Information shared from Today’s Buyer’s Rep publication

Procuring cause is defined as “the uninterrupted series of casual events which results in a successful transaction. If a dispute does arise, your claim of entitlement to a commission hinges on several factors and will often times go through an arbitration or mediation process.

Avoiding trouble is quite simple. Just do the very best job possible!

All the vital details are covered in Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR) Designation Course but the following contains some good practices to implement in order to prevent disputes.

1) Educate Buyers

Procuring cause disputes often stem from misunderstandings. It’s up to you to instruct buyers about what they can expect from you (clien-level services) and what you expect from them (loyalty) during the course of the relationship. The more a buyer understands your role (and theirs), the less likely they’ll wander into the services of another agent.

The REALTOR Code of Ethics requires you to ask prospective buyers if they are party to an exclusive representation agreement. If yes, send them back to their buyer’s rep. If not, education them on buyer representation.

It’s always a good idea to ensure buyers understand the fiduciary nature of your relationship and their role in the process. Education goes a long way towardpreventing buyers from straying into a situation that could trigger a dispute.

2. Use Signed Agreements

A written and signed buyer representation agreement supports several goals. In particular; it:

  • Sets expectations

  • Demonstrates the value you bring to the transaction

  • Encourages buyer loyalty

Misunderstandings are more likely to occur in the absence of a written agreement. Even though the state doesn’t require one, consider using it anyway. A buyer’s agreement will strengthen your position with a buyer because it spells out the terms of your agency relationship.

Did you know? If a dispute arises between brokers, a buyer representation agreement does not automatically mean the buyer’s agent is the procuring cause.

3. Walk the Talk

Buyers tend to be loyal if they know you’re working hard for them, so make sure you’re delivering against your verbal and written promises.

Document your efforts. If a disput arises, you’re in a much better position if you can demonstrate that you:

  • Stayed in regular contact during the time covered by your agreement

  • Searched for appropriate properties

  • Had conversations about potential properties

  • Kept the buyer informed of your efforts

  • Asked if the buyer became aware of properties of interest

Your buyer should know you are working for them even when there are no properties on the market that fits their needs. Otherwise, it’s easy for buyers to assume your relationship has ended (called “abandonment”.) Communication gaps increase the odds that another agent will fill the void.


This information is provided to ABR designees on a regular basis through the resource magazine. If you are interested in earning the Accredited Buyer Representative designation, Louisiana REALTORS is offering an opportunity to get the education in Shreveport, LA on May 30 - 31, 2019. For more information, click here.

If you have an interest in learning more about mediating disputes or becoming an ombudsman, LR is offering a course, Making Opposites Agree, as part of Career Development Week. For questions about education, please contact us at 1-800-266-8538.