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JONATHAN P. RADFORD

City, Country and Waterfront Fine Properties

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Agency Representation

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has a very specific law of agency representation and disclosure to educate and protect the consumer in the home buying and selling process. The purpose of this law is to make sure that the consumer clearly understands whether or not they are being represented in a real estate transaction.

I am providing the information below to inform you of the different types of agency before you begin the process of buying or selling a property. When you have read this information, please contact me with additional questions.

The Time When The Licensee Must Provide This Notice To The Consumer

All real estate licensees must present a Massachusetts Mandatory Licensee-Consumer Relationship Disclosure form to you at the first personal meeting with you to discuss a specific property. The licensee can represent you as the buyer (Buyer's Agent) or represent you as the seller (Seller's Agent) and also can assist you as a facilitator.

Consumer Information Responsibility

Whether you are the buyer or seller you can choose to have the advice, assistance and representation of your own agent who works for you. Do not assume that a real estate agent works solely for you unless you have an agreement for that relationship. With your consent, licensees from the same firm may represent a buyer and seller in the same transactions. These agents are referred to as dual agents.

Also a buyer and seller may be represented by agents in the same real estate firm as designated agents. The "designated buyer or seller agent" is your sole representitive. However, where both the buyer and seller provide written consent to have a designated agent represent them then the agent making such designation becomes a "dual agent" for the buyer and seller. All real estate agents must, by law, present properties honestly and accurately. They must also disclose all known material defects in the real estate.

The duties of a real estate agent do not relieve the consumers of the responsibility to protect their own interests. If you need advice for legal, tax, insurance or land survey matters it is your responsibility to consult a professional in those areas. Real estate agents do not have a duty to perform home, lead paint or insect inspections nor do they perform septic system, wetlands or environmental evaluations.

Types Of Agency Representation

Buyer's Agent

A buyer can engage the services of a real estate agent to purchase property and the real estate agent is then the agent for the buyer who becomes the agent's client. This means that the real estate agent represents the buyer. The agent owes the buyer 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 the buyer's interests first and negotiate for the best price and terms for their client, the buyer. The buyer may authorize sub-agents to repesent him/her in purchasing his/her property, however the buyer should be aware that wrongful action by the real estate agent or sub-agents may subject the buyer to legal liability for those wrongful actions. (NOTE: to protect our buyer clients, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage does not offer buyer sub-agency).

Seller's Agent

A seller can engage the services of a real estate agent to sell his/her property (called the listing agent) and the real estate agent is then the agent for the seller who becomes the agent's client. This means that the real estate agent represents the seller. The agent owes the 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 the seller's interests first and negotiate for the best price and terms for their client, the seller. The seller may authorize sub-agents to repesent him/her in marketing his/her property to buyers, however the seller should be aware that wrongful action by the real estate agent or sub-agents may subject the seller to legal liability for those wrongful actions. (NOTE: to protect our seller clients, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage does not offer seller sub-agency).

(Non-Agent) Facilitator

When a real estate agent works as a facilitator that agent assists the buyer and seller in reaching an agreement but does not represent either the buyer or seller in the transaction. The facilitator and the broker with whom the facilitator is affiliated owe the buyer and seller a duty to represent each property honestly and accurately by disclosing known material defects about the property and owe a duty to account for funds. Unless otherwise agreed, the facilitator has no duty to keep information received from the buyer or seller confidential. The role of facilitator applies only to the buyer and seller in the particular property transaction involving the buyer and seller. Should the buyer and seller expressly agree, a facilitator relationship can be changed to become an exclusive agency relationship with either the buyer or the seller.

Designated Seller's And Buyer's Agent

A real estate agent can be designated by another real estate agent (the appointing or designating agent) to represent either the buyer or seller, provided the buyer or seller expressly agrees to such designation. The real estate agent once so designated is then the agent for either the buyer or seller who becomes their client. The 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 interest first and negotiate for the best price and terms for their client. In situations where the appointing agent designates another agent to represent the buyer and an agent to represent the seller then the appointing agents becomes a dual agent. Consequently, a dual agent cannot satisfy fully the duties of loyalty, full disclosure, and obediance to lawful instructions which is required of an exclusive buyer or seller agent. The dual agent does not represent either the buyer or the seller soley, only your designated agent represents your interests. 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 (Board). A sample designated agency consent is available at the Board's website at www.mass.gov/dpl/boards/re/forms.htm.

Dual Agent

A real estate agent may act as a dual agent representing both the buyer and the seller in a transaction but only with the express and informed consent of both the buyer and seller. 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. A dual agent shall be neutral with regard to any conflicting interest of the buyer and seller. Consequently, a dual agent cannot satisfy fully the duties of loyalty, full disclosure, and obedience to lawful instructions which is required of an exclusive buyer or seller agent. A dual agent does, however, still owe a duty of confidentiality of material information and accounting of funds. The written consent for dual agency must contain the information provided for in the regulations of the Massachusetts Board Of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespeople (Board). A sample dual agency consent is available at the Board's website at www.mass.gov/dpl/boards/re/forms.htm.

Massachusetts Mandatory Licensee-Consumer Relationship Disclosure

Massachusetts Mandatory Licensee-Consumer Relationship Disclosure  

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JONATHAN P. RADFORD +1.617.335.1010

Jonathan@JonathanRadford.com

137 Newbury St. Boston MA 02116, USA

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