My client wants to make an offer on a for-sale-by-owner property. What is the best way to approach the seller with the offer and make sure I receive my fee?

Follow this order of signing documents, so you have written agreements for payment of your fee before the parties sign a contract:

  1. Have your buyer sign a buyer’s representation agreement. If the buyer signs the Residential Buyer/Tenant Representation Agreement (TXR 1501), you may want to point out that under Paragraph 11B, the buyer may be obligated to pay you if the seller refuses or fails to pay your fee.
  2. Provide the seller with the Information About Brokerage Services form (TXR 2501) and discuss the agency relationships involved in this purchase. You may want to use the Representation Disclosure (TXR 1417) to memorialize in writing that the required representation disclosure has been made to the seller.
  3. Complete the Registration Agreement Between Broker and Owner (TXR 2401) and check the box (Section 4) in the broker’s representation section that indicates you are representing the prospect only. Have the seller sign this document.
  4. Give the seller the Seller’s Disclosure Notice (TXR 1406) to complete and sign.
  5. Present your buyer’s offer for the seller’s consideration and signature.

Remember, even though your client is the buyer, you have an obligation to treat the seller fairly and honestly. Avoid actions that might be construed as pressuring the seller to sell the property to your client.