Home BuyingReal Estate LawWashington Real Estate LicenseWindermere Bellevue Commons News February 1, 2024

Agency Update – Buyer Brokerage Service Agreements

Effective January 1, 2024, the statute in Washington that governs real estate brokerage relationships (RCW 18.86) – otherwise known as the “Agency Law” – was significantly revised. The revisions modernize the 25-year-old law, provide additional transparency and consumer protections, and acknowledge the importance of buyer representation.

Key Revisions


For years, real estate brokerage firms were only required to enter into written agreements with sellers, not buyers. The Agency Law now requires firms to enter into a written “brokerage services agreement” with any party the firm represents, both sellers and buyers. This change is to ensure that buyers (in addition to sellers) clearly understand the terms of the firm’s representation and compensation. The services agreement with buyers must include:


❱ The term of the agreement (with a default term of 60 days and an option for a longer term);

❱ The name of the broker appointed to be the buyer’s agent;

❱ Whether the agency relationship is exclusive or non-exclusive;

❱ Whether the buyer consents to the individual broker representing both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction (referred to as “limited dual agency”);

❱ Whether the buyer consents to the broker’s designated broker/ managing broker’s limited dual agency;

❱ The amount the firm will be compensated and who will pay the compensation; and

❱ Any other agreements between the parties.


Additional Information

In addition to the revisions above, there are several other amendments to the agency law regarding buyer clients that brokers must be aware of & adhere to – below are further materials that should be reviewed and may be provided to clients if they so choose.


Revised NWMLS Pamphlet

The NWMLS has provided a pamphlet entitled “Real Estate Brokerage in Washington” that provides an overview of the revised Agency Law. This document has replaced the previous “Law of Real Estate” flyer.

Click here to access a digital copy, or scan the QR code to the right.


Revised Agency Law

The Substitute Senate Bill 5191 sets forth the revised Agency Law in its entirety.

Click here to access a digital copy, or scan the QR code to the right.


Client Marketing

To make these revisions digestible and easily accessible, Windermere has put together a marketing sheet for homebuyers with all of the information above in an attractive, comprehensive flyer.


It is vitally important that buyer clients understand their rights & the requirements of their brokers to help create a transparent & communicative transaction – this flyer makes transmitting that information much simpler.


To access a downloadable copy of this flyer, please click here or on the image above.

With the arrival of the new year has come some significant changes (for the better) that will protect brokers & their clients from miscommunication and foster an environment that enables clear communication.


As with anything, if you as a homeowner have any questions, don’t hesitate to consult with your Windermere agent. If you don’t already have an agent, please reach out to Windermere Bellevue Commons and we’d be thrilled to introduce you to some of the most knowledgeable brokers in the industry.


Written by Jessica Adams