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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

  • Massachusetts Pending Home Sales and Median Price Up Again in June

    The Massachusetts Association of Realtors® (MAR) reported today that single-family pending home sales were up over nine percent in June from last year. Pending condominium sales were also up more than 12 percent. The median price for both single-family homes and condos saw a hike, with the single-family median price rising over the $400,000 mark. Realtors® confidence both in the market and in home prices dipped slightly in June. This month’s “Hot Topic” question finds that the majority of Realtors® surveyed have had at least one transaction that was an all-cash deal (i.e. no mortgage involved) since the beginning of the year.

    June Pending Sales: 

    Single Family June 2017 June2016 % Change
    Sales 6,723 6,128 9.7%
    Median Price $410,000 $380,000 7.9%
    • Pending sales have been up 51 of the last 52 months 
    Condominium June2017 June2016 % Change
    Sales 2,596 2,307 12.5%
    Median Price $370,000 $349,900 2.9%
    • Pending sales have been up or flat 20 of the last 22 months 

    “The increase in homes put under agreement this month may be a positive sign for a spring market that has suffered plummeting inventory,” said 2017 MAR President Paul Yorkis, president of Patriot Real Estate in Medway. “However, median prices have continued to rise, which can push some buyers out of the market.”

    Realtor® Market and Price Confidence Indexes: 

    Confidence Index June2017 June2016 %Change
    Market 80.73 80.97 -0.29%
    Price 71.79 73.87 -2.82%
    • The Realtor® Market Confidence Index went down for the first time in 27 months
    • The Realtor® Price Confidence Index went down for the first time in six months
    • 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  

    “The Realtor® Market Confidence Index has dipped year-over-year for the first time in over two years, indicating that Realtors® are growing concerned about some of their buyers being able to succeed in this market,” said Yorkis. “However, both indexes reveal that ultimately Realtors® remain positive. We just need to see more inventory to keep up with the demand.”

    With home inventory being as tight as it is, you want to give yourself every advantage if you are thinking of buying a home in Massachusetts. For the best possible experience, be sure to work with an agent who is a member of the Massachusetts Association of Buyer Agents.