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Buyer Brokerage Agreements

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Buyer Brokerage Agreements

This week's Zebra Report is an important one. With all the laws changing around buyer-brokerage agreements, it is so important to know that soon, before a buyer can even go look at a house with you, that you will need to get them to sign a buyer-brokerage agreement. Even today, I recommend that when you begin providing your buyer with real estate services that you have a buyer services agreement in place.

Now, the challenge with that is that they may not know you very well. Maybe they are calling you because they saw your sign in their neighborhood and are thinking, "Hey, I'll just give this agent a call and maybe they can show me a home." That means that you need to be able to have these kinds of discussions. It also means that many buyers are going to go online, they are going to go to your website, and they are going to want to check you out.

Just this morning, as I was preparing for today's Zebra Report, I looked at twenty-six real estate agent websites. Just random ones that I found in search results for various areas. Some here in Washington, others in California, Florida, Arizona, Texas, and elsewhere. As I visited these websites, I was imagining that I was a potential buyer that was going to buy a house. So as I visited these websites, I looked for a buyer services page for more information.

And you know what? Not a single one of the agent websites I visited today - a big fat ZERO - actually explained anything about what the process really looks like when you go to buy a house.

Now here, in Washington State, it is even more important because of the law regarding buyer brokerage agreements that went into effect at the beginning of the year. Agents here need to be able to explain:

  • What is the law?
  • How does it benefit buyers?
  • Why should buyers want to be committed to an agent?

While you are working on how to answer these questions you need to consider the very first place that buyers are going to find you - at your website. Back in March 2021, NAR's Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends stated that 97% of home buyers search online first. Today it's likely more and that means that your online presence matters. Your website matters. You need to update your website.

The biggest thing I'm seeing this year is that this incredible, essential piece of information is missing or just not detailed enough on too many agents' websites. Now, more than ever before, you need to get your website evaluated, address these issues, and get a website makeover!

Be objective. Look at your website. Don't do what I did and look at 26 of them, maybe look at five others. Then take the time to ask yourself, "Ok, if I was a buyer what kind of information would I need to find here." Or, "If I was going to meet with a buyer at their home, what kind of information do I need to have prepared to have a discussion about buyer-brokerage agreements." If you are going to discuss it in person, you need to be able to discuss it online, you need to be able to discuss it on social media. Maybe that means posting a short video that explains this to your potential buyers.

If you need help with websites, reach out to us, I'll include a link below. Our Director of Technology, Randy, is our resident expert on real estate websites, online marketing, and anything tech-related - and he understands how the real estate business works and is easy to talk to. He can do an in-depth analysis of your website and propose options to you to get it on track. Be at the front of that line to get the help you need.

Don't wait until a buyer calls you one day and you discover that you aren't ready to have those discussions and you're not ready for them to look at your website.

By Denise Lones CSP, CMP, M.I.R.M.
The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones has over three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development and more, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.

The Lones Group, Inc.


Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Denise- there has been a lot of conversation about the NAR situation and the Buyer Agreement has been front and center. You make an excellent point about agents and their websites being prepared with answers. 

Apr 15, 2024 06:33 PM
Denise Lones

I kept looking for agents who included this kind of important information on their website, where most of their potential clients and referrals are going to first encounter them, and was a bit surprised to have to keep looking and looking. Nationwide, buyers are going to have questions about these issues and there are a lot of agents out there who need to get with the program and be better resources of information and advocacy for their own business practice online. Good to hear from you Kathy Streib - Denise

Apr 16, 2024 10:01 AM
June Piper-Brandon
Coldwell Banker Realty - Columbia, MD
Creating Generational Wealth Through Homeownership

Hi Denise, this is a great blog. So many agents don't get this signed up front, but now with the new rules this is the way of the future.

Apr 15, 2024 07:01 PM
Denise Lones

June Piper-Brandon - In my own State of Washington, this is already a requirement, but more education is needed among agents. More effective communication by agents to buyers is needed. We expect rules nationwide to conform around requiring buyer agreements in the near future, but agents should already be doing this and communicating about it today. - Denise

Apr 16, 2024 10:05 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good afternoon Denise,

EXCELLENT featured post! I work more with Listings now but when I work with a buyer I always have them sign a buyer agency agreement at our Buyer consultation and have for at least 12 years. Ithas been mandatory with our companay. The big change is before you show a buyer ANY home now they must sign a buyer rep agreement and no show one house to see if you are a good fit and then sign it. You are right more effective communication by agents to buyers is needed. 


Apr 20, 2024 12:22 PM
Denise Lones

Some states are a little later-to-the-table on buyer agency agreements than others, but I think this is a good move overall. Glad to hear you are onboard Dorie Dillard Austin TX - Denise

Apr 22, 2024 08:44 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

We have always used Buyer Representation Agreements. We start by doing a Buyer Consultation Session and the end of that 45-60 minute meeting , the buyers WANT To be Represented ! 

Apr 20, 2024 01:59 PM
Denise Lones

Michael J. Perry That is fantastic. Every buyer should want this and all agents should be as comfortable with buyer presentations as with listing presentations. Great work - Denise

Apr 22, 2024 08:46 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Our Broker now requires that we use our Buyer Representation and Broker Compensation Agreement form. Not a problem. Buyers need to understand what I promise to provide to them and why and how much I expect to be paid for my work.

Apr 22, 2024 06:04 PM
Denise Lones

John Juarez Our services are valuable and having these agreements in place protects our business and advocates for the value we bring to the transaction for both sellers and buyers.

For agents who need help reflecting specifically on why they are valuable. Check out this article from NAR.

Apr 23, 2024 10:01 AM
Doug Rogers
RE/MAX Coastal Properties - Destin, FL
Your Real Estate Resource!

I used BBA's exclusively prior to covid. Hardly had any resistance. And frankly if someone objected we were likely not a good fit anyway (probably saved me drama). 

Apr 24, 2024 08:03 AM
Denise Lones

Love this comment. Thank you Doug Rogers 

Apr 24, 2024 09:04 AM
Doug Rogers
RE/MAX Coastal Properties - Destin, FL
Your Real Estate Resource!

Love posts like this That make me think! Currently my website would fall in place with the other 26 you viewed :)

Apr 24, 2024 08:08 AM
Denise Lones

Doug Rogers Send our technology director an email - randy at thelonesgroup.com and he can help you with anything that needs doing. - Denise

Apr 24, 2024 09:06 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

I imagine the buyer agent fee will be lower. It was 3% then 2.5% now less. Not concerned.  Few agents are showing homes. List them and buyers will find listing agent. 

Apr 26, 2024 05:42 PM
Karen Martin Real estate agent Safe Harbor Realty
Safe Harbor Realty - Westport, MA
Westport, MA Realtor Helping Home Sellers & Buyers

Thank you  You made me look  I checked my website and it just needed a few tweeks. 

Apr 28, 2024 03:49 PM