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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

  • Pending Sales for Massachusetts Homebuyers Maintain Steady Year-Over-Year Increases for Almost Four Years This February

    WALTHAM, Mass. – March 14, 2017 – The Massachusetts Association of Realtors® (MAR) reported today that ongoing buyer demand pushed pending sales up three percent over last year. Pending sales have been up 47 of the last 48 months, marking almost four years of positive gains in single family homes put under agreement. Realtors® confidence both in the market and in home prices was positive in February. 

     February Pending Sales:  

    Single Family February 2017 February 2016 % Change
    Sales 3,967 3,852 3.0%
    Median Price $330,000 $309,000 6.8%
    • Pending sales have been up 47 of the last 48 months  
    Condominium February 2017 February 2016 % Change
    Sales 1,558 1,566 -0.5%
    Median Price $313,000 $290,000 7.9%
    • Pending sales have been up or flat 17 of the last 18 months  

    “Buyers have been tireless these past four years, showing that the desire to live and work in Massachusetts is strong despite dwindling inventory and rising prices,” said 2017 MAR President Paul Yorkis, president of Patriot Real Estate in Medway.  

     Realtor® Market and Price Confidence Indexes:  

    Confidence Index February 2017 February 2016 %Change
    Market 75.20 68.66 10%
    Price 77.00 75.70 2%
    • The Realtor® Market Confidence Index was up for the 11th straight month
    • Measured on a 100-point scale, a score of 50 is the midpoint between a “strong” (100 points) and a “weak” (0 points) market condition  

    “This is the highest recording Market Confidence Index for the month of February since we began recording the data in 2008,” said Yorkis. “This speaks to the strength of the market this past year, as well as looking ahead to the spring market of 2017."