I am trying to find out if Utah has a real estate code that requires buyers to sign a contract with a realtor.
The simple answer is no. To be able to provide a clear answer more details are needed. In general, a buyer does not have to be represented by a real estate agent. Unfortunately, too many real estate agents do not understand the issue of agency and for whom they are acting as the agent.
First, the term Realtor is a trademark of the National Association of Realtors (“NAR”). To be able to use that term in Utah a person must first be licensed by the State as a real estate agent and then be a member of a local Board of Realtors paying dues to NAR. So, the term Realtor is often misused to mean real estate agent. All Realtors by definition are licensed real estate agents but not all real estate agents are Realtors nor do the have to be. Second, and more importantly, you never have to be represented by a real estate agent as a buyer.
Many real estate agents who are the listing agent will want to tell buyers they must be represented by a real estate agent so they can collect both the seller’s and buyer’s commissions. Where the buyer agrees to this then the buyer will be required by the real estate agent and the agent’s broker to sign a limited agency disclosure form explaining that the agent and broker are representing both parties in a transaction. A buyer that does not want to be represented by a real estate agent may be able to reduce the price of the property by the amount of the buyer’s commission. If so, the buyer may find it valuable to get the advice of an attorney when negotiating the terms of a buy and sell agreement.
Finally, real estates agents must use the Utah state approved Real Estate Purchase Contract (“REPC”) on behalf of their clients. Thus if you are buying a property listed for sale by a licensed real estate agent that agent will be required to use a REPC. Buyers not represented by a real estate agent can propose any buy and sell agreement they want. In that case the seller would need to hire an attorney or negotiate the language of the agreement without the asvice of the seller’s real estate agent. This information is for discussion purposes only and does not constitute legal advice nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship.
Individuals seeking a legal opinion or legal advice on any matter should contact an attorney experienced in the field of their issue and discuss retaining such attorney to represent the individual.