Know Your Rights
Buying Real Estate in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Massachusetts Mandatory Licensee-Consumer Relationship Disclosure
*At your first personal meeting to discuss a specific property or properties, real estate agents (brokers and salespeople) must give you an Agency Disclosure Form. The purpose of this form is to disclose the agent’s relationship with you or any other party to the transaction (buyer or seller). The form also includes explanations of the different types of agency relationships.
*Before you share information with an agent about your need, motivation, timeline or financial concerns, be sure you understand whether or not that agent is working only in your best interests. This information may affect your bargaining position when negotiating a deal.”
In essence, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts real estate agency laws effective July 1, 2005 provide a high level of consumer protection for all consumers – sellers, buyers and investors. These laws are intended to set a higher standard of integrity for real estate professionals working with and representing buyers and sellers which should result in a more positive experience for consumers.
If you do not receive the Agency Disclosure form at the very first time you communicate with and/or meet a Realtor® or real estate agent – at your home, an office, a property for sale or any other location – consider choosing another professional who at a minimum abides by the basic consumer protections provided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts – for your protection.
*Source: Agency Disclosure: Consumer Guide to Real Estate Representation
Provided by: Commonwealth of MA Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons
Agent Fiduciary Responsibilities
What should you expect when a real estate agent is representing only your best interests?
Agent is prohibited from advancing any interests adverse to the client’s interest or conducting the client’s business to benefit a customer, a sub-agent, the agent, or any other interests to the detriment of the client.
Agent is required to act subject to client’s continuous control by not exceeding the scope of authority conferred by the principal, and by obeying and following all lawful instructions.
Reasonable Care and Diligence
Agent is required to protect client from foreseeable risks of harm and recommend the client obtain expert advice or assistance when a client’s needs are outside the scope of agent’s expertise.
Agent is prohibited from communicating personal information about the client that was given to, or acquired by, agent within the scope of employment as an agent to the client. Personal information must be kept confidential unless the client releases the agent from this duty.
Agent is to disclose affirmatively all information concerning the transaction which might affect client’s decisions.
Agent is to promptly report to client all money & property received and paid out, and upon request, to render an accounting; and requires agent to safeguard money or property held on behalf of client.