You are here

Agency Information for Consumers

The Virginia Association of Realtors® worked to help develop legislation to enhance the agency relationship disclosure requirements between licensees and those they represent. This means there are a number of changes to the existing agency laws in Virginia, and VAR wants to make sure that our members and you, the client or customer, understands how it works and what you can expect.


About written brokerage agreements
You and your REALTOR®
Virginia Real Estate Board guidance on written brokerage agreements


So, why do you have to sign brokerage agreement? 

The short answer is that Virginia law requires it in order to protect you. The longer answer is that having something in writing — whether it covers a single property or a months-long relationship — ensures that both you and your Realtor® understand exactly what’s expected from each other.

Be sure to discuss your options with your Realtor®, and make sure all your questions are answered.

In the past, when you have purchased a home you may have worked with a real estate agent with no written agreement in place. As of July 1, 2012, it is now the law in Virginia that written agreements must be in place for many services to be provided by a real estate agent, similar to how it is with many other types of professional business relationships.

Back to top


A real estate agent’s job is to help guide you through the complexities of buying or selling a property. But not everyone with a real estate license is a Realtor®. A Realtor® is not just a real estate licensee, but is also a member of the National Association of REALTORS®.

What’s the difference? Realtors® must meet stricter education requirements than the law requires, and they’re bound not only by that law, but by the higher standard of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics.

That’s why only Realtors® are allowed to use the famous Realtor® “R”. Your Realtor® is committed to protecting your interests throughout the entire transaction with the integrity, honor, professionalism, and expertise that meets the high standards set by the “Realtor®” name. And Realtors® have access to more and more sophisticated tools to help sellers market their properties to the right audience, help buyers find just the right home, and make the entire process run smoothly.

You’ll find your Realtor® isn’t just an expert on your local real estate market, but also a trusted advisor who can help you navigate a complex transaction.


Back to top


At its meeting September 6, 2012, the Virginia Real Estate Board approved the “Guidance Document on the Necessity of Brokerage Agreements” to provide clarity on when a written agreement must be in place directly from the body that issues real estate licenses (they enforce licensing regulations to make sure real estate licensees comply with Virginia laws and regulations). The strong gist of this document is that intent is the real indicator of when an agreement must be in place. If you, the consumer, intend to purchase or sell real property and engage a real estate licensee to do so, you will need to have a written brokerage agreement in place

CLICK HERE to view a short video from Cliff Wells, Chairman of the Virginia Real Estate Board, and to read and download the 3-page guidance document.

Back to top