Some buyers are reticent to work with one agent exclusively. They think it wise to use more than one agent, perhaps because they think it helps them shop around. Maybe they distrust agents. But that philosophy is tough to manage and it backfires.
We got a call from one such buyer who turned out to be writing simultaneous offers with different agents. One offer was with our agent on another firm's listing, and another was with an agent from another company on one of my listings. It took 4 days to piece it all together.
It also got, as you might imagine, very messy. I have a heartbroken agent who jumped through hoops all week with a buyer who ended up not buying the home they found together, and several other headaches, the details of which are too lurid even for a "members only" posting.
I know full well that most people are reticent to sign an exclusive buyer agency agreement with a licensee whom they have known for only a few days. However, it is getting so that some people need to be flushed out early, as regretable as that terminology sounds. We should be more open about the need for that agreement, even for a very short term if need be. I think that most people have more scruples than this buyer, but it all goes back to the importance of the following statement: If you want me to work on your behalf, you need to hire me.