Kathleen Chiras helped form the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents in the early 90’s and served as it’s executive director for 6 years and as it’s Consumer Inquiry Program administrator for 19 years. The organization started out as a group of real estate companies who had unique kind of office policy, This policy was that the broker/owner and all agents in the office only represent buyers, and not advertise any listings in the “MLS” or Multiple Listing Service. Most of them are also Realtors. Realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors.
The number of exclusive buyer agent offices in the United States has diminished over time with the adoption of designated agency in most states. However, a few fiercely-dedicated and highly-skilled offices remain. Most are very small companies headed by one or two buyer agent specialists who are very experience in working with buyers, since they do not spend their professional lives on the listing side of the transaction.
NAEBA is now made up of a for-profit subsidiary, the NAEBA Referral Service, Inc. and a trade association. The two entities are separate, but share 2 members on their boards.
Exclusive buyer agents in the United States and Canada worked for many years to protect consumer rights in the buying side of the real estate transaction. Prior the origination of the association in the early 90’s, buyers were faced with dual representation. A “dual agent” is a real estate agent who is one whose duty is to represent the interests of both buyers and sellers in the same transaction at the same time. Thankfully, this group strongly supported the elimination of dual agency. While many fought for many years to preserve the common law of agency, over the years most states adopted designated agency. Designated agency is designed to keep the buyer’s and seller’s interests separate, so each can receive representation. Those with an Accredited Buyers Agent designation have taken special training in how to make sure both buyers and sellers are fairly represented in the transaction.