Exclusive buyer agent
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 eliminate the conflict of interest that exists when one firm attempts to represent both buyer and seller in the same transaction.
Another form of EBA is when a firm practices pure "Single Agency" This type of company will always represent the buyer or the seller therefore there is never a conflict of interest within the company.
The EBA movement started in the early 1980s by real estate agent, Barry Miller of Denver, Colorado, who believed that buyers should have the same exclusive representation as sellers. By the early 1990s with the rise of buyer agency nationally, firms came together to form a national trade association, the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents(NAEBA). According to NAEBA, EBA firms offer service to buyers in almost all 50 states.
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 a single 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 clients with opposing interests simultaneously.
Method of exclusive service
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.
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.