‘Procuring cause’ is a very important concept in real estate. Here’s what you need to know.


The procuring cause of a real estate transaction is an agent who sets into motion the series of events that leads to the final sale of your property. Since the agent was the one who ultimately caused the buyer to purchase your home, they’re entitled to compensation in the form of commission.

In most cases, you’ll call an agent you trust, who will then set up your appointments, take you to house showings, negotiate on your behalf, guide you through escrow, and eventually hand you the keys to your new home.

Sometimes, however, there are agents who unethically declare themselves the procuring cause of a transaction. For example, it’s a common situation where a homebuyer will call the number they see on a “For Sale” sign in someone’s yard to get more information about the home or to schedule a showing. The agent who picks up will then invite them in and show them around, despite the fact that the buyer already has an agent of their own. If the buyer accepts the invitation, that agent is now procuring the cause of the transaction, meaning that if you want to move forward, you have to use that agent.

“Sometimes, however, there are agents who unethically declare themselves the procuring cause of a transaction.”

Some agents are cooperative and will allow the buyer’s own agent to represent them moving forward, but there are many cases where they won’t, or they’ll demand a certain percentage of the commission fee.

Mind you, open houses do not apply—you can spend as much time at any open house you like without having to worry about procuring causes. Outside of open houses, however, anytime an agent takes you to a home, it does create a procuring cause that makes it difficult for us to represent you if you proceed with that particular transaction.

Our goal is to make sure that you’re protected throughout the transaction, so if you have any questions about any home you’re interested in, please reach out to us. We’ll call the listing agent for that property to schedule a showing for you. Don’t feel like you’re wasting our time; it’s just our job.