Uncategorized January 19, 2024

Exciting Real Estate Changes Made in Washington State



Big news for Washington’s real estate scene! Starting January 1, 2024, significant changes are coming to the state’s real estate laws. This marks the most significant overhaul since 1997, shaping the real estate landscape for today’s needs. The once-known “Law of Agency” is now “Real Estate Brokerage in Washington,” ushering in modernization, transparency, and enhanced protections for both buyers and sellers.

Let’s rewind a bit. In the past, Washington brokers only represented sellers, leaving buyers without dedicated representation. The 1997 Law of Agency expanded broker representation to home buyers, though without a mandatory agreement.

Now, from January 1, 2024, a comprehensive set of updates includes:

  1. Mandatory Buyer Broker Services Agreement: Brokers must engage in a written agreement with buyers, empowering them to negotiate terms, representation, and compensation.
  2. Enhanced Limited Dual Agency Disclosure: Consumers can now willingly consent to limited dual agency, departing from the prior passive consent model.
  3. Broker Responsibilities: Brokers must provide the Real Estate Brokerage in Washington pamphlet to clients and unrepresented parties.

What Does This Mean for You?

For Buyers: Starting January 1, 2024, buyers need a Buyer Broker Services Agreement, covering critical elements like the agreement term, exclusivity, compensation rate, and how the broker will be compensated.

For Sellers: Exciting changes for sellers include negotiability in the compensation rate offered to a buyer broker. Prior to 2022, MLS rules restricted negotiations, but now sellers have more transparency and decisions to make in the listing process.

These amendments signify a significant stride towards modernization and heightened transparency in Washington’s real estate sector. The introduction of the Buyer Broker Services Agreement empowers buyers and represents a paradigm shift in negotiation practices for the benefit of sellers.

FAQs – Your Guide to the New Real Estate Landscape:

  1. Compensation Rate Transparency: All online listings in Washington state now provide a Buyer Agency Compensation (BAC) or a Buyer Brokerage Commission (BBC) section, ensuring transparency.
  2. Lower Compensation Rates: If the compensation rate is lower than your agreement, discuss options with your broker, including negotiating with the seller or covering the difference.
  3. Terminating the Agreement: To end the agreement, request a termination form from your broker. Be aware of any agreed-upon tail provision.
  4. Multiple Broker Agreements: The possibility depends on the nature of your relationship, with exclusive, non-exclusive, and county-specific agreements explained.
  5. Variations in Agreements: While the law outlines minimum terms, variations exist among forms. The Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) offers Form 41A, but your broker may have their version.

Have more questions about navigating the future of Washington’s real estate?

Reach out and so we can discuss these changes and how to succeed in the marketplace.