A well-known property portal has recently announced it will have a “touring agreement” to be used with buyers who have been acquired through their lead-generation service. The “touring agreement” is in response to the NAR Proposed Settlement which requires agents and buyers to have a written agreement before “touring” a home.

Upon analysis of this “touring agreement” form, Virginia REALTORS® does not believe it is in compliance with the requirements of Virginia law.

Please discuss your business practices AND any agreements that you are going to use with your broker and ensure that any forms you use are in compliance with Virginia law.

Additionally, before using any agreements which do not include any compensation, check with both your broker and your E&O insurance carrier. There are reports saying that some E&O policies will not provide coverage in any instances where there is no compensation paid.

Addendum – Added 5/3/24

Virginia has had buyer agency laws since the mid-1990s, and over the past 30 years, the law has been updated to specify details about what must be included in an agreement between a buyer or seller and a real estate broker.

The recently released “touring agreement” does not contain all of the provisions that are required by Virginia law. Two such examples:

  1. When a buyer and broker enter into an agreement that is a non-agency relationship (like an independent contractor relationship), the agreement must specifically state that the real estate licensee is acting as an independent contractor and not as an agent.
  2. All agreements between buyers (or sellers) and brokers must contain the name and contact information of the supervising broker – the person who has a legal obligation to ensure compliance with the law.

While a non-agency, non-exclusive agreement is not a problem legally in Virginia, such an agreement must contain specific information to be in compliance with the law. The “touring agreement” we have seen does not contain all of the necessary information.

This is why it is essential that real estate agents always consult with their broker before using a new contract or form.