IMPORTANT: The text below originally said that the broker agreement was not a contract. It is a contract, and the wording has been changed to reflect that.

 

Let’s say you talk to a potential buyer client on the phone. You decide to get together and chat about what he’s looking for, how you can help, and so on.

You know that once you start talking beyond the basics (“How ’bout those Giants?”) you’ll probably have to sign a buyer-broker agreement. It shouldn’t be an issue, but it can’t hurt to prepare him ahead of time.

Assuming you’ll be sending him a quick confirmation e-mail, here’s something you can cut, paste, and tweak into that message:

By the way, when we meet I’m probably going to need you to sign what’s called a buyer-broker agreement. It’s a contract required by a new Virginia law that spells out how I’ll help you find a home.

I know it might seem odd to have to sign something right away, but every Realtor you work with will ask you to. It’s the law these days.

If you want more information, the Virginia Association of Realtors has a very good explanation on its website: www.VARealtor.com/agency-information-for-consumers. And I’ll be happy to explain it to you in person.

Besides directing them to VAR’s consumer page, you can attach a copy of the “Your Realtor’s Role” PDF — get it from VARealtor.com/realtorsrole — or just tell them where to download it. (Our tip: Bring a copy when you meet, and use it to explain the agency law.)