On January 1, 2024, the revised “Agency Law” that governs real estate brokerage relationships (RCW 18.86) becomes effective. Among other changes, a significant revision to the law requires real estate firms to enter into a written brokerage services agreement with a buyer before, or as soon as reasonably practical after, commencing real estate brokerage services for that buyer.
These revisions to Agency Law require that brokers enter into a brokerage services agreement with their client before — or as soon as reasonably practical after — the provision of real estate brokerage services. This contract will include stipulations like length of partnership, exclusivity vs. non-exclusivity and the rate of compensation.
Looking at the law
It may sound confusing, but it’s a way to ensure that buyers are informed about their real estate transactions, like what real estate services will cost and how those costs will be paid — before the buyer agent provides services.
Buyers and brokers will now enter a brokerage services agreement at a time that is earlier than either of them may be comfortable to enter that agreement … And if that’s the only sound bite you hear, that probably sounds alarming, but it makes sense in the long run. “Buyers need to know what it is they are entering into when they agree to work with an agent.”
First and foremost, the statute simply requires brokers to disclose to the buyer, upfront, what their services will cost, the same way that, say, a consumer would expect an auto mechanic to explain what servicing their car would cost. The process is “identical” to a contractor asking a consumer to sign something acknowledging receipt of the repair estimate.
The Arrival of Buyer Brokerage Agreements
Real estate is always on the move, and so are the laws governing it. In Washington State, home buyers are now required to sign a Buyer Brokerage Services Agreement when working with a licensed real estate broker like myself.
From Optional to Mandatory
Buyer Brokerage Agreements have been around for quite a while. And now they are legally required by Washington State. These agreements offer crucial safeguards for everyone involved, and are similar to how long-standing seller listing agreements have always worked.
Safeguarding Your Interests
These agreements shield you from potential conflicts of interest, mandate me to adhere to specific professional guidelines, and ensure transparency about my legal responsibilities and compensation. This all leads to a clearer understanding from the start as we team up on your upcoming home purchase.
Consistent Service, Familiar Agreement
The Cascade Team has always recommended Buyer Brokerage Agreements, and now they are the required standard across Washington State. With a Buyer Brokerage Agreement in place, you will continue to get top-notch buyer representation, expert negotiations, and extensive market insights you have always relied on.Cary W Porter on