Dated: 03/28/2017

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How to Buy a Home with Karen Komo Keller Williams Realty Warrenton, VA



For the Buyer who wants to get their home search started, there are 3 steps in the process that need to be completed BEFORE the first property tour begins.

    #1. Select an experienced Realtor to manage the home buying process. Seriously, select only one Realtor!! Working with multiple Agents who all work in the same territory, is a recipe for disaster.

    #2. Get Pre-Approved by a reputable Lender. Agents have a list of trusted Mortgage Companies and Loan Consultants they've worked with in the past. Buyers should ask their selected Agent for vendor recommendations.

    #3. Sign a BBA (Buyer/Broker Agreement) with an Agent. The BBA ensures that a Buyer’s best interests are the Agent's top priority and protected throughout the entire home buying process.

In the pursuit of a new home, there's a tremendous amount of paperwork for Buyers to sign. Contracts, Addendums, Loan Applications, Loan Package documents, just to name a few.

The BBA is one of the most important documents to sign. It secures the Buyer’s representation throughout the entire home buying process. As well, the BBA marks the official start of a home search. That's when the fun begins.


The State of Virginia requires written notice about agency relationships "at the time substantive discussions begin regarding specific real estate property".

Until last year, Northern Virginia Agents could not show a property to a potential Buyer without having the BBA signed in advance of their first meeting.

In July 2016, The State of Virginia relaxed the rules to some degree. Virginia now allows Agents to have the BBA signed at the Agent's first meeting with a potential Buyer.

A Buyer, touring homes with an Agent without the benefit of a signed BBA, is categorized as a "customer". In the eyes of The State of Virginia, this Buyer to be an "unrepresented" party; and the showing Agent has no fiduciary responsibility to them. Without a signed BBA, the Agent represents the Seller and is solely responsible to the Seller with regard to the sales price, contract terms, and net profit. In this situation, an Agent is required to look out for the best interests of the Seller. 

Without a BBA to protect their interests, Buyers put themselves at risk. They are a “customer” without representation. No one is looking out for their best interests. 

A "customer" can be transformed into a "client" when a Buyer/Broker Agreement is signed. The BBA establishes an Agent's fiduciary responsibility to a Buyer; it guarantees that the Agent will always work in the best interest of the Buyer, now their client.  

For mutual benefit, the BBA also formalizes the Buyer’s commitment to work exclusively with their Agent of choice, foregoing the other 9,999 members of the NVAR (Northern Virginia Association of Realtors).

With a Buyer's commitment to work exclusively with an Agent, the search for the best property begins. Working effectively together, a successful closing will be on the horizon. That's what makes having a signed BBAa "win-win" for everyone.


Buyers deserve and need an advocate working full time in their best interest during the home search, inspections, negotiations, and closing.

There are few options available to an Agent when a Buyer does not want to sign a BBA. Regretfully, the Agent must “move on” in order to work with Buyers who want to establish representation with them.

Currently, in Northern Virginia, it's a "Sellers' Market". Simply stated, NoVA has a low inventory of homes for sale and high buyer demand.

With this type of market, it's not unusual for a Buyer to submit offers on different properties until they have the winning bid. Under these conditions, weathering the home search process requires a strong bond of faith and loyalty between Agent and Buyer. It’s impossible to predict how long a home search will take.  

Regardless of the length of time it takes to find the perfect home, the gallons of gas consumed, or hours tallied behind the scenes, the fact is Agents work for FREE until a property closes. At that point, the Seller pays a commission to the Agent’s Brokerage based on the Sold Price.

Yes, compensation is received only after a Buyer’s Agent guides their client through the home search and purchase process to a successful closing. If the property does not close for any reason, an Agent’s time and effort are not reimbursed.

Everyone likes to get paid for a job well done. The BBA Agreement protects an Agent's commission when they are the procuring cause of a real estate sale. Agents showing homes to Buyers without a signature on a BBA, work without a safety net. Eventually, there will be a detrimental impact to the Agent’s livelihood.


