An exclusive buyer agent (EBA) is a U.S. real estate firm (or an agent or broker who works in such a company) that represents only buyers of real estate. EBA firms never take listings and, therefore, never represent the seller in a real estate transaction.
Exclusive buyer agent firms have chosen this business model in order to eliminate the conflict of interest that exists when one firm attempts to represent both buyer and seller in the same transaction.
Method of exclusive service
Real estate firms in the United States can represent both buyers and sellers in the same transaction, and when representing both, derive profit from both the seller and buyer side of the transaction. While some states have, at the insistence of Realtor trade groups, created various forms of dual agency to allow one company and in some cases an individual agent to represent both sides, other states have continued to hold such practices as illegal. In the opinion of EBAs, it is not possible to faithfully represent the best interests of opposing clients, in the same transaction, simultaneously.
The service structure for EBA real estate practitioners is to show buyers all possible listings from other cooperating brokers as well as all other sources, such as for sale by owners. Then, they assist the buyer with evaluation and negotiation and advocate in the buyer's best interests without restriction.
In their booklet "Shopping for a Home Loan" The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development"s (HUD's) settlement cost booklet (page 6) recommends that home buyers consider using an Exclusive Buyer's Agent in their home search. HUD Settlement Cost Booklet - Page 6
EBA firms amount to less than 1/2 of 1 percent of all real estate firms in the US. The EBA business model of unconflicted buyer representation eliminates the possibility of the buyer being confronted with the conflicts of interest which may be associated with the Dual, Limited or Designated Agency business models.