Zillow Advice: Buying Process - True or false ? "Exclusive right to represent buyer agreement" is required in Virginia by law . http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/True-or-false-Exclusive-right-to-represent-buyer-agreement-is-required-in-Virginia-by-law/465932/ Zillow Advice | Zillow Real Estate Yes, you have to sign a buyer ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/True-or-false-Exclusive-right-to-represent-buyer-agreement-is-required-in-Virginia-by-law/465932/ Yes, you have to sign a buyer agency agreement before an agent can show you properties or perform other real estate services. However, the agreement does NOT need to be exclusive.&nbsp; Most agents will not work with buyers on a non-exclusive basis because they don't want to invest a lot of time and then have the buyer make an offer through the seller's (listing) agent or another buyer agent.&nbsp; But Virginia law does NOT require an exclusive contract between the buyer and buyer agent. Thu, 30 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/True-or-false-Exclusive-right-to-represent-buyer-agreement-is-required-in-Virginia-by-law/465932/ 2014-10-30T00:00:00Z Hi-I only read down about ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/True-or-false-Exclusive-right-to-represent-buyer-agreement-is-required-in-Virginia-by-law/465932/ Hi-<br/>I only read down about 7 reviews and all of them didnt answer your question...The answer is YES you are required to sign a 'Buyers Agreement' before an agent is supposed to take you to look for homes.&nbsp; Va Law as of 7/1/2012<br/>Bree Lawrence<br/>Coldwell Banker Residential <br/><a href="mailto:bree.lawrence@cbmove.com" rel="nofollow">bree.lawrence@cbmove.com</a> Wed, 29 Oct 2014 22:39:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/True-or-false-Exclusive-right-to-represent-buyer-agreement-is-required-in-Virginia-by-law/465932/ 2014-10-29T22:39:00Z In Virginia a buyer could ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/True-or-false-Exclusive-right-to-represent-buyer-agreement-is-required-in-Virginia-by-law/465932/ In Virginia a buyer could submit an offer directly to a seller.&nbsp; However, the seller probably has signed a listing agreement with a broker called an "Exclusive Right to Sell" agreement, meaning that the seller will pay the full commission to the listing broker even if an unrepresented buyer submits an offer directly to the seller. That type of agreement is not required by law, but it is typical because brokers and their agents invest substantial time, effort and cash in marketing a property and want to be assured of earning the commission if the property sells. So how does it benefit the&nbsp;unrepresented buyer to draft&nbsp;and submit the offer without even the ("ministerial") assistance of the listing agent?&nbsp;The buyer is not going to get a discount, because the seller still will pay the commission to the listing broker.&nbsp; And if the buyer has an attorney draft the offer, the buyer will pay the attorney out of pocket.&nbsp; If the buyer does not have experience as a real estate agent or attorney, it is unlikely the buyer could draft an offer that would constitute a legally binding contract, which is what an offer becomes&nbsp;if accepted by the seller in Virginia.&nbsp;Federal and state law require various documents to be incorporated into the contract, including property disclosure and lead based paint disclosure with very specific wording. Typically the buyer wants contingencies for home inspection, financing and appraisal.&nbsp; Who holds the deposit, under what circumstances the deposit is forfeited, who pays which closing costs, whether the property is sold "as is," what appliances convey, the condition of the well and septic if the house is not on public water and sewer, etc.&nbsp;also need to be spelled out.&nbsp;With the various disclosures and contingencies, offers in Virginia typically run 25 single spaced pages.&nbsp; If a buyer were to submit something short and simple, even if the price and other terms were acceptable to the seller,&nbsp;someone would need to draft that legally binding agreement.&nbsp; In Virginia, if the&nbsp;seller had an "Exclusive Right to Sell" agreement with a broker, then the seller probably would have the listing agent draft a "counteroffer" that incorporated all of the usual, legally-required provisions. So, how does the unrepresented buyer benefit by dealing directly with the seller who has the property listed with a broker under an Exclusive Right to Sell?&nbsp; Finally, after a contract has been signed there still is plenty of work for a buyer agent to do, to assist the buyer with any issues that arise in the home inspection and negotiated repairs,&nbsp;financing approval, appraisal, final walkthrough, and settlement/closing.&nbsp; In my real estate experience, I spend as many hours on post-contract activities as pre-contract including showing properties.&nbsp; ... My advice of prospective buyers who are wary of real estate agents, but know one personally, is to ask if you can shadow/ride along with the agent for a day. Be ready to start before 7 a.m. as the agent responds to accumulated emails, plans the route for showing properties later that morning, prints out information on each of the properties to be visited, emails the showing contacts for permission to show the properties (or makes a list of showing contacts to call later in the morning), sets up or modifies a customized multiple listing search for a client, and all the other behind-the-scenes tasks that buyers don't see. You may appreciate what a buyer agent does if you understand what we do. Sat, 01 Mar 2014 13:01:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/True-or-false-Exclusive-right-to-represent-buyer-agreement-is-required-in-Virginia-by-law/465932/ 2014-03-01T13:01:00Z hpvanc, you seem to have ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/True-or-false-Exclusive-right-to-represent-buyer-agreement-is-required-in-Virginia-by-law/465932/ hpvanc, you seem to have forgotten important parts of contract law, and given the amount of "advice" you give to people on these boards, I recommend a refresher course.<br/><br/>Here's a hint: contracts must be lawful. It doesn't mean that a principal is required to have a broker represent them, it means that the contract must identify any relationships with a broker.<br/><br/>I would appreciate it if you instigated immediate legal action, however. Sat, 01 Mar 2014 07:14:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/True-or-false-Exclusive-right-to-represent-buyer-agreement-is-required-in-Virginia-by-law/465932/ 2014-03-01T07:14:00Z Last account I had it was ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/True-or-false-Exclusive-right-to-represent-buyer-agreement-is-required-in-Virginia-by-law/465932/ Last account I had it was perfectly legal in all states for a buyer to prepare their own offer without the assistance of an agent. Alternatively a buyer can also legally hire an attorney to do to prepare their offer. If those options are no longer available immediate legal action is needed in all states where they are not available.