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  • Writer's pictureGig Harbor Living Local

Association of REALTORS Under Scrutiny

Updated: Mar 1

Learn how Washington state has been out in front leading buyers agency and compensation

key2see Realty


By Jennifer Hawkins, Hawkins Poe - key2see Team

As a third-generation REALTOR, I have heard stories of agency law that goes back to 1946 with the legend of purchase agreements being done on a single page fill-in-the-blank carbon copy document. So, to say that we are an evolving practice would be an understatement. Like attorneys and physicians, we continue to work to make our industry stronger and more consumer friendly.

You may have heard of the National Association of REALTORS being under deep scrutiny and lawsuits from a class-action group. What I am here to inform our local consumers is how the state of Washington has been a leading force in buyer's agency and transparency for a more trustworthy experience for our consumers.

When a seller hires a REALTOR to list their home, there is a steadfast process involving multiple mandatory documents, and Washington state now has a similar process for the buyer. This is something that our firm, Hawkins-Poe and my team key2see, have already had in place for over 15 years — but the fact that it is now mandatory for the industry is music to my ears!

Buyer protection is invaluable! Purchasing a home is, for some people, the largest purchase in their lives; why a contract was not standard practice is alarming and what led to the class action suit. We now separate the buyer compensation from the seller compensation, showing the consumer exactly what is being paid and how it is being paid. If your representation is not setting up a Buyer Consultation before showing homes, be sure to know what questions to ask — or rethink that person as your trusted advisor.

Buyer Consultation should consist of:

1. Delivery of Law of Agency pamphlet

2. Discussion of compensation plan

3. Timeframe of your agency agreement

4. Geographical area of your search

5. Explanation of future purchase and sale agreement terms and options

We are proud of where we are heading in this industry, acknowledging where we have been. To imagine a one-page document versus the nearly 30-page contract we use today, I am proud to know our state is the leading force. With this enhanced practice, we will continue to protect the consumer by also creating wealth through homeownership.

The spring market has come early just as the groundhog predicted, with inflationary patterns continuing to flow as speculated rates will follow suit. Our lull in closed transactions may be coming to an end as we are seeing multiple offer situations and continued low levels of inventory. Reach out to your trusted advisor far in advance to make sure you have ample time to prep and get exactly what you need.  

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