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Keeping Buyers Informed and Reducing Liability

Using your site they way it should be

There are so many agents who have a webpage or blog and don’t use it to it’s full capacity.  Regardless if you’re “Green” or not, we can all agree that the reduction of paper is a healthy and cost effective way of doing business.  Therefore, to increase the services your website can provide, as well as to cut costs and be more socially conscious, I recommend online Buyer Packets.

The Interview Process

I’ve always performed, and recommended that Buyer Agents do a thorough interview of their potential client.  Agents should spend about an hour with prospects and customers seeing what they are looking for and establishing guidelines for how you plan on working with them.  There are no end to the questions that should be discussed in this interview, but of course the Buyer’s motivation, desires, ability, ideology and expectations are all reasonable starts.  Most States and Commonwealths require certain disclosures be made to the client.  Among those are Agency Disclosures and Material Real Property Disclosures.  I would think it wise that agents write a webpage or blog post regarding how their state and company handles Agency issues.  Also, you’re policies on handling showings should be outlined in a format that the Buyer can understand and refer to.  There are examples of things that agents routinely have to disclosure and should have readily available somewhere.

Enter the Online Buyer Packet

Taking the company specific and state specific articles and adding to a list of routine resources and disclosures will help you to better prepare the Buyer for the Buying Process and not forget something potentially important.  I recommend that the Buyer Client page should be password protected.  This will help keep your competitors from snagging your ideas and will also make your client feel a bit more special, in that they have been given this information.  That being said, many of the following resources should be readily available throughout your blog / website in order to encourage clients to return. 

I recommend the following items be on this buyer page:

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Be the Source of the Source,

but not the Source

One of the first and most lasting lessons I learned early on in my career, was that reducing liability was a primary concern.  It’s important for consumers to have information and for the practitioner to be instrumental in getting them that information.  However, there is great liability in providing information and perhaps being wrong.  Being able to refer the consumer to the source of information (such as five year plan or county / city zoning regulations) can ensure that they have access to information and you were the vehicle to get there, but not as liable for the information.

Do you have any favorite client sites?

Written By

Matthew Rathbun is a Virginia Licensed Broker and Director of Professional Development for Coldwell Banker Elite, in Fredericksburg Virginia. He has opened and managed real estate firms, as well as coached and mentored agents and Brokers. As a Residential REALTOR®, Matthew was a high volume agent and past REALTOR® Rookie of the Year & Virginia Association Instructor of the Year. You can follow him on Twitter as "MattRathbun" and on Facebook. Matthew's blog is



  1. Ken Brand

    February 27, 2009 at 7:42 am

    Hear Ye, Hear Ye, long live Buyer’s Packets, On-line and Real Time.

    What a fantastic list. I might add:

    A sample copy of the basic contract – so they know what it looks like and can ask questions before they write.

    A sample copy of the Seller’s Disclosure – so they know what it looks like and can ask questions before they write.

    Information of Home Protection Plans

    Maybe a sample of what the Listing Agreement looks like – in case they are selling.

    Great information, I’m going to bookmark for sharing with the team.


  2. Jim Rake

    February 27, 2009 at 7:53 am


    As always, thanks for the resources!

    And the must do:

    “Buyer Agents do a thorough interview of their potential client”

  3. Mark Eibner

    February 27, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    we’re at it again Keeping Buyers Informed and Reducing Liability: Get out of your feed reader a..

  4. sheilabragg

    February 27, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Keeping Buyers Informed and Reducing Liability: Get out of your feed reader and comment on this post- we PROMISE..

  5. Brian Block

    February 27, 2009 at 5:22 pm


    Thanks for the homework assignment. Great idea! Now, I’ve just got to make the time to do it.

  6. Kim Hannemann

    February 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Thanks, Matthew, some great sources here. But you might want to check how you are linking – a lot of 404s where your link is like

  7. Missy Caulk

    February 28, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    I like that, explain to the buyers HOW you work, which is basically how we are going to find them a house. Not by looking at 40.

  8. Kim Wood

    March 4, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    I wish your list was around when Missy and I were in the Makeover contest 🙂 I actually do provide an electronic buyer packet – and cite some sources… your list is much more complete – so thank you!!

    Great thought – be the source of the source – not the source.

  9. Jonathan Phan

    March 6, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Thanks for the info

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