The Seller and Listing Agent determine the commission percentage for the "Buyer Side" Brokerage. The percentage amount is established when the property is listed. It's noted in the property's MLS listing detail.

"Buyer Side" commission is paid by the Seller out of the proceeds of the sale. After closing, and after the sale of the property is recorded, the "Buyer Side" commission is sent to the Agent's Brokerage.

From there, it's distributed based on guidelines and agreements previously established. For members of the Toll Road Living Team, the earned commission is divided into a minimum of 3 separate entities up to a maximum of 5.

A Buyer's Agent would love to put the entire commission in their pocket. However, several people contribute to a successful closing. Many are behind the scenes and you never meet them. They, too, are rewarded financially after closing for a job well done.

As standard operating procedure, Brokerage commissions are not included in or considered part of the negotiation between Seller and Buyer when discussing selling price and contract terms.  

Brokerage commissions are established in advance. Home Prices, on the other hand, can be negotiated as part of the home buying process.

Commissions are paid on the final Sold Price. Agents have a fiduciary responsibility to find their clients the best house at the best price possible, regardless of the financial impact on their personal bank account.

Compensation is NEVER received from Vendors recommended by an Agent. Recommendations can include Mortgage Lenders, Title Companies, Home & Pest Inspectors, Septic, Well & Water Inspectors, Trade Specialists…just to name a few.

Agents recommend trusted vendors because they know they'll do a great job at a great price.

When trusted vendors are used, Agents have a high level of confidence their client’s needs will be well taken care of. Most importantly, Agents know their trusted vendors will get their Buyer to the settlement table on time and in good spirits.

To an Agent, closing on time is worth its weight in gold. A happy client and an "on time" closing is all the "compensation" a Buyer's Agent needs or wants from a recommended vendor.


"BBA”is standard operating procedure and is required by The State of Virginia and an Agent's Brokerage to establish representation in the sale of real estate.
"BBA”formalizes the business relationship between a Buyer and their Agent. It establishes loyalty to one another during the search for and purchase of real estate.
"BBA"has a beginning and ending date agreed to by the Agent and Buyer. These dates are negotiable and the length of the agreement can be from 1 day to 1 year (or more).
"BBA"is considered more of an "engagement" than a "marriage". With written notice, a Buyer can terminate a BBA with little fanfare or drama if they decide to “go in a different direction”.
“BBA”protects a Buyer. Purchasing real estate is an important financial decision. As an “unrepresented party”, a Buyer takes a risk as an unrepresented party in a real estate transaction.


Home Buyers we represent are never charged a retainer or cancellation fee.

Rest assured Keller Williams, the entire Toll Road Living Team,

and I will do everything possible to minimize the stress 

and maximize the excitement of the home buying process.

Thinking About Moving?

We have a Listing Specialist on The Toll Road Living Team

Let me introduce you to Frank Kenney

search for homes in northern virginia



BRISTOW, VA (20136) 

HAYMARKET, VA (20168 & 20169)

MANASSAS, VA (All Zip Codes)

GAINESVILLE, VA (20255 & 20156)

WARRENTON, VA (20186 & 20187)


MARSHALL, VA (20155)

LEESBURG, VA (20175)


ALDI, VA (20105)

Prince Williams County: 55+ Active Adult Homes 

 Fauquier County 55+ Active Adult Homes


Call, Text, E-mail me today! Let's get started.


Karen Komo

Buyer's Specialist – Toll Road Living Team

Keller Williams Realty-Reston/Herndon

Call or Text: 703-244-9343

[email protected]


search for homes northern virginia

When you’re ready to explore your options,

call us at 703-244-9343.

Or, sign up for hot property alerts so you will be the first to know

when homes meeting your search criteria hit the market.

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Frank Kenney

I grew up in Fairfax County and playing sports throughout the area. As an adult I have been running my own company for almost 10 years. I took a struggling franchise and grew it into the largest of i....

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