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Questions for Buyer Agents

Evaluating Buyer Agents

Real estate transactions are typically complex, often stressful and usually time consuming. Primary benefits to home buyers of engaging a real estate professional include saving time and money.

The majority of MABA clients are busy professionals. They value the expertise of a proven real estate professional. They want the peace of mind of having a MABA buyer broker who is their guide throughout the home buying process. Most clients readily acknowledge that they simply don't have the time or expertise to commit the resources to research, evaluate, and negotiate the complexities of the home buying process on their own.

If this perspective sounds familiar, let us help you as a prospective home buyer make an informed evaluation of buyer brokers. Below are some questions to help you evaluate a buyer's agent.

Questions for Evaluating a Buyer Agent

How do you find a buyer agent that you have confidence in and are comfortable working with? Ask for referrals. If you are new to MA, start with a credible organization such as MABA where less than 1% of MA buyer agents meet the strict membership standards. Then ask questions and evaluate your comfort level with their expertise, credentials and track record.

  • Are you a buyer's agent? If yes, what experience have you had as a buyer's agent?
  • What specific training do you have as a buyer's agent?
  • Does your office have ongoing sales meetings on ways to benefit buyer clients?
  • Are you a member of a buyer's agent association?
  • How long have you worked on the buyer's side?
  • How long did you work on the seller's side?
  • Do you also list houses for sale? Do agents in your office list homes for sale? If yes, how do you plan on keeping my information separate from seller's agents in your office?
  • Do you have a private office? Private fax? Private phone service?
  • Do you have regular office meetings to discuss the market and techniques in real estate? If yes, do your sales meetings focus on ways to get the best price and terms for sellers, for buyers or for both?
  • Do you work with a partner in your office? Does your partner list homes for sale? If yes, what will you do in the event that your partner is the listing agent on the home that I want to buy?
  • If you (and your partner) list homes for sale, how many of the last 20 transactions that you have done have been on the buyer's side?
  • Will you sign a guarantee that you represent my interests exclusively and will not attempt to sell houses you or your partner list?
  • What geographical areas are you most knowledgeable about?
  • Do you have full access to the area's Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?
  • Do you have access to For Sale by Owner (FSBO) and foreclosed properties?
  • What is your fee structure? Will you give that to me, in writing?
  • Will you make decisions about what homes to show me without regard to co-fees offered to cooperating agents on MLS listings?
  • How many homes are you prepared to show me?

Latest from the Blog

  • 2016 Halloween Happenings in Boston, North Shore, Cape Cod, Central Massachusetts and the Berkshires


    Weekends through October 30. Dusk. The Midnight Zoo. Under the light of the autumn moon, discover a secret corner of Franklin Park Zoo that is home to a mysterious, mystical world. The Midnight Zoo surrounds visitors with never-before-seen creatures from the farthest realms of the imagination. Wind your way through the darkness as the woods come alive in this 360-degree immersive experience. Elaborate costumes, masterful design, and moonlit surprises await you in this haunted habitat featuring over 20 fantastical creatures ranging in size from tiny to over 8 feet tall. $10 - $15.

    Through October 31. tours at 7, 8 and 9 p.m.  Ghosts and Gravestones. Walk amongst the dead in burying grounds nearly 400 years old, hear stories of those whose mortal remains lie beneath your feet, and listen to tales of many of the sordid practices that went along with them. Venture to the site of the biggest grave-robbing scandal in New England’s history. $22 - $39.90.

    Through October 31, 8 p.m.  Haunted Boston Ghost Tour. You'll hear enchanting and chilling tales of Boston's most famous ghosts as well as the area’s extensive and rich history. Your guide will tell you extraordinary and tragic tales from the founding of Colonial Boston right up to the present day. $13 - $18. Boston Common.

    Through October 31. Tours at 7 and 9 p.m. Ghosts and Gravestones Tour. Step aboard the trolley of the doomed for a 2-hour tour of Boston’s scariest sites with gravedigger guides. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. From $39.90 per person.

    Friday, October 21 and October 28, 7 p.m. Gore Place Presents Frightful Fridays. The 1806 Gore mansion provides the perfect setting for an evening of spooky tales and haunted activities. Along the way, you’ll get to see the mansion at night. The tour lasts one hour and promises to be a fun alternative to the usual gruesome fare. $15/$10 members and kids 12 and under. 52 Gore Street, Waltham.

    Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23.  Boo at the Zoo. Thrills, chills and animals lurk around every corner on the Trick-or-Treat Trail, which will feature delicious treats and creepy crafts. Throughout the day, people can learn about the importance of enrichment as they watch many of the animals receive pumpkins. Adults, $15.95; Children 2-12, $11.95. Stone Zoo, 149 Pond Street, Stoneham.

    Friday, October 21 – Saturday, October 29. Cirque of the Dead at the Oberon Theater. The Boston Circus Guild presents its annual extravaganza of circus spectacle and gruesome acts straight out of a horror movie. Cirque of the Dead claws its way from the grave to terrorize the populace of Harvard Square this Halloween season. Zombies, mad scientists, and a cavalcade of monstrosities will fill the night with live music, aerials, acrobatics, burlesque, sideshow and more. Ages 18+. $30 - $50. 2 Arrow Street, Cambridge.

    Thursday, October 27 through Sunday, October 30. Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns.  Come see thousands of hand-carved illuminated jack o’lanterns creatively arranged along a scenic walking path and set to a musical score designed to bring out the Halloween spirit in visitors of all ages. Seaport Hotel. Timed tickets, $22 - $26.

    Friday, October 28, 6 p.m. Witch Stories by Candlelight. Listen to tales of some very strange characters as you explore the old Hale House and learn about its connection to the Salem witchcraft hysteria during this guided candlelight tour. Hale Farm, 39 Hale Street. Beverly.

    Friday, October 28 – Tuesday, November 1. 3-day Halloween Pub Crawl. This year's annual Halloween pub crawl will be something for the record books. Boston's best bars have all signed up in order to give every crawler in Boston an epic Halloween experience they'll cherish for a long time to come. Meet at Faneuil Hall. $25 for all 3 days.

    Friday, October 28, 9 p.m. – midnight. Scared Stiff.  Get ready to get your freak on with S3 for Halloween with the ultimate Halloween fest. Drink, dance, chill, romance and go absolutely wild. So gather your friends and loved ones for a truly spooktacular good time! $30 - $38. The North Star, 222 Friend Street.

    Saturday, October 29 – Sunday, October 30. Check-in, 9 p.m. Titanic Masquerade. Prepare for the ultimate Halloween party cruise aboard “The Spirit of Boston” that will be transformed into a haunted ship filled with over 600 ghosts and ghouls raised from the dead of the historic Titanic that sank hundreds of years ago. Ages 21+. Tickets $40 - $275. 

    Saturday, October 29, 7 p.m. Day of the Dead Celebration. Celebrate the Day of the Dead with a festive evening of music, food, and community. Remember departed ones in front of this year’s Día de los Muertos altar, savor traditional Mexican food, and enjoy lively Mexican music. Advance tickets required. $25. Peabody Museum, 11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge.  Free event parking available at the 52 Oxford Street Garage.

    Saturday, October 29 – Sunday, October 30, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Zoo Howl.  Children throughout New England are invited to trick-or-treat among the animals. Thrills, chills and animals lurk around every corner on the Trick-or-Treat Trail. $13.95 - $19.95. Franklin Park Zoo.

    Saturday, October 29. Halloween on the Harbor. A trick-or-treat event for grownups. A $5 ticket (proceeds donated to a local non-profit - this year's event benefits Friends of the Port Point Channel) gets you rides on a Boston Duck shuttle departing from the Seaport Hotel to the Halloween parties at Blue Dragon, Jerry Remy's, Whiskey Priest, Atlantic Beer Garden and more top spots along the waterfront.  Come in costume, and get ready to party!

    Saturday, October 29. Boarding at 6:45 p.m. Haunted Ghost Ship. As the darkness of the night settles over Boston this year, celebrate the chills of the evening aboard the Provincetown II on The Haunted Ghost Ship. Be prepared to feel the presence of the Flying Dutchman on this Boston Party Cruise as you dance in your ghoulish attire to the sounds of one of the city’s best live DJs. Adults 21+.  $20-$99.

    Monday, October 31, 6 p.m. Beacon Hill with a Boo. There is no better place than Beacon Hill to walk to the dark side on All Hallow’s Eve.  On the Boo! tour, you will hear stories that shed a new light on this quiet residential neighborhood.  Murder and mayhem lurk just below the surface. Beacon Hill transforms itself for Halloween with elaborate decorations and hordes of trick or treaters in costumes.  If you have not seen Beacon Hill on Halloween, you are missing out! $10 - $20.

