Most people think that hiring a buyer agent is free, that is not always the case. Typically the buyer hires the buyer agent, it is the buyer obligated to pay the buyer agent's commission, however in the Toronto market, most sellers offer buyer agent's commissions so the buyer agent does not charge the buyer as most of the time he/she gets paid by the Seller.
Sometimes, if the Seller does not offer commission to the buyer agent, we've seen this happens more and more typically in Mere Posting MLS Listings, then the buyer agent will first figure out if the seller is willing to pay him/her commission, if not, the buyer agent will turn back to ask the buyer if the buyer would like to pay, some buyers will refuse, but some buyers will agree as long as the home price is attractive.
This is why the buyer agent wants the buyer to sign a Buyer Representation Agreement up front. Without that agreement, the buyer agent is not protected. He/she will really work for free if the buyer decided to buy a home that does not offer buyer agent's commission.
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