Uninformed consumers will be affected by the July 1,
2005 changes in the rules affecting Massachusetts real
estate agency. The official Massachusetts "Agency
Disclosure Form" has changed as well.
The rules, processes and customs that govern real estate
in Massachusetts are different from those in many other
What is real estate agency
and why is it important to you?
Real estate agency rules govern the way that agents
AGENT – A real estate
agent is a person that has taken courses required
by the state, passed the required exam and met
the state's qualifications to obtain a
license to work under the supervision of a real
To maintain an active real estate
license, the agent must stay current with continuing
education as required by the state.
their agencies operate and interact with consumers. The
new rules have created different types of relationships
between agents, agencies and consumers that change the
responsibilities and liabilities for agents, add some
disclosure requirements and reduce or eliminate some
It is important to understand the type of relationship
that a consumer has with a real estate agent and their
real estate agency can affect the degree of information
and advocacy the consumer receives.
To be sure you get the degree of service that you want
from both your agent and agency, and most importantly,
to be sure the level of service you expect will not change
in the middle of your real estate transaction, invest
the time to learn about all of the relationship options
available to you and how they can affect your buying or
SELLER'S AGENT or SELLER'S
BROKER – A seller's agent
or broker is an agent that has agreed to represent
interests of the seller in a real estate transaction,
typically by listing the seller's home
for sale. "The broker, and its' subagents,
represent the seller. They owe the seller undivided
loyalty, utmost care, disclosure, obedience to
lawful instruction, confidentiality and accountability.
They must put the seller's interest first
and negotiate for the best price and terms for
their client, the seller."
the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real
Estate of Real Estate Broker's and Salesmen's
Mandatory Agency Disclosure on Agency Relationship.
BUYER'S AGENT or BUYER'S
BROKER – A buyer's agent or broker
that has agreed to represent the interests of
the buyer in a real estate transaction. "The
broker owes the buyer undivided loyalty, utmost
care, disclosure, obedience to lawful instruction,
confidentiality and accountability.
must put the buyer's interest first and
negotiate for the best price and terms for their
client, the buyer."
– From the Massachusetts
Board of Registration of Real Estate of Real
Estate Broker's and Salesmen's Mandatory
Agency Disclosure on Agency Relationship.
DUAL AGENCY – In Massachusetts,
an individual real estate agent may elect to
represent both a seller and a buyer on the same
property, which is known as “dual agency”.
In addition, a real estate agency (and it's
broker or manager) is in “dual agency” when
a buyer's agent and a seller's agent
in the same agency represent their clients on
the same property.
According to the state, “dual
agency” “cannot satisfy fully the
duties of loyalty, full disclosure, obedience
to lawful instructions which is required of an
exclusive seller or buyer agent.” “Written
consent to dual agency must be obtained by the
real estate agent prior to the execution of an
offer to purchase a specific property.” -
quotes are from the Massachusetts “Mandatory
Agency Disclosure”, revised July 1, 2005.
For further information, refer to the disclosure.
DESIGNATED AGENCY – In
Massachusetts, a real estate agent can be designated
by another real estate agent (typically an office
manager or broker) to represent either a buyer
or seller on the same property, provided that
the buyer or seller expressly agrees to such
designation. The “designated” real
estate agent is then the agent for either the
buyer or seller, who becomes their client.
designated agent owes the buyer or seller undivided
loyalty, reasonable care, disclosure, obedience
to lawful instruction, confidentiality and accountability,
provided, however, that the agent must disclose
known material defects in the real estate. The
agent must put their client's interests first
and negotiate for the best price and terms for
their client. In situations where the appointing
agent designates another agent to represent the
seller and an agent to represent the buyer then
the appointing agent becomes a dual agent and
cannot satisfy fully the duties of loyalty, full
disclosure, obedience to lawful instructions
which is required of an exclusive seller or buyer
The dual agent does not represent either
the buyer or the seller solely, only the designated
agents represent their client's interest.
The written consent for designated agency must
contain the information provided for in the regulations
of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of
Real Estate Brokers and Salespeople. A sample
designated agency consent is available at the
Board's website at: www.mass.gov/dpl/re.
FACILITATOR – When a
real estate agent or broker assists a buyer and
seller together on the same property and does
not represent or advocate for either party, that
agent is acting as a facilitator.
What are the types of relationships that you
can have with a real estate agent and agency?
What is the "Agency Disclosure Form" and how
does it affect you?
The statute requires that the Agency Disclosure Form is
presented to the consumer by ALL real estate agents at
“the first personal meeting to discuss property"
(except open houses), so that the consumer is fully informed
about the type of relationship that they are entering
into with that agent and agency.
It has come to our attention that some firms are not giving
this disclosure in a timely manner. In addition, some
firms are also changing this form from its original
form as posted on the Massachusetts
To be sure that you are fully informed, click
here to download the official "2005 Disclosure
Form" from the state website in Adobe® PDF format.
Then, compare this form to the one the agent shows you.
What type of agency relationship(s) can you
have with us at the Greater Boston Home Team?
Sometimes what you do NOT get in a relationship is as
important as what you do get.
We DO NOT practice designated agency or dual agency. Therefore,
we can serve as your buyer's agent or your sellers
agent without the possibility of a conflict of interest
that could arise with designated or dual agency.
Unlike the majority of agents that market themselves as
Buyer's Agents or Seller's Agents in Massachusetts, we
CAN and WILL guarantee that your agent as well as ALL
of the other members of our agency will remain your agents
and advocates throughout your entire real estate transaction.
ALL of us will ALWAYS be 100% on your side 100% of the
time during your purchase or sale.
REALTOR – A real estate
agent or broker that is a member of the National
Association of Realtors is known as a Realtor.
Realtors must adhere to the Realtor's Code
Of Ethics in dealing with the public and each
If you want a Realtor to work hard for you, protect your
interests, safeguard your deposit from loss and guarantee
that your transaction will be free of potential conflicts
of interest, then you need to establish the correct written
relationship with an experienced “Uncompromised
Real Estate representative” as soon as possible.
How can you learn more or get answers to specific
We understand that real estate agency laws and relationships
can be confusing to the average consumer. If you have
any questions, our principal broker is an expert on Massachusetts''
agency relationships and would be happy to answer any
questions that you might have.
Please feel free to contact
us for answers to any agency questions that you might
is owned by:
Greater Boston Home Buying, Inc., Sam Schneiderman, President/Principal
Mailing Address: 675 VFW Parkway #332, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
Phone: 617-469-4200 • Fax: 877-443-4994