    Saturday, October 29, 9 p.m. Hard Rock Café Thriller Halloween Party. This is undoubtedly the largest Halloween event in Faneuil Hall. Take advantage of a live DJ all night long playing the best in Top 40, Hip-Hop and House music. $24.95.  22-24 Clinton Street.


    Through October 31, 5 p.m. daily.  Salem Witch Village. Take a Candlelight Ghostly Walking Tour visiting many haunted houses and locations. Guides discuss the history of the buildings as well as their accounts of spirit activity. 282 Derby Street, Salem.

    Friday, October 28, 7:30 p.m. Salem Witches Halloween Ball. A night of magic, music, and powerful rituals at Salem's most magical Halloween party! Join us as in days of old when fires burned on every hilltop and Witches gathered to feast, rejoice, and cast spells for the new year! Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and a free psychic reading. $150. Hawthorne Hotel, 18 Washington Square West.

    Saturday, October 29. 7 p.m. Tales at the Witch House. $13.310-1/2 Essex Street.

    Saturday, October 29. 7:30 p.m. Nosferatu—the movie. $20. Grace Episcopal Church. 385 Essex Street.

    Sunday, October 30. 7 p.m.  Ghostbusted! As the Haunted Dinner Theater Show returns for its 14th season, we invite you to join us for our newly revised show playing at the historic Hawthorne Hotel or the famous Finz Restaurant in Salem this fall. Includes dinner buffet. $39.95 - $59.95.  Hawthorne Hotel, 18 Washington Square West.

    North Shore

    Friday, October 14, 6 – 9 p.m. Witches Night Out. The streets of downtown Newburyport and the Tannery will be filled with witches, warlocks and other Halloween-y characters. This adult-friendly event is coupled with merchant hospitality, seasonal Halloween treats, shopping and more. Guests are urged to come in costumes appropriate for the season. Stay late for the adult costume contest starting at 7:30 p.m.; Market Square, Newburyport.

    Thursday, October 20, 7 – 10 p.m. Black and White Halloween Gala. Enjoy a spooky fun-filled evening at the festively decorated estate with fellow ghouls and goblins. With the décor, delicious food, and fantastic dancing, this event has become one of the most popular Halloween parties on the North Shore. $15.  Willowdale Estate at Bradley Palmer State Park, 24 Asbury Street, Topsfield. 

    Saturday, October 30, 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. Phantom of the Opera—the Movie. With live music. $27.50 - $32.50. The Cabot, 286 Cabot Street. Beverly.


    Weekends through November 5. Factory of Terror. You will first enter a terrifying chamber and come face to face with the most horrific, spine-chilling, spirit filled rooms. This Factory has laid idle since 1856 when the graveyard shift encountered the most terrifying mystery murder massacre. $13.33 – $26.99. 33 Pearl Street, Fall River.

    Saturday, October 29. 5:30 – 8 p.m. Haunted Whale Ship. Explore the century-old museum and meet ghosts from New Bedford’s seafaring past. The not-too-scary fun includes a parade of historical characters (join in with your own history-themed costume), tours through a mad whaling captain’s lair, arts & crafts, refreshments, and so much more! $5. 18 Johnny Cake Hill. New Bedford.

    Sunday, October 30. 12 noon – 3 p.m.  Halloween Costume Party and Contest. Prizes awarded for best costume. $3 for carousel ride. Paragon Carousel, 205 Nantasket Avenue, Hull.

    Cape Cod and the Islands

    Weekends through October 22, 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. Harvest of Horrors. Enjoy a chilling haunted hayride across 20 acres of farm land, followed by a hike through the creepy forest. Thrills and chills at every turn! Frightful fun for the whole family, this event is recommended for adults and children12 and over. $13. Tony Andrews’ Farm, 394 Old Meetinghouse Road, Falmouth.

    Saturday, October 29, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Halloween Family Festival. Join the Halloween dance party with DJ Ooch, go on a hayride, get a temporary tattoo, join in the fun in Hidden Hollow, and enjoy themed drinks and snacks from the Magnolia Café. Come in costume and be part of the fun! New this year: meet characters from the movies, craft your own fantastic mask and navigate your way through a burlap maze! Participants are advised to wear comfortable shoes to walk to all of the activities. $10 - $13. Heritage Museum and Gardens, 67 Grove Street, Sandwich.

