What is a Buyer Agency Agreement in Virginia?
Posted by Shannon Milligan on Monday, October 21, 2013 at 12:00 AM By Shannon Milligan / October 21, 2013 Comment
When I meet a new client one of the first things I do is explain the Richmond VA Home Buying Process. Part of that process is to sign a Virginia Buyer Agency Agreement. This is essentially a contract stating the buyer has hired me as their Richmond VA Real Estate Agent to represent them in their transaction. Most first time home buyers do not question this agreement, however those who have bought property in the past usually say, "I have never heard of that before!" And, likely they have not. In July 2012, it became law in Virginia that we real estate agents must have a Buyer Agency Agreement in place before we can tour properties OR have substantial conversations about a particular property with a customer. We do not need to have an agreement in place for marketing activities such as setting up a home search or answering general questions, however the moment serious conversations start about a specific property or before we cross the threshold of a door, we must have this agreement in place. Why was the Buyer Agency Agreement in Virginia introduced and why is it needed? The answer is simple: it outlines the parties duties to one another and this is what distinguishes a customer from a client. It also clearly shows procuring cause - a fancy way of saying which Richmond VA Realtor set the events in motion for the buyer to purchase the home of their choice. Here is an example if no agreement is in place: Agent A shows John Doe 123 Main Street. Mr. Doe likes the property but isn't ready to pull the trigger. A month later, Mr. Doe is working with Agent B and says he wants to write an offer for 123 Main Street. Which agent is the procuring cause of that sale? In addition, the Buyer Agency Agreement protects the buyer by outlining the agents duties, such as confidentiality. I have worked with MANY buyers who have not felt comfortable with signing this agreement. However, I do not break the law and move forward without an agreement in place. The fact is many buyers want to spend time with an agent before they commit to working with someone. We all want to feel at ease! The great thing about the Buyer Agency Agreement is it can be for ANY DURATION. So, when I am speaking with a buyer who isn't really comfortable with singing an agreement for 3-6 months, we make it for one day and it covers all the properties we tour on that date. By the end of the day, 100% of my clients have felt comfortable and have signed agreements for a longer time frame and we establish a fantastic working relationship. Building trust is important for both the buyer and the agent! Will you find agents who will work without the Buyer Agency Agreement? Absolutely. My one question to you is this: If that agent is willing to break the law, what else are they willing to do? Ethics and winning with integrity matter! Have you been searching for a Richmond VA Realtor who you can trust? Contact me, Shannon Milligan at the RVA Home Team with eXp Realty, today to set up a complimentary buyer's consultation. Let's get to know each other! Richmond VA Real Estate Home Search