<br/><br/>Individual consumer rights are being violated if a potential buyer cannot represent themselves, with no agency relationships, on a property offered on the open market. Much as real estate agents would like too, they can't make the "buyer's" agency and its associated Selling Agent commission an absolute entitlement for the industry. This law is being (mis)used by agents to try to force buyer's to go through an agent whether they want to or not, which in essence protects half of the commission from negotiation and competitive forces. Sat, 01 Mar 2014 05:01:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/True-or-false-Exclusive-right-to-represent-buyer-agreement-is-required-in-Virginia-by-law/465932/ 2014-03-01T05:01:00Z Well, hpvanc, if the agent ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/True-or-false-Exclusive-right-to-represent-buyer-agreement-is-required-in-Virginia-by-law/465932/ Well, hpvanc, if the agent doesn't prepare an offer, what gets presented to the seller?<br/><br/>How many angels? In some states, the agency disclosure is part of the contract. In others, it's an addenda. I find it more fascinating that an offer can be drawn up WITHOUT the agency relationship between the brokers and the principals being stated! Sat, 01 Mar 2014 02:41:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/True-or-false-Exclusive-right-to-represent-buyer-agreement-is-required-in-Virginia-by-law/465932/ 2014-03-01T02:41:00Z There may be some confusion ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/True-or-false-Exclusive-right-to-represent-buyer-agreement-is-required-in-Virginia-by-law/465932/ There may be some confusion here.&nbsp; If a buyer wants to make an offer through the seller's agent (called the "listing agent"), without being represented by the listing agent or a buyer agent, that is entirely lawful in Virginia.&nbsp; The listing agent has an obligation to disclose to every unrepresented prospective buyer that the listing agent and his/her broker&nbsp;represents the seller, and ask the prospective buyer to sign that disclosure.&nbsp; Some listing agents incorporate this disclosure language into the sign-in sheet that they set out at open houses.&nbsp; If the prospective buyer doesn't want representation, the listing agent is more than happy to write up the offer and present it to the seller. If the offer is accepted, the listing agent will in most cases make a larger commission because there is no buyer agent/broker to get part of the commission.&nbsp; (The listing agreement with the seller will specify what the total commission is and how much of that is paid to a buyer agent, and if there is a reduction in the commission if there is no buyer agent -- all of that is negotiable.)&nbsp; In short, there is no legal obstacle to a buyer proceeding without signing a brokerage agreement.&nbsp;But in Virginia, if a buyer wants an agent to perform real estate services for the buyer (including showing properties, writing up an offer, etc.), the buyer must sign a written agreement with the buyer brokerage.&nbsp; That agreement does not need to be exclusive as a matter of law but most brokers and their agents do not want to represent buyers who are working with other brokers/agents simultaneously.&nbsp; Finally, someone posted about an "independent contractor" agreement.&nbsp; Yes, that's lawful, but the offer of compensation in the multiple listing system typically is limited to agents, so the "independent contractor" would not earn a share of the commission.&nbsp; The buyer would have to pay the independent contractor out of pocket.&nbsp; In my experience in real estate I've never known of a buyer using an independent contractor to write up an offer.&nbsp; If this was helpful please click the "thumbs up" below. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 20:54:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/True-or-false-Exclusive-right-to-represent-buyer-agreement-is-required-in-Virginia-by-law/465932/ 2014-02-28T20:54:00Z In Ma. we certainly are duty ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/True-or-false-Exclusive-right-to-represent-buyer-agreement-is-required-in-Virginia-by-law/465932/ In Ma. we certainly are duty bound to present the disclosure but the buyer is under no obligation to sign it (admittedly... there is no reason for them NOT to sign it since its NOT a contract but simply a disclosure), but during those times a buyer refuses their is a little check mark on the form that the realtor can check that says "buyer refused to sign the agency disclosure". I can STILL represent them as a buyer agent (as i disclosed to them), I can STILL take and present offers, etc. <br/><br/>Its interesting how these laws are so vastly different state by state. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 20:19:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/True-or-false-Exclusive-right-to-represent-buyer-agreement-is-required-in-Virginia-by-law/465932/ 2014-02-28T20:19:00Z I agree that the agent isn't ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/True-or-false-Exclusive-right-to-represent-buyer-agreement-is-required-in-Virginia-by-law/465932/ I agree that the agent isn't allowed to prepare the offer in the absence of a signed disclosure, but would strongly disagree that the listing agent would not be allowed to present the offer to the seller. In fact my opinion is they could be in violation of both the law and the listing agreement if they refuse to present the offer to a seller that wants to see all offers or all offers that meet their parameters.<br/><br/>Hopefully the DOJ and/or the FTC are watching this and in other states with similar laws and will pursue legal recourse as necessary. It does seem that the law has potential issues with regard to violating individual rights. The law was seems to have been written to give a false perception of consumer protection while in actuality it was designed to protect agent commissions. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 20:06:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/True-or-false-Exclusive-right-to-represent-buyer-agreement-is-required-in-Virginia-by-law/465932/ 2014-02-28T20:06:00Z Then the agent / broker isn't ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/True-or-false-Exclusive-right-to-represent-buyer-agreement-is-required-in-Virginia-by-law/465932/ Then the agent / broker isn't allowed to prepare or present your offer. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 19:43:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/True-or-false-Exclusive-right-to-represent-buyer-agreement-is-required-in-Virginia-by-law/465932/ 2014-02-28T19:43:00Z