Below is a definition provided by the Virginia Association of Realtors to illustrate how Charlottesville Virginia real estate business must be conducted. This has been updated by the State of Virginia since the original Post.
In order for Virginia Realtors to assist their customers and clients (both Buyers and Sellers) the Virginia law makes some very explicit requirements for agreed written terms of that assistance. We are often asked by people unfamiliar with this law, about why they need to sign any kind of agreement. The short answer is: because it is the law. Please see the explanation below offered by the Virginia Association of Realtors (VAR). …
2016 UPDATE FROM VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
“The 2016 General Assembly amended 54.1-2132 and 54.1-2134 of the Code of Virginia by adding subsections clarifying the need for written brokerage agreements in order to just show properties. The new language states in part nothing in the chapter shall be construed to require a written agreement between a licensee and a prospective buyer/tenant to be executed prior to the licensee’s showing properties to the prospective buyer/tenant. The board wants to provide information on what showing properties many entail. Showing properties to a prospective buyer/tenant is not merely opening the door and leaving the person unsupervised in the property. Showing a property includes but is not limited to taking the prospective buyer/tenant to the property, walking the individuals through the property, and responding to questions or providing information that is of public record; or is included in the listing agreement or description of the property; or does not involve the opinion of, or the use of discretion of judgement by the licensee.”
If you want to see how this plays out in various life situations, please CLICK HERE to see the difference between a buyer who is a CUSTOMER vs a buyer who is a CLIENT.
We are permitted to adjust the duration and terms of our brokerage relationship to fit the needs of all parties, but the necessity for that agreement to be in writing is always in place…. to protect all involved from any misunderstandings. We want you to know about this requirement so that you’re not blindsided when we mention that a signature will be necessary to indicate that you want our involvement in any substantive real estate activities. Thanks for understanding!