2024 Washington state Agency Law resources



If you are a CBA Member, log in now and click on Agency Law Resources in the website navigation to see the member version of this page with drafts of updated Legal Library PRO forms.


This page is meant to give COMMERCIAL BROKERS AND AGENTS insight into the recent shifts in Washington's agency law and help them implement the provisions of the new law properly.  


If you are a residential broker or work on residential transactions, please see Northwest MLS, Washington REALTORS®, or your local residential board for their specific guidelines. 


The most important things to know about the 2024 Washington Agency Law Revision are:


Commercial Transactions: Written services agreements are NOT required for buyers and tenants who are SOLEY interested in commercial real estate, but they are recommended. Commercial real estate is primarily defined as land that has or is zoned for greater than four residential units that isn’t agricultural or timber land.


Compensation Disclosure: Brokers who don’t have a services agreement MUST disclose terms of compensation when representing Buyers or Tenants before the client signs an offer. The easiest and most recommended process is to outline the compensation clearly in a Letter of Intent (LOI), signed by both the Buyer and Seller, or Tenant and Landlord.


Limited Dual Agency: The term "dual agent" has been changed to "limited dual agent" to reflect the limited representation that a broker can provide when representing both a Buyer and Seller. Both the Buyer and the Seller must specifically consent to having a broker act as a limited dual agent.


New Pamphlet: The "Law of Agency Pamphlet" that brokers must provide to consumers explaining real estate brokerage relationships has been modernized and renamed, "Real Estate Brokerage in Washington." A copy from CBA can be found here. Brokers must obtain receipt confirmation from recipients of the pamphlet.




We've created an at-a-glance chart to help you understand what action/documentation/form is required for different scenarios based on the status of your current deals. Please contact us with any additional questions or concerns you may have.







Listing agreement signed prior to 1/1/24

Amend to address seller's consent to limited dual agency - use Form LE

Listing agreement signed on 1/1/24 or later

Use new Listing Agreement


Purchase and Sale Agreement pending before 1/1/24

No action required

Purchase and Sale Agreement written on 1/1/24 or later

Use new Purchase and Sale Agreement form


Existing buyer/tenant agency relationships

Buyer/tenant must sign new services agreement effective 1/1/24 unless the commercial real estate exception applies and the parties elected not to enter a services agreement

Existing written buyer/tenant agency agreement

Parties should update their agreement effective 1/1/24 using a new buyer/tenant representation agreement


Buyer with existing PSA that has not yet closed on 1/1/24

No need to sign services agreement unless (a) sale fails AND (b) commercial real estate exception does not apply

CBA's legal counsel has prepared a short video overview of the upcoming changes. 



Legal Bulletin: 2024 Agency Law Revision and Forms Changes


Significant revisions to Washington’s law governing real estate brokerage relationships (RCW 18.86, the “Agency Law”) became effective on January 1, 2024.  Among other things, the revised Act requires firms to enter written services agreements with buyers as soon as they commence providing real estate brokerage services. (There is an exception to this requirement for buyers who are solely interested in commercial real estate, as defined by Washington law.) 


The revisions, which are set forth in Senate Bill 5191, include:


  • Requiring real estate firms to enter into a written brokerage services agreement with a buyer as soon as reasonably practical after commencing real estate brokerage services unless the appointed broker performs real estate brokerage services solely for commercial real estate;
  • Changing the term “dual agent” to “limited dual agent” to reflect the limited representation that a broker can provide when representing both the buyer and the seller;
  • Requiring specific consent by buyers and sellers to an individual broker acting as a limited dual agent;
  • Clarifying that a broker owes certain duties in RCW 18.86.030 to all parties in a transaction;
  • Requiring disclosure to all parties of any compensation offered to a firm by another party or another real estate firm; and
  • Modernizing the “pamphlet” that brokers must provide to consumers explaining real estate brokerage relationships.

These changes in the law necessitated revisions to several CBA forms, as well as the creation of new forms. “The Law of Agency” pamphlet has been replaced by a new pamphlet, “Real Estate Brokerage in Washington.” The revised pamphlet is available below and updated forms were published for use in Legal Library Pro on January 1, 2024.


The revisions to the Agency Law apply to both purchase and sale transactions and lease transactions. References to buyers and sellers in the Legal Bulletin generally apply to tenants and landlords.


IMPORTANT: It is critical that you fully understand the information in the Legal Bulletin below. Failure to comply with the revisions could result in financial, legal and/or regulatory issues. Please read the ENTIRE LEGAL BULLETIN.


LEGAL BULLETIN: 2024 Agency Law Revision and Forms Changes


A New and Improved Pamphlet

This pamphlet provides general information about real estate brokerage and summarizes the laws related to real estate brokerage relationships. It describes a real estate broker's duties to the seller/landlord and buyer/tenant. Detailed and complete  
information about real estate brokerage relationships is available in chapter 18.86 RCW


CBA's Real Estate Brokerage in Washington Pamphlet






We are exploring adding additional Agency Law and Forms revisions classes at this time due to popular demand. Please check back soon for additional dates and a recording of the class. 


The recent changes to Washington Agency Law impact all aspects of how you do business, from agreements with clients to compensation structures. In response to the changes, CBA has revised the Legal Library PRO forms that are affected. We are offering an additional live webinar class to help our members understand the revisions to the law and properly execute all required forms. 


We encourage all brokers to take a class to understand how their practices and conversations will change. Updated forms (revised services agreements) and the pamphlet will be available for review and discussion during the classes.


Don't get caught unprepared … You must understand this critical information to conduct your business!


In this class, you'll learn about:


  • Critical revisions to Washington’s Agency Law that went into effect on January 1, 2024. 
  • New revisions to select forms in the CBA Legal Library PRO related to the Agency Law change. 
  • New forms created in connection with the Agency Law change.  
  • How to use the new and revised forms so you will be in compliance with the new law and avoid financial, legal and/or regulatory issues.

Our forms have been carefully prepared by the Commercial Brokers Association's legal counsel and are the industry standard for commercial and investment real estate transactions. CBA's forms are designed to provide protection for brokers who use them by ensuring that changes created by modifications in license law or case law are reflected in the forms.



Click on the links below for more information:



If you have any questions in the weeks and months ahead, our Executive Team stands ready to assist you personally at (425) 820-3348.


On behalf of the CBA Board of Directors and our staff, we appreciate your continued support and membership of our organization, and we are committed to being a trusted partner and reliable resource to you throughout the course of this transition and beyond.