    Saturday, October 29, 7 p.m. The Original Nantucket Ghost Walk. Nantucket's first and oldest Ghost Walk features 5 of the island's most famous haunted locations. Led by the original guide, it is one-mile long and lasts 80 minutes. No reservations necessary, $20. Adults, $15 Seniors (65+) & Teens and $5 Kids (7-12). Cash only. Meet at the corner of Main Street & Centre Street. Arrive 15 minutes early.

    Monday, October 31, 4 p.m. Nantucket Halloween Parade. Join the fun at the Annual Halloween Parade & Costume Pageant! Prize for Best Family Themed Costume at 4:30 p.m. on the Methodist Church steps. Parade begins at 5 p.m. with every child receiving a ribbon and goodie bag! 

    Central Massachusetts

    Weekends through November 5. Factory of Terror. You will first enter a terrifying chamber and come face to face with the most horrific, spine-chilling, spirit filled rooms. This Factory has laid idle since 1856 when the graveyard shift encountered the most terrifying mystery murder massacre. $13.33 – $26.99. 201 Grafton Street, Worcester.

    Saturday, October 22. 2 p.m. – 9 p.m. Great Pumpkin Fest. Join us for an afternoon and evening of family-friendly Halloween fun! More than a thousand carved pumpkins will be lit up and on display, plus enjoy trick-or-treating, exciting entertainment, and more! $12 - $16. EcoTarrium, 222 Harrington Way, Worcester.

    Saturday, October 22, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Zoo Boo. Celebrate Halloween at the zoo with this non-spooky, family friendly event! We’re offering free general admission to kids ages 3-12 in costume, and kids can trick or treat around the zoo. Our animals will even join the fun when we give them pumpkins to eat and play with! Southwick Zoo, 2 Southwick Street, Mendon.

    Fridays and Saturdays through October 31. Haunted Hayride and Spooky Walk. First ride leaves at dusk. $18; $5 discount with a donation of a non-perishable food item. Sportsman’s Club, 531 Rochdale Street, Auburn.

    Thursdays through Sundays through October 30, plus Halloween night. 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Witch’s Woods Haunted Hayride and Halloween Screampark.  $37.

    79 Powers Road, Westford.


    Saturday, October 17, 11 a.m. –  8 p.m. Cheshire Pumpkin Fest. Activities for children and grownups. Tickets available for each activity. 59 Main Street, Cheshire.

    Weekends through October 22, 7 – 10 p.m. Purgatory Road Haunted Hayride. A 35-minute haunted hayride through a family property on Cleveland Road. Recommended for children 12 and up. $13 in advance. $15 at the door. 190 Cleveland Road, Dalton.

    Weekends through October 30, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Fall Fun at Ioka. Family fun abounds at Ioka during weekends in October. Visitors to the farm can take a free hayride on the Giant Pumpkin wagon, or in the Haunted House to the Pumpkin Patch; wander the corn maze; visit the petting zoo. Free admission. Fee for some activities. 3475 Route 43, Hancock.

    Thursday, October 20, 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. The Naumkeag Pumpkin Trail. You will be led along the pumpkin-lit garden trail where nocturnal woodland creatures from our local Berkshire forests will emerge to share their stories and educate families in a fun and unique setting. $20, adults; $10, children. 5 Prospect Hill Road, Stockbridge.

    Thursday, October 27, 5 p.m. Pre-Halloween Tour of Stockbridge Cemetery. Join Curator of Education Tom Daly for a walking history tour of Stockbridge Cemetery, which boasts the burial sites of such luminaries as Norman Rockwell, Elizabeth Freeman, the Sedgwick Family, and other notable town residents. A cider and donut reception will precede the tour on the lawn adjacent to the bell tower parking area at the Old Town Hall. $5, members and children 12 and under free. Norman Rockwell Museum, 9 Route 183. Stockbridge.

    Friday, October 28, 7 p.m. Halloween Parade. Tyler Street, Pittsfield.

    Saturday, October 29, 8 p.m. Whiskey City Halloween Bash. $10. Crowne Plaza, 1 West Street, Pittsfield.

    Saturday, October 29, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Halloween at Hancock Shaker Village. Calling all ghosts and goblins for trick-or-treating, fortune-telling and a ghost story or two! Visitors of all ages are welcome to don a costume (no masks, please) and enjoy a family-friendly experience this fall on a Heritage Farm untouched by time. All activities are included in general admission. Children 12 and under, when accompanied by a paying adult, are always free. $8 - $20. 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield.