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Help! What is my Buyer’s agent asking me to sign?

Help! What is my Buyer’s agent asking me to sign? Help! What Am I Signing

When working with a buyer’s agent in Massachusetts there are two different forms that you could be asked to sign. As with any time you give out your autograph, it is important to understand what it is you are agreeing to!

The first is the “Mandatory Licensee Consumer Relationship Disclosure.” This form outlines the type of agency relationships that you may enter into.

You will decide with the agent which of the licensee/consumer relationships outlined in the form makes the most sense for a specific property. Most typically, your agent will be a ‘designated buyer’s agent.’ The ‘designated’ means that only your buyer’s agent has a fiduciary duty to you, but other agents in their brokerage firm do not, and as such, might be representing another party in a specific transaction. The ‘buyer’s agency’ bit is the most important to pay attention to. In Massachusetts buyer’s agents have a fiduciary duty to you as the buyer. They must put your interests first and owe you undivided loyalty, reasonable care, disclosure and confidentiality – among other things.

Do not be surprised if this form is presented to you at a first meeting to discuss a specific property or variety of properties! Since real estate agents can offer several levels of agency, this form is important so you understand at the outset who they represent when it comes to a specific property. For example, the agent you are talking to may have already entered into a fiduciary relationship with the seller, and that is something you would want to know up front.

This form is not a contract, it is just a formal disclosure. Keep in mind that you are under no obligation to sign this document.

The second document you may be asked to sign is an ‘Exclusive Buyer’s Agency Agreement.’ Much like in dating, your agent might want to have ‘the talk’— are you exclusive or are you going to see homes with other agents? Nobody wants to be cheated on! The great thing for you as a buyer is that this contract does provide a lot of transparency and outlines your agent’s obligations to you, as well as your obligations to them over a specified time period. You will want to pay attention here, as it also stipulates compensation if the property on which you enter into a contract does not agree to pay your broker’s outlined real estate commission, and may also include consent to designated and dual agency. Make sure you talk this through and understand exactly what you are signing – this is a contract!

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Kenda Coleman

Kenda Coleman is a Broker Associate with the Coleman Group.

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