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About Buyer Agents

About Buyer Agents

Real estate transactions are not simple transactions. Most buyers and sellers need advice, and the key is to find a competent real estate broker in MA. A buyer agent is an agent working for the home buyer in a real estate transaction.

The standards and definition of buyer agency have blurred over the years as national real estate companies have attempted to alter the definition of buyer agency. Unfortunately, it is confusing for the home buyer, the consumer, and the burden is placed on the consumer to be able to clearly differentiate who is a real buyer agent.

The courts view real estate brokers as agents in the legal sense, meaning they are fiduciaries. Fiduciaries are individuals in positions of trust who act on behalf of others. Examples of other agents/fiduciaries are attorneys, accountants and trust officers in banks.

If you form an agency relationship with a real estate broker, the current law mandates that as your agent he owes you, the client, very specific duties. For example, an agent must put your interest first even before his own, be obedient to your wishes (within the law), protect your confidentiality, disclose facts that might affect your decisions, and negotiate on your behalf. The courts view an agent as an advocate of one party, not as a middleman or facilitator for both buyer and seller.

If you decide that you want only the services of a true agent, one working only for you as a home buyer, find one who will commit in writing to an agency/fiduciary relationship. If you are a seller, your listing agreement should include a disclosure explaining the agency status of the broker.

Transactional Brokers - The Gray Area

About MABA Buyer AgentsUntil recently, real estate brokers were liable in all states as fiduciaries under the common law of agency. However, there are brokers who do not want to be accountable to the public in this way. As a result, legislation has passed (or is pending in a few states) to create a new category of broker called transactional broker (also called limited agent or neutral agent).

A transactional broker walks and talks like an agent/fiduciary, but he or she is not accountable to the consumer as such. Hiring a transactional broker would be like hiring an attorney who says that they will provide legal services, but then they aren't liable to you for their advice. Interview real estate brokers before working with them. Be confident in their expertise and the role they are committed to providing you. Buyer beware.


Latest from the Blog

  • Closed Home Sales Down in April After Record Inventory Lows and Rising Prices

    Median Sales Prices Have Seen Year-Over-Year Increases for 19 Straight Months

    WALTHAM, Mass. – May 23, 2017 – The Massachusetts Association of Realtors® (MAR) reported today that low inventory and rising prices caught up to the spring market, with single-family home sales decreasing over eight percent from this time last year. Both single-family and condominium prices saw a hike. Condominium sales decreased almost 10 percent from April 2016.

    April Closed Sales:

    Single-Family April 2017 April 2016 %Change
    Sales 3,735 4,082 -8.5%
    Median Price $362,500 $349,900 +3.6%
    • Closed sales have been down for four out of the last 12 months
    • Median prices have been up or flat for 16 out of the last 17 months
    Condominium April 2017 April 2016 %Change
    Sales 1,455 1,607 -9.5%
    Median Price $345,000 $329,950 +4.6%
    • Closed sales have been down for four out of the last 12 months
    • Median prices have been up or flat for 16 out of the last 17 months

    “With the current trend of plunging inventory and rising prices, the odds were strong that sales increases of the winter market would be unsustainable through the spring,” said 2017 MAR President Paul Yorkis, president of Patriot Real Estate in Medway. “The demand is there; we just need more homes on the market to satisfy that demand.”

    Inventory and Days on Market:

    Single-Family April 2017 April 2016 %Change
    Inventory 13,234 19,392 -31.8%
    Months of Supply 2.7 4.0 -32.5%
    Days on Market 81 107 -24.3%
    New Listings 7,706 8,513 -9.5%
    • 62nd time in the last 63 months of year-over-year inventory decreases
    Condominium April 2017 April 2016 %Change
    Inventory 1,455 1,607 -9.5%
    Months of Supply 2.0 2.8 -28.6%
    Days on Market 60 78 -23.1%
    New Listings 2,640 2,971 -11.1%
    • Inventory down for 16 out of the last 17 months

    “Unfortunately, our existing level of inventory makes it hard for us to meet our current and future housing needs,” said Yorkis. “If we don’t do anything soon, it will have a negative impact on the entire Massachusetts economy.”

    If you are thinking of buying a home anywhere in the state of Massachusetts, it is in your best interest to work with a member of the Massachusetts Association of Buyer Agents. These men and women are dedicated to working exclusively on your behalf to ensure that you have the best possible home-buying experience. Find a MABA agent here.