- Procuring Cause
The interactions between a prospective client and a real estate agent that entitles the agent to a commission percentage upon the purchase of a home. If a client has worked with multiple agents over the course of her search, it may be difficult to determine which agent is ultimately responsible for helping the client get the home. Disputes usually occur between the agent that wrote the offer and another that may have helped the client see homes in the past, so there's an investigation to find out which agent had first contact with the client and showed them the home they eventually bought. Real estate brokerages typically avoid procuring cause disputes by requiring clients to sign a buyer's agency agreement once they decide to work with an agent and their brokerage. The agreement commits clients to working with that agent to buy a home. The length of the agreement varies, but usually lasts three to twelve months.
Redfin doesn't require clients to sign a buyer's agency agreement until they submit an offer on a home. In our case, the agreement is necessary only to ensure that there are no disputes around the commission and the client's refund. We ask all our clients if they're currently working with another agent so that we make sure a potential commission goes to the right person. We won't work with anyone who already signed a buyer's agency agreement with another brokerage. Finally, due to the procurement cause a Redfin client cannot buy a home with Redfin that they first saw with a non-Redfin agent.