent.
Q.What is the difference between single agency
and dual agency?
A. In single agency, the broker represents only one of the
principals (buyer or seller). In dual agency, the broker represents both
buyer and seller in the same transaction. In the real estate industry, even
if one salesperson in an office is working with a buyer and another
salesperson in the same office is working with the seller, the broker of
the real estate firm is considered a dual agent.
Q.What is an exclusive buyer's agent?
A. The term, "exclusive buyer's agent," is often used in
the real estate industry to describe a real estate licensee who never
represents sellers. Real estate brokers who use this term typically do not
take listings of property
Q.What is a buyer's broker?
A. The term "buyer's broker" is often use to describe a
broker working with a buyer under a written contract that provides
compensation. Two off the three C.A.R. agreements discussed above provide
for compensation to the broker (NAP-11 and AAP-11).
The information contained herein is believed accurate as of April 9,
1999. It is intended to provide general answers to general questions and is
not intended as a substitute for individual legal advice. Advice in
specific situations may differ depending upon a wide variety of factors.
Therefore, readers with specific legal questions should seek